Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Resistance as an Act of Public Pedagogy

July 27, 2021, 11:30 AM PDT

Register HERE.

This virtual event will bring together five artists with African origins – Rikki Wemega-Kwawu, Laiwan, Linda Mvusi, Shaheen Merali, and Zainub Verjee – for an active engagement about the panellists; practices, experiences of resistance, and histories of decolonization. The event will be moderated by Narendra Pachkhédé.

This public program is co-presented by Centre A and Western Front.

This program is organized in conjunction with Centre A’s current exhibition, Speech Acts: Zainub Verjee, an excerpt of Verjee’s practice where language becomes the materiality of the form and its meaning. The exhibition represents her sustained and long-term engagement with the issues of resistance, activism, artist’s labour, and discourse making—speech, listening and writing.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Rikki Wemega-Kwawu (Panellist) is a contemporary artist from Sekondi, Ghana. His projects grapple with the effects of globalization and the African diaspora on African art, as well as the politics of cultural dictatorship in the evaluation of modern African art. Rikki has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Poetics of Cloth (1998) at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in New York; The World in Hand/Welt in der Hand (2010) at the Kunsthaus Dresden in Dresden, Germany; and Interwoven Dialogues: Contemporary Art from Africa and South Asia (2017) at the Aicon Gallery in New York. He directs and is an artist-in-residence at the El Anatsui Experimental Studios, a residency space established and funded by El Anatsui in Takoradi, Ghana. Currently, Rikki is completing the catalogue raisonné on El Anatsui.

Laiwan (Panellist) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, her family immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Laiwan founded the OR Gallery in Vancouver, Canada, in 1983; was Chair of the grunt gallery Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014, and has been teaching in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College since 2001. Currently, Laiwan is a member of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Committee and the City’s Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group and Heritage and Culture Working Group. She is also active in the transformation and revitalization of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Linda Mvusi (Panellist) is an award-winning architect and actress, best known for her design of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa and 1988 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress in the film A World Apart. Returning to South Africa from exile after 32 years in 1992, Linda has since designed women’s shelters, libraries, crèches, rape crisis safe homes, cultural centres, and “design-thinking” parks, streets and public transportation for differently-abled and marginalized people.

Shaheen Merali (Panellist) is a London-based curator and writer who explores the intersection of art, cultural identity and global histories. He has held positions at Central Saint Martins School of Art, University of Westminster, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Shaheen was the co-convenor of “This is Tomorrow – De-canonisation and decolonization” at the Courtauld Institute, London, in November 2019. He is currently on the advisory board of the Live Art Development Agency in London.

Zainub Verjee (Panellist) is a multidisciplinary artist and advocate of artists’ rights and labour. She was the Executive Director of Vancouver’s Western Front and has held positions at the Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage and the City of Mississauga. Currently, Zainub is the Executive Director of the Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries. In 2020, Zainub received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts for Outstanding Contribution. This year, she was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Narendra Pachkhédé (Moderator) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, programmer, critic and writer based in Toronto, London, Paris, and Geneva. A Commonwealth Fellow, Narendra pursued his doctoral studies in Anthropology and works at the cross-section of philosophical inquiry, social theory, and systems of knowledge production. He is the founder of the Geneva-based Society for Inquiry into the Social and provides art advisory services to major private art collections. His latest essay is for the catalogue of “Cloak and Dagger: India’s Fictional Times” at the Zuzeum in R?ga, Latvia.


Please email us at info@centrea.org if you require any assistance.

TEHCHING HSIEH: FREE THINKING

 

June 3, 2021, 4:00 PM PST / 7:00 PM EST

Register HERE.

Presented in partnership with Centre A, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s 19th Heller Lecture features New York-based, Taiwan-born artist Tehching Hsieh.

How is art sustained over time? How does the body localize agency? These questions guide us in examining the intermingling of discipline and desire on the body and the construction of a performative citizenship.

Connecting his lived experience, Hsieh will discuss his artistic practice, specifically his performance works, and the exertion of the body as a counter-history and site of protest in the context of migrational flows of identity, labour and late capitalism in the twentieth century.

This distinguished lecture is presented in collaboration with Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art). Hsieh will be in conversation with Henry Heng Lu, Executive Director/Curator, Centre A, and Melissa Karmen Lee, Director of Education and Public Programs, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Simultaneous interpretation from English to Mandarin will be provided.

