Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

CURRENT EXHIBITION

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BULAKLAK NG PARAISO (FLOWER OF PARADISE)

Patrick Cruz
Curated by Makiko Hara

March 4, 2016 – May 7, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, March 4 | 7pm

Conversation between Centre A founder Hank Bull and Patrick Cruz, with a special screening of rare Santiago Bose video work: Friday, March 4 | 6pm

Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm

 

For Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise), Filipino-Canadian artist Patrick Cruz will transform the main gallery of Centre A into an elaborate immersive environment that weaves together personal, political and historical narratives that meditate on the conditions and processes of displacement, cultural hybridity and the material excess of our global culture. Driven by folk sentiment and animist proclivities, his maximalist oeuvre mimics the destabilizing forces of modernity to consider traditions and practices of ornamentation and patterning as strategies for re-enchantment and de-stabilization. Informed by his experiences of being transplanted into another culture Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise), compounds narratives and conversations between art and culture, media and institutions, race and identity, while measuring the capacity of art to generate an inquiry within the process of globalization. In his installation, Cruz facilitates a diasporic cultural exchange through collaborative projects with local and international cultural producers.

Highlights of the exhibition include new paintings and sculptures by Patrick Cruz, presented with numerous local and international artists in collaboration including: a sound performance by Andrew Lee (public program), and video pieces in the installation by JP Carpio (PH), Casey Wei (CA) and Dada Docot (PH/CA).

A first survey book of Cruz’s artwork will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. The book features essays from academics, artists and curators, compiled by Cruz.

Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise) also marks Cruz’s first solo exhibition since winning the 2015 RBC Painting Prize last November, as well as the beginning of Centre A’s long-time Curator (2007-2013) Makiko Hara’s 2016 Curatorial Residency.

Join us on Friday March 4th at 6pm for a conversation between Centre A’s founder Hank Bull and Cruz, and a screening of a rare Santiago Bose video work. This will be followed by the Opening Reception for Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise) at 7pm, with a special Filipino meal prepared by the artist.

 

PATRICK CRUZ (b.1987) is a Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and is currently living and working in Guelph, Ontario where he is pursuing his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. Cruz’s experience migrating from the Philippines to Canada informs his studio practice, prompting him to question notions of diaspora, displacement and the adoption of a new cultural identity. Recognizing the importance of his endeavors, in 2015, Cruz was awarded first prize at the 17th Annual RBC Painting Competition. Cruz has presented work locally and internationally. For more information, visit www.patrickcruz.org.

MAKIKO HARA is an Independent Curator, based in Vancouver and Tokyo. She has been researching and curating contemporary art internationally since the early 1990s. From 2007 to 2013 Hara served as Chief Curator at Centre A and in 2016, she is returning as Curator-in-Residence. Hara is specialized in socially engaged art practices and has curated numerous public art projects in Canada and Japan including Toronto Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche (2009), and most recently the 2014-15 artist-in-residence AIR 476 in Yonago, Japan, and the Koganecho Bazaar 2014 – Fictive Communities Asia, International Artist in Residency and Art Festival co-organized with Yokohama Triennial 2014. She is currently a Contributing Curator for Mash Up: The Birth of Modern Culture, coming up at Vancouver Art Gallery

 

Photo documentation by Dennis Ha

 

PUBLIC PROGRAMMING

Patrick Cruz: Homecoming Talk

February 29, 6:30-8:30pm
Multipurpose Room, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia
Open to all

The UBC Philippine Studies Series and Centre A are pleased to present a talk by Filipino-Canadian artist Patrick Cruz, winner of the 2015 Annual RBC Painting Competition. Cruz will present a chronology of his works leading to his ongoing project Kamias Triennale, a tri-annual event that fosters dialogues between local and international artists. Dada Docot and Makiko Hara will respond to Cruz’s talk, relating his works to the artistic productions in the Philippines, in the Filipino diaspora, and in Canada. This event is held in conjunction with Cruz’s first solo show since winning the RBC prize that will be held at the Centre A, curated by Makiko Hara

DADA DOCOT is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Docot recently completed her ethnographic fieldwork in the Philippines where she looked into the entanglements of migration, colonial histories, narratives of development, and intimacy, in a town called by its residents as the “Town of Dollars.” Her film works that reflect on Filipino overseas mobilities have been exhibited and shown in both academic and art environments. She is a Liu Institute for Global Issues Scholar, co-founder of the UBC Philippine Studies Series, and the first Filipino to have been awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Research Scholarship.

