Gary Upay'aq Beaver and Ryan Conarro are co-creators of ALAXSXA | ALASKA with Ping Chong and Justin Perkins. Gary is from Kasigluk, Alaska, a Central Yup'ik village. Ryan, originally from an Army family with roots in north Georgia, first moved to Alaska in 2001, and he joined Ping Chong + Company as Artistic Collaborator in Residence in 2014.

Gary's and Ryan's stories and experiences of cross-cultural encounter lie at the heart of ALAXSXA | ALASKA


Gary Upay'aq Beaver

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"Kasigluk is the place where three rivers meet.

Wooden boardwalks are everywhere...

and in the springtime, everywhere there's mud."

 
 
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"Upaayuilnguq. That's my Yup'ik name... Upaayuilnguq means to be still. Never go nowhere. Stay right here. Kasigluk."

 

ryan conarro

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"I signed myself up for a volunteer position at a social service radio station up north... I thought it would be 'a year off.' Off the grid. Off the plan. Off the map."

"I can remember flying to Alaska... The great urban world trickled away behind us—highways like fading tendrils; cars like the last members of dying ant colonies... Then--verdant mountains gave way to great brown plains gave way to black seas gave way to craggy peaks falling away into impossible expanses of never-ending rolling treeless tundra..."

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"Life in Alaska becomes about: Travel. Motion. Arrivals. ... Boat, snowmachine, truck, airplane. Tundra, mountains, rivers, oceans..."


 Ping Chong, Justin Perkins, Ryan Conarro, and Gary Upay'aq Beaver. Lincoln Center, NYC. 2017.

Ping Chong, Justin Perkins, Ryan Conarro, and Gary Upay'aq Beaver. Lincoln Center, NYC. 2017.