The Heller Lecture is generously supported by Paul and Edwina Heller in memory of Kitty Heller.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Tehching Hsieh was born on December 31, 1950, in Nan-Chou, Taiwan. Hsieh dropped out of high school in 1967, and took up painting. After finishing his compulsory military service (1970–73), Hsieh had his first solo exhibition at the gallery of the American News Bureau in Taiwan. Shortly after, he stopped painting. He made a performance action, Jump, in which he broke both of his ankles. He trained as a seaman, which he then used as a means to enter the United States. In July of 1974, Hsieh finally arrived at a small port near Philadelphia. He was an illegal immigrant in the U.S. for fourteen years until he was granted amnesty in 1988. Between 1978 and 1986, Hsieh made five One Year Performances: the artist spent one year locked inside a cage, one year punching a time clock every hour, one year completely outdoors, one year tied to another person, and, lastly, one year without making, viewing, discussing, reading about, or in any other way participating in art. Hsieh’s final performance piece, Thirteen Year Plan, was completed in 1999 after a process lasting thirteen years. Using long durations—making art and life simultaneous—Hsieh achieved one of the most radical approaches in contemporary art. His first four One Year Performances made Hsieh a regular name in the art scene in New York; the last two pieces, which led to him intentionally retreating from the art world, set a tone of sustained invisibility. Since the early 2000s, released from the restriction of not showing his works during the thirteen-year period, Hsieh has exhibited in North and South America, Asia and Europe. In 2017, he represented Taiwan at the 57th Venice Biennale. Hsieh lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Please email us at info@centrea.org if you require any assistance.

Whose Chinatown? A Virtual Conference

Join us on

DOWNLOAD THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE BROCHURE HERE.

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY:

DAY 1: http://bit.ly/2NK2vch

DAY 2: http://bit.ly/3pxCsDj

The virtual conference “Whose Chinatown?” brings together a weekend of collaborative panels and talks facilitated live over zoom, brought to you by Griffin Art Projects, Centre A, The New Gallery and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop with collaborative support from Tea Base, aiya, and Youth Collaborative for Chinatown. Join us for a weekend of conversation, connection, and solidarity as we celebrate Chinatowns across the country and engage with topics that range from cultural heritage and revitalization to gentrification, economy and the changes that have swept across Canada’s Chinatowns due to development and population, prior to and post-COVID.

SATURDAY APRIL 10, 2021

 

1 – 2 PM PST | NICE TO MEET YOU

Join us as we kick off our virtual weekend with a warm welcome and introductory remarks from the team! Join Griffin Art Projects’ Director Lisa Baldissera and guest curator Karen Tam, The New Gallery’s Director Su Ying Strang, Centre A’s Interim Executive Director and Curator, Henry Heng Lu and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop’s Executive Director Allan Cho, to learn more about the vibrant institutions they lead and their hopes and goals for this virtual weekend together.

 

2:15 – 3:45 PM PST | ARTIST TALK: WILL KWAN

Centre A’s curator and Interim Executive Director Henry Heng Lu will be in conversation with Toronto-based artist Will Kwan about his exhibition Exclusion Acts at Centre A. This exhibition brings together a number of new photo, text, and media-based works that take an unflinching look at the systemic and absurd ways that economic ideology shapes social relations and beliefs. The works examine a range of conditions, from the racialization of low wage and precarious labour, to the financialization of housing by private equity, to the fanatical neoliberal rhetoric used to support the supremacy of the economy. Seen in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the works in the exhibition portray not an inflection point, but systems and minds trapped in a recursive state—inertia, entrenchment, business as usual. This virtual conversation will discuss different manifestations of inequality explored in the exhibition.

Presented by Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

 

4 – 5:30 PM PST | VANCOUVER’S CHINATOWN: THEN & NOW

CINDY CHAN PIPER | ELWIN XIE | SID TAN | WINNIE CHEUNG | moderated by Ada Con

The artist and poet Jim Wong-Chu once remarked that Chinatown is all in our imaginations, for each generation who has lived or interacted there remembered it differently or had different experiences according to their place in time. What first began as a ghettoized space by colonialists used to contain and segregate a predominantly displaced Chinese male bachelor society from the rest of society, Vancouver’s Chinatown has hardened to survive major threats to its existence —race riots, the TransCanada highway, and gentrification— and has now become a contested space between real estate developers, small businesses, and those who reside there. As Chinatown is very much a cultural and historic relic of Canada, the city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia have pushed to have Chinatown designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the future of Chinatown is uncertain in the midst of a global pandemic. Join us as our four speakers whose roots and history with Chinatown discuss and share their memories, experiences, and thoughts about the future of Vancouver Chinatown.

Presented by the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop

 

5:45 – 6:30 PM PST | CHAT & CHEWS

Join us as we raise a virtual glass in cheers of community, conviviality and great conversation! We’ll be capping off each day with an informal mingling session during which participants will have the opportunity to meet and chat about some of the themes and ideas of the day. Zoom links for each mingling session will be sent upon registration.

