A Generational Retrospective

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A Generational Retrospective

Sandra Semchuk

February 7 - April 5, 2020
Join us for the Opening on Thursday, February 6, 7 PM
 
In A Generational Retrospective, Ukrainian-Canadian artist Sandra Semchuk shares stories that look beyond her own perspective and her own lifetime. The exhibition includes work made across almost fifty years of practice including early co-operative photographs made with her father, Martin Semchuk and her daughter, Rowenna Losin, and collaborations with her late husband, Rock Cree actor, orator and artist, James Nicholas, and with singer/composer, Jerry DesVoignes. The exhibition also includes recent video portraits dedicated to future generations that are made in collaboration with Vancouver Island-based Cree, Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Métis artist Skeena Reece. Also featured are photo and video installations that consider generations in relation to the ocean and the forest.
 
Sandra Semchuk has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally, and her works reside in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and many others. She was a co-founder of the Photographers Gallery in Saskatoon, and was Associate Professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver from 1987 until her recent retirement. In 2018 she was awarded the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

A Generational Retrospective brings together works from Semchuk's lifelong dialogue across ages and cultures, and is the final show in a year in which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question "What are generations?"
 
Download Sandra Semchuk in conversation Nanaimo Art Gallery Curator Jesse Birch.
 

Image: Sandra Semchuk
Co-operative self-portrait, hand play, Rowenna and I, RR6, Saskatoon,Saskatchewan
Silver gelatin print
1979

 book

The Stories Were Not Told (Cancelled due to COVID)

Book Launch & Reading
April 4, 1 pm

In addition to her work as an artist, Semchuk has recently published The Stories Were Not Told, a book of writing and photographs that brings to light the experiences of Ukrainian Canadians during the First World War. Join us in the gallery for a special reading and book signing.
 
From 1914 to 1920, thousands of men who had immigrated to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire were unjustly imprisoned as "enemy aliens," some with their families. Many communities in Canada where internees originated do not know these stories of Ukrainians, Germans, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Alevi Kurds, Armenians, Ottoman Turks, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, and Slovenes, amongst others. While most internees were Ukrainians, almost all were civilians.
 
The Stories Were Not Told presents this largely unrecognized event through photography, cultural theory, and personal testimony, including stories told at last by internees and their descendants. Semchuk describes how lives and society have been shaped by acts of legislated discrimination and how to move toward greater reconciliation, remembrance, and healing. This is necessary reading for anyone seeking to understand the cross-cultural and inter-generational consequences of Canada's first national internment operations.
 
The Stories Were Not Told is published by University of Alberta Press and has been made possible by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.

Small Gatherings

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Charlotte Zhang, The Lining, video, 2018. Collection of Nanaimo Art Gallery, donation of the artist.

Small Gatherings

Sheri Bakes
Tiwuxiwulh Tyrone Elliott
Carole Itter
Sara Robichaud
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
Charlotte Zhang

July 24 to August 30

 

At a time when many of us are in intense proximity with close family and friends but cannot gather with our broader communities to celebrate or even mourn together, we can find solace in small gatherings. In both being together and staying apart we are enacting practices of care. It is this relationship between gathering and care that is the core of this exhibition.

Small Gatherings brings together three artworks from the Nanaimo Art Gallery collection with works by three local artists. Through painting, cedar weaving, drawing, video, and sculpture, the works in the exhibition embody different approaches to gathering that are initiated in the process of making, and continue to speak through new gatherings with visitors in the gallery.

Small Gatherings is not only the first exhibition at the galley since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, but it is also the first exhibition in our 2020/2021 inquiry What moves?

We are also taking care to make sure your visit to the gallery is as safe as possible. A maximum of six visitors will be allowed in the gallery at one time, and everyone will be asked to follow physical distancing and safety protocols.

Everyone Welcome. Tue to Friday, 12 to 5pm, Sat 10am to 5pm, and starting August 2 - Sun 12 to 5pm


Tours: Small Gatherings in Small Gatherings

Join Art Education Coordinator Yvonne Vander Kooi for engaging tours of the exhibition for groups of up to 6 visitors.

