Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art



Kelly Baker | Brett Barmby | Anne Curtis | Alex Cu Unjieng | Somchat Jitvichayakul
Curated by Natalie Tan

June 27 – July 26, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 7 – 10pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm

Using two distinct spaces created in the gallery, one a white cube, the other domestic, Let Us Remove the Hindrances to Pleasure brings together artworks that engage viscerally and intellectually. This exhibition invites us to consider not just how we bring art into our lives, but also how young artists bring their art into the world while calling up questions of the body, gender, cultural power, the relationship between art and the public, and the semiotics of medium.

This summer exhibition highlights the work of five recent participants in graduate exhibitions of Emily Carr University (Kelly Baker, Brett Barmby, Anne Curtis), University of British Columbia (Alex Cu Unjieng) and the final graduating class of Capilano University’s Studio Art Program (Somchat Jitvichayakul). It also marks the first curatorial endeavour of Centre A Gallery Coordinator Natalie Tan.

In the initial stages of her selection process, Tan sought out works that offered an immediate visceral or bodily reaction but that also presented the possibility of initiating critical thought. The final result is an exploration of how art and its contexts frame and influence the experience of our bodies, the process of our cognition and the texture of our social interactions.

Featured are a humorous series of embroidered images by Kelly Baker, a documentary painting by Brett Barmby that oscillates between the real and the abstract, navigational art viewing meditations by Anne Curtis, text-based disclaimer prints and a vagina wallpaper installation by Alex Cu Unjieng, and interactive sculptures by Somchat Jitvichayakul. Public programming for the exhibition will be focused on emerging artists, curators, and other cultural practitioners. Centre A will become a space for meeting, sharing information, and discussing practices.

Kelly Baker is a Vancouver-based artist with a wicked sense of humour who has a love for handcrafted objects and text, and a fascination for human behavior. Originally from Vancouver Island, she recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a degree in Illustration. Using mostly traditional art methods, she explores narratives that concentrate on the small details of everyday life, particularly on themes of connection, isolation and irony. Lately she has been experimenting with thread and fabric, creating pieces that are simultaneously amusing and relatable. Her creative goal with any project is to continually work towards challenging the division between art and everyday life. Her hope is that by paying attention to the details of the human condition, her art will lead us to witnessing the painfully hilarious and beautiful moments in both life and art.

Brett Barmby is an artist born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and a recent graduate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Prior to his schooling in Vancouver, Brett was taught traditional oil painting techniques of the old Dutch Masters through small workshops and hobby-painting classes. He continues to apply these skills to a contemporary discourse today by turning his focus onto the mundane, unpicturesque moments of his suburban upbringing. Rather than painting serene landscapes and lavish still lifes, he focuses on urban subjects such as frozen food, convenience stores, poorly removed graffiti. He currently lives in Vancouver, BC, and is working out of his studio in the Unit/Pitt artist-run center.

Anne Curtis is a recent graduate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She completed her Bachelors in Critical and Cultural Studies with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement. Much of her practice investigates language as a tool for thinking about and interacting with visual culture. Her work examines the ability of language to form alternative modes of understanding, knowing and experiencing visual arts. Recently, she has become involved in projects that attempt to make contemporary art more accessible to a general and less invested public. She also has a practice in ceramics and contributes to a Vancouver based ceramics collective, “The Dusty Babes.” Her work has been exhibited in galleries in British Columbia and Ontario. Anne currently lives and works in Vancouver, B.C.

Alex Cu Unjieng was born in Manila, Philippines in 1990 and immigrated to Vancouver in 2009, where she entered the Fine Arts program at the University of British Columbia. Her practice deals with social and gender politics, and investigates processes of understanding and navigating the world we live in through the use of seriality and humour. She predominantly is a screenprinter, but also uses photography, watercolour, and other printmaking techniques. She has participated in group exhibitions in Vancouver, with Let Us Remove the Hindrances to Pleasure marking her largest project to date.

Somchat Jitvichayakul was born in Thailand in 1991 and moved to Vancouver in 2010. The work of his mother, an architect and interior designer, has always had an influence on his artistic sense while growing up. He previously began with painting, and has expanded his practice into sculpture and ceramics after attending the Studio Arts program at Capilano University. Most of the time, he aims to create artwork that is interactive and fun.

Press Release


Open Call Artist Talks
Saturday, July 5 & July 12
Free Admission

Artists, curators, writers, and other cultural practitioners are invited to sign up to volunteer their time to present a 5-10 minute artist talk at Centre A. Due to time constraints, the number of presentations will be limited to 10 talks each day, and registration will be first come, first serve. To sign up, email [email protected]. All are welcome to attend the talks, ask questions, and engage in conversation! Tea will be served.

“Speed Dating” at Centre A
Thursday, July 17
Free Admission

This is not actual speed dating!* All cultural practitioners are welcome to take part in this event where attendees will be paired up to discuss each other’s practices for minutes at a time. Participants can sign up by emailing [email protected], or dropping in on the evening of.

*Centre A will not be held responsible for any blossoming summer romances and inevitable heartbreak that may result from this event.

Special thanks to:

Twig Interiors, and to all those who have donated to our Vagina Wallpaper Indiegogo Campaign so far and to all future donors (the campaign runs until July 26th)!