SUNDAY APRIL 11, 2021

 

1 – 2:30 PM PST | VISIONS FOR CHINATOWN

AIYA | DORIS CHOW OF YOUTH COLLABORATIVE FOR CHINATOWN | FRIENDS OF CHINATOWN TORONTO | SU YING STRANG | LINDA ZHANG | MODERATED BY HENRY TSANG

Join us for a panel that addresses the changes that have swept across Chinatowns throughout Canada and beyond due to gentrification, development, and population, prior to and post-COVID. Panellists will consider the anti-racism that has surged during the pandemic, and what can and should be done about it. This panel is planned on the occasion of the presentation of Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections from January 9 – May 2, 2021, a vibrant exhibition curated by Karen Tam that brings together an art history of Chinatowns and their communities by historical and contemporary Canadian artists.

Presented by Griffin Art Projects

 

2:45 – 4:15 PM PST | WOVEN THREADS: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONNECTING AND COMMUNITY IN CALGARY CHINATOWN

TERESA TAM | ANNIE WONG | CHERYL WING-ZI WONG | MODERATED BY SU YING STRANG

Join us for a discussion featuring Calgary Chinatown Artists-in-Residence, Teresa Tam (Calgary, AB), Annie Wong (Toronto, ON), and Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong (New York, NY), moderated by Su Ying Strang, Director of The New Gallery. The artists will share their ongoing research and work specific to Calgary Chinatown, and how Chinatowns inform their respective practices and/or lives. This residency, organized by The City of Calgary Public Art Program and The New Gallery, is an opportunity for these artists to connect with stakeholders in Calgary Chinatown, and to learn about the community’s past, present, and possible futures. The residency also takes place during a time when The City is undergoing consultation and planning for the future of Calgary Chinatown. The overlapping timelines of these projects pose the question: how does artistic research support engagement and advocate for communities?

Presented by The New Gallery

 

4:30 – 5:15 PM PST | CHATS & CHEWS

Join us as we raise a virtual glass in cheers of community, conviviality and great conversation! We’ll be capping off each day with an informal mingling session during which participants will have the opportunity to meet and chat about some of the themes, topics and ideas of the day. Sessions will be lightly moderated by conference Partners and Collaborative Supporters. Zoom links for each mingling session will be sent to participants upon registration.

Please download the Conference Brochure for a full list of participant bios, restaurant recommendations and information about our collaborative supporters.

Fugitive Images: A Lecture by Chris Hamamoto & Federico Pérez Villoro

 

Join us on Friday, March 5, 2021, at 4:00 PM PST, online, for “Fugitive Images”, a lecture by Chris Hamamoto & Federico Pérez Villoro.

Register HERE.

Chris Hamamoto and Federico Pérez Villoro’s collaborative work investigates the impact of emerging technologies in contemporary culture and politics. It often includes computer-based media, publications, video, writing, and pedagogical initiatives. They both hold MFAs from the Rhode Island School of Design, where they met in 2011. 

Following research developed during the duo’s residency at OCAT in Shenzhen, China, in fall 2019, this lecture will explore the impact of computational models for facial recognition, and the datasets with which they are trained. Putting into question the very act of organizing images of people based on conceptual classes, it will address both the in-transferability of meaning between images and concepts and the amplification of social biases always present in such processes. Under an ongoing search for what they understand as “fugitive images,” the artists will present digital artifacts at the margins of algorithmic vision and speculate on the possibility to escape the logics of computational representation.

The lecture is followed by a Q & A.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Chris Hamamoto is based in Berkeley, California, and works as a designer and educator. He is an assistant professor at the California College of the Arts, while maintaining an independent graphic design practice. Federico Pérez Villoro is an artist and researcher living and working in Mexico City. He has advanced various independent educational programs and has served as a faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design and the California College of the Arts. Their work together has been exhibited internationally and recognized by institutions such as Printed Matter, the Walker Art Center, OCAT Shenzhen, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.


Please contact us by phone at 604.683.8326 or by email at info@centrea.org if you require any assistance.

Migration, Memory, Land: A Panel Discussion

Join us on Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 2:00 PM PST, online, for “Migration, Memory, Land: A Panel Discussion.”

Register HERE.

This panel discussion brings together presentations by Dr. Chris Lee (Associate Professor of English and Director of the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program, University of British Columbia), Dr. Xiaoping Li (author of “Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism”), and artist Mr. Gu Xiong, in the context of Mr. Gu’s exhibition, The Remains of a Journey, which is currently on view at Centre A and Canton-sardine until February 13, 2021.

Dr. Lee’s presentation thinks through how the exhibition presents a relationship to land and place that challenges the dictates of settler colonialism. He will discuss Mr. Gu’s depiction of D’Arcy Island in terms of an aesthetics of exposure and orientation that recurs throughout the show. In his talk, he will also consider the relevance of Gu’s work in light of the resurgence of anti-Asian racism over the past year. Dr. Li’s presentation will focus on Chinese Canadian history as a resource that can be and has been used by different parties within and beyond the Chinese diaspora. Mr. Gu will speak further about his exhibition, which focuses on six sites in B.C. significant to the history of Chinese immigration to Canada.