Conversation with Centre A founder Hank Bull and Patrick Cruz

with special screening of rare Santiago Bose video work

March 4, 6-7pm
Centre A

Perpetual Gong Machine of Peace, A sound performance by Andrew Lee

April 28, 8pm
Centre A

Using Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise) as a departure point, Andrew Lee deploys multiple cymbals and gongs wired in an automated system to generate a meditative and temporal sonic landscape. Akin to Cruz’s installation, Lee’s auditory and performative intervention materially echoes the symbolic decay and permanence inherent in Cruz’s work. Perpetual Gong Machine of Peace possesses neither a beginning nor an end; instead, it attempts to communicate the interstitial space of constancy and flux.

ANDREW LEE is a Vancouver­ based artist. His installations, sound compositions, music and photography have been exhibited in Vancouver, Malmo and New York. In 2010 he was a part of the exhibition First Nations/Second Nature at the Audain Gallery and in 2011 was asked by artist group Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries to compose a sound piece that would exhibit formally the characteristics of seeing.  In 2012, Lee was invited by the Vancouver Art Gallery to perform new work responding to the monochromatic paintings and photographs of Ian Wallace. Andrew has performed and presented sound works at The Centre for Performance Research in New York (2012), Kunstradio in Vienna (2013), The Vancouver Planetarium (2015), The International Symposium On Electronic Art (2015) and, most recently, a sound installation at Surrey Art Gallery (2015).

A screening of Lav Diaz’s 2013 film, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte, End of History)

April 30, 6pm
Bestway (21 E Pender St.)
$10 admission

Visionary Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s films centre around life in rural
Philippines. Considered a leader his field, Diaz’s films are audience-testing, running between four to nine hours. In an interview, Diaz commented,

“The concept of time was imposed by the West, the Spanish. Go to work at nine, go home at five… Filipinos don’t actually follow that. People think it’s indolent, or lazy. It’s not. This is our culture.” – Diaz.

Patrick Cruz cites this in the title of his 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Prize-winning work, ‘Time Allergy’,
“We were kind of allergic to this idea of modernity and modernization.” – Cruz.

At a four hour run time, Diaz’s 2013 adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and PunishmentNorte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte, End of History), is his shortest film yet.

Join us on April 30th at 6pm for this rare screening. Many thanks to Moira Lang and Elisha Burrows.

Closing Reception and Exhibition Catalogue Launch, Birds of Paradise

May 7, 4pm
Centre A

Join us for the closing reception and the launch of Birds of Paradise, an exhibition catalogue for Patrick Cruz’s Bulaklak ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise). Organized by Cruz, Birds of Paradise brings together diverse texts and essays from 12 local cultural producers from Vancouver, Canada. Curators, artists, creative writers, anthropolgists, poets and social workers were invited to generate and contribute a text that loosely responds to our ever pervasive cult of globalization. The texts in the book attempt to grasp the complex, mobius and hybridized nature of globalization. The book serves as a space for inquiry and experimentation as well as a catalogue for the exhibition. Birds of Paradise includes contributions from Allison Collins, Nathan Crompton, Dada Brina Docot, Chaya Ocampo Go, Paul de Guzman, Makiko Hara, Jenn Jackson, Steffanie Ling, Heidi Nagtegaal, Jasmine Reimer, Charlie Satterlee and Jacobo Zambrano, and book design by Jake Lim.