By appointment: Tuesday - Friday, 12-5
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250 754 1750 ext.25 to book 


 

Pacific Crossing: Triagulations

Pacific Crossings: Triangulations

Borrowing a term from both navigation and research methods in social science that employ multiple points of view, Triangulations offers three online propositions with artists and curators in Hong Kong, Beijing and Manila, encompassing shared concerns germane to the pandemic and locational contexts. Produced as part of Pacific Crossings in partnership with Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Nanaimo Art Gallery, and Richmond Art Gallery, Triangulations is a coordinated effort to bring forward distinct perspectives from different regions through digital means to support empathy and to cultivate shared understandings about what the future may hold for the arts sector and for the public.

The series launched on May 27, 2020 with:

PART I: Revisiting A Journal of the Plague Year on the Eastern Pacific Coast
A talk with Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero

Organized by Jesse Birch

Response by Charlotte Zhang

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Lygia Pape, Divisor (1968 – 2013), photograph and façade print of a street performance, performed in Central, Hong Kong, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition, A Journal of the Plague Year, originally responded to disparate narratives of 2003 in Hong Kong—the SARS epidemic, the first arrivals of mainland Chinese on individual tourist visas, and the beginning of the democracy movement, as well as the death of pop culture figure and pan-Asian icon Leslie Cheung, the exhibition traced the fears of disease and fears of other people, both colonial and recent, and the political and pop-cultural watersheds that have shaped Hong Kong identity in the years since. These themes have come back with renewed strength in the recent months of the COVID-19 crisis, with a similar profile of fear grappling our collective imagination. For this special Pacific Coast presentation, curators Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero will focus on the 2015 version of A Journal of the Plague Year held at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco. As noted in the press release for San Francisco version of the exhibition:


California and San Francisco were deeply affected by the Western world's anti-Chinese immigration prejudices, through the history of Chinese immigration in relation to the Gold Rush, the 19th-century railway construction in the Western United States, and the subsequent Chinese Exclusion Act. These events make this exhibition highly relevant in a context that has not entirely moved beyond the stereotypes of its past centuries, even as it finds itself ever more deeply entangled in an emerging Asia-Pacific geopolitics of power.


While held in the United States, the questions raised in the exhibition are also highly relevant to the parallel histories of immigration, exclusion, and heightened xenophobia on Canada's West Coast, as exemplified by recent acts of violence and intimidation perpetrated against members of the Chinese Canadian community in B.C.


The talk will be followed up by a written response by Nanaimo-raised and Los Angeles-based artist Charlotte Zhang, which will be published by Pacific Crossings at a later date.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS


Inti Guerrero (b. 1983, Colombia) is The Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate, London since 2016, and Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects, Manila since 2018. He was Chief Curator of the 38th EVA International – Ireland's Biennial, Limerick (2018), Guest Curator of Dakar Biennale 2018 – La Biennale de l'Art africain contemporain-DAK'ART, Dakar (2018), and Artistic Director of TEOR/éTica, San Jose (2011-2014).

Cosmin Costinas (b. 1982, Romania) is the Executive Director/Curator of Para Site, Hong Kong since 2011, and Artistic Director of Kathmandu Triennale 2020. He was a Guest Curator of Dakar Biennale 2018 – La Biennale de l'Art africain contemporain-DAK'ART, Dakar (2018), Guest Curator at the Dhaka Art Summit '18 (2018); Co-curator of the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014), Curator of BAK-basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2008-2011), Co-curator of the 1st Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg (2010), and Editor of documenta 12 Magazines, documenta 12, Kassel (2005–2007). 