All Logos

 

PRESS COVERAGE

“Centre A appoints Makiko Hara as curator-in-residence”, Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight, February 5, 2016

“Through a Geopolitical Lens”, The Valley Voice, February 28, 2016

“Where Is Home? | Patrick Cruz’s Homecoming Artist Talk”, Jenna Mae Diamante, Schema Magazine, March 4, 2016

“The Immigrant Experience as Resource for Art Production: Patrick Cruz’s Homecoming Exhibit at Vancouver’s Centre A”, Dada Docot, UBC Philippine Studies Series, March 4, 2016

Add Oil Machine 打氣機


Add Oil Machine 打氣機
In collaboration with Hong Kong Exile
Curated by Melissa Lee and Aaron Levy

Organized by Slought Foundation in collaboration with the Add Oil Team, this virtual exhibition seeks to spread awareness about the power of individual and collective assemblage and the formation of community and solidarity through art. In commemoration of the final days of protests one year earlier, the project will launch online on December 10, 2015, raising questions about archivization and historicization, and how institutions record and display protest movements and cultural resistance. Here, in Vancouver, Canada, we will be presenting it in the form of an outdoor projection and installation.

The title of the exhibition is derived from “Stand By You: Add Oil Machine 並肩上: 打氣機” a spontaneous four-month project by artists Sampson Wong (黃宇軒), Jason Lam (林志輝) and friends that strategically projected political writing on key government buildings in Hong Kong. Together with over 100,000 other protestors, they sought to protest recent electoral reforms by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China and campaign for universal suffrage. Their projection system operated at the intersection of public culture, activism, and urbanism, and re-visualized the symbolic authority of civic sites. Mimicking the dominant tendency to wrap buildings in advertising, they projected more than 40,000 short messages of local support and international solidarity, catalyzing a vast protest site under intense global attention.

In response to the protester’s demands, the Hong Kong government and the Chinese Communist Party strengthened its control of media and educational institutions and escalated its harassment of students, scholars and protesters, quietly subduing oppositional voices and language through administrative and bureaucratic protocols. “Stand By You: Add Oil Machine 並肩上: 打氣機” can be understood as a linguistic form of resistance to this power and process. In Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (1975), philosophers Gille Deleuze and Félix Guattari introduce the term “minor literature” to describe the relationship between language and power, and the possibility of subversive forms of enunciation that contest domination. Recognizing the way in which the political domains co-opts both individual and societal consciousness, they recognize the potential of language and literature to express and imagine other possibilities. Minor literature builds upon the relationship between the individual and their political immediacy, and encourages new forms of solidarity and collective enunciation.

To what degree can the concept of minor literature be translated across languages, cultures, and places? “Stand By You: Add Oil Machine 並肩上: 打氣機” provides us with an opportunity to explore its applicability to the language of protest, and in particular protest in minor Chinese languages. A majority of the messages of solidarity were written in 廣東話 Cantonese, the primary language in Hong Kong yet one that is secondary to 普通話 Mandarin, the standardized Chinese dialect spoken in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. Cantonese people are often compelled to explain themselves in Mandarin to be understood in Mainland China and other parts of Asia, such that using Cantonese in everyday life is an affirmation of one’s minoritarian cultural identity and sense of community. This project thus invites us to interrogate the politics of and relationship between Cantonese and Mandarin. Here political messages in Cantonese, a minor language, are being projected onto governmental sites of power whose association with Mandarin and Mainland China is precisely what is being contested.

Stand by You: Add Oil Machine for the Umbrella Movement is a work of the Add Oil Team. The Add Oil Team are Sampson Wong (黃宇軒), Jason Lam (林志輝) and their friends.

Friends who were involved in Stand by You included but were not limited to Candy Chu, Kitty Ho, Chris Cheung Hon Him, Jeff Wong, Kwan Kai Yin, Karen Shing.

 

PUBLIC PROGRAMMING

Vancouver Launch of “Add Oil Machine 打氣機”
In collaboration with Hong Kong Exile
Curated by Melissa Lee and Aaron Levy

Thursday, December 10 | 5pm
In the alley between Revolver Coffee, (325 Cambie Street) and the Dominion Building (207 W. Hastings Street)
Free Admission
Facebook Event

Centre A and Hong Kong Exile, with the cooperation of Revolver Coffee are pleased to invite you to the Vancouver launch of “Add Oil Machine 打氣機,” an online exhibition about the Hong Kong Umbrella movement (2014) and the revolutionary potential of language and collective enunciation.