 

This series continued with,

PART II: Let Individuals Represent Individuals

A talk with Carol Yinghua Lu & Liu Ding

Organized and Moderated by Henry Heng Lu

Response by Su-Ying Lee

DATE: Thursday, June 18, 2020, 7 PM PST (Vancouver local time)

Registration required

 

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Liu Ding, A Man in Deep Sleep Year (2017), oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Through Beijing-based Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding's own daily conversations and their contributions to "Letters Against Separation" on e-flux conversations (https://conversations.e-flux.com/t/letters-against-separation-liu-ding-liu-qingshuo-and-carol-yinghua-lu-as-a-family-in-beijing/9699), they have had a chance to reflect on the impacts of COVID-19, not just on the everyday life in a practical way but on their conception of the existing orders of organization that condition our lives. They have observed a general overdependence and almost blind trust on larger structures, systems and framework of thinking as well as a universal abstraction of individual positions, conditions and subjectivities. The rhetoric around COVID-19 has pivoted on politics and its problematic, yet they argue that politics can only represent and emulate an abstract form of the society consisting of countless individuals, but not actual individuals.The talk will be followed up by a written response by Toronto-based curator Su-Ying Lee, which will be published by Pacific Crossings at a later date.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Liu Ding is a Beijing-based artist and curator. He has participated in international biennials and triennials such as Istanbul Biennial (2015), Asia Pacific Triennial (2015), Shanghai Biennale (2014), Prospect.3 New Orleans (2014), Taipei Biennial (2012), the Venice Biennale (2009), Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2008), and Guangzhou Triennial (2005). His works have been presented in many art institutions and museums across the world.

Carol Yinghua Lu is an art critic and curator. She is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of Melbourne and director of Beijing Inside-out Art Museum. She is a contributing editor at Frieze and is on the advisory board of The Exhibitionist.

As a curatorial team, Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu have curated Liberation (2010); Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art I\II\III (2011, 2013, 2015); The 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World) (2012), From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism (2014), New Measurement and Qian Weikang: Two Case Studies in Early Chinese Conceptual Art (2015), Salon Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective (2015) and Factories, Machines, and the Poet's Words: Echoes of the Realities in Art (2019). Their ongoing practice of exhibition and publication making establishes organic connections between history and the contemporary, investigates and narrates historical realities from multiple perspectives. They intend to generate narratives of the subjectivity in Chinese art from a diversity of entry points, related closely to the intellectual tradition in China.


 

PART III: Dispatches From Manila

Online

An online screening of short video works selected by Lost Frames, a short story by an unnamed artist, and an interview between Allison Collins, Mayumi Hirano and Mark Salvatus (Load na Dito).

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Unnamed Artist, Untitled (Quarantine Hand Drawing) (2020). Courtesy of the artist.

Pacific Crossings is an ongoing conversation and public presentation series that draws participants from various regions across the ocean. This collaborative project works to bring together perspectives in an evolving and dynamic exchange, instigating events and activities that can increase public awareness of the multitude of traditions, histories, and practices, offering potential routes for intersection to take place. Thinking both metaphorically and ecologically, the series will address the care and consideration that must emerge for long-term healthy exchange, and the sharing in responsibility as much as resources.

As a space that connects but is not determined by any one people or place, the Pacific Ocean is a fluid region. Our engagement through it imagines the alliances, meeting points or crossing of paths that can take place and where mutual influence, responsibility and care come to build and sustain a shared body of work and practices.


 

Pacific Crossings is an ongoing conversation and public presentation series that draws participants from various regions across the ocean. This collaborative project works to bring together perspectives in an evolving and dynamic exchange, instigating events and activities that can increase public awareness of the multitude of traditions, histories, and practices, offering potential routes for intersection to take place. Thinking both metaphorically and ecologically, the series will address the care and consideration that must emerge for long-term healthy exchange, and the sharing in responsibility as much as resources. 

Pacific Crossings acknowledges that it takes place on the unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Snuneymuxw First Nations. It was first conceived by Bopha Chhay (Artspeak), Allison Collins, Shaun Dacey (Richmond Art Gallery), and Makiko Hara, and is currently programmed by Collins, Dacey, Hara, Jesse Birch (Nanaimo Art Gallery), and Henry Heng Lu (Centre A).

 

 

 

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