The panel discussion is followed by a Q & A, and moderated by the exhibition’s curators Henry Heng Lu (Centre A) and Steven Dragonn (Canton-sardine).

Learn more about the exhibition HERE.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Dr. Chris Lee is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program (ACAM) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is the author of The Semblance of Identity: Aesthetic Mediation in Asian American Literature (2012) and currently serves as Associate Editor of American Quarterly. His current research focuses on diaspora Chinese writing during the Cold War and the cultural politics of Chinese Canadian fiction; he received a Killam Research Prize in 2015.

Dr. Xiaoping Li is a first-generation immigrant trained as a social scientist. Her book, Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism, documents the efforts made by several generations of Asian Canadian artists to construct an Asian Canadian culture. She is currently working on a book project that analyzes the media that serve first-generation Chinese immigrants in the Canada-China nexus.

Gu Xiong, a multimedia artist originally from China, has exhibited nationally and internationally, including more than 70 solo exhibitions and three public art commissions. He has participated in over 100 prominent national and international group exhibitions. His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the China National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many other museums and private collections. He has published two books, seventeen solo exhibition catalogues. His work has received significant critical recognition.


Please contact us by phone at 604.683.8326 or by email at info@centrea.org if you require any assistance.

FIRECRACKER: A Centre A Online Art Sale

CENTRE A LAUNCHES FIRECRACKER
AN ONLINE ART SALE TO CELEBRATE 2021

 

Available Now until February 2021 HERE.

 

The sizzle, bang, and smoke of the firecracker produces an exhilarating act of transformative combustion. Centre A’s Firecracker Art Sale seeks to empower artists in our communities and to combat the rising anti-Asian xenophobia spurred by Covid-19. The bold and diverse works offered here, from both emerging and established artists, come together to unsettle negative stereotypes and preconceptions regarding Asian and Asian-diasporic cultures.

Your purchase will make a vital contribution at a critical time for the arts – 50% of the proceeds will go directly towards the artists while the other 50% will go towards innovative and youth-oriented programming at Centre A for 2021.

In many parts of Asia, the act of lighting firecrackers takes on ritual powers – to mark a victory, or to ward off evil spirits and demons on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, funerals, seasonal festivals, and new year celebrations.

We invite you to join us in this lively celebration of art and diversity as we adapt to the extraordinary times we are living in.

The first five buyers will receive a complimentary publication from the Centre A boutique. 

 

Participating POW! 1 Artists

HANK BULL • CHRISTINE CHEUNG • PATRICK CRUZ  • PIXY LIAO • ALVIN LUONG • PARVIN PEIVANDI • BERNADETTE PHAN • SONA SAFAEI-SOOREH • KAREN TAM • LAM WONG • GU XIONG • MICHAEL NICOLL YAHGULANAAS • SAMSON YOUNG • CLARE YOW

 

Participating POW! 2 Artists

BAGUA ASSOCIATION • PAUL DE GUZMAN • MAKIKO HARA • TOMOYO IHAYA • ROMI KIM • KA-SING LEE • HOLLY LEE  • JAYCE SALLOUM • DAMLA TAMER • KIRA WU • KATHARINE MENG-YUAN YI • DEBRA ZHOU

 

Participating POW! 3 Artists

HANA AMANI • SERISA FITZ-JAMES • JOCELYNE JUNKER • YURIY KYRZOV • MORRIS LUM • PIA MASSIE • LOUISE NOGUCHI • OLIVIER SALVAS

 

The full list of artists will be revealed over the next few weeks in POW! 1, POW! 2, and POW! 3, signalling the festive soundscape created by the firecracker.

Stay tuned at centrea.org/firecracker.

The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay: An Artist Talk with Yen-Chao Lin

Yen-Chao Lin, The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay (still), 2019, 8mm film. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Join us for an online artist talk by Montréal-based artist Yen-Chao Lin via Zoom in conjunction with the current group exhibition, We cast Spells on the Mothers of our Daughter and Daughters of our Mothers, at Centre A.

In this talk, Yen-Chao will discuss the inspirations that influence her practice and the making of her short film, The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay (2019), while also navigating her other interests in areas of spiritual practices, folklore, divination, and religion in connection to her exhibition at Centre A. Following the talk there will be a Q & A session moderated by Hana Amani, the exhibition’s curator.

This event is co-presented by Centre A and Cinevolution.

Friday, September 25, 2020, 6:00 PM PST via Zoom

Register HERE.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Yen-Chao Lin is a Taipei-born Montréal-based multidisciplinary artist. A self-described postmodern archivist and natural history enthusiast, her work explores divination arts, occult sciences, oral history, religion, and power through means of intuitive play, craft techniques, collaboration, scavenging and collecting. Her current research is focused on dowsing, psychic mapping, and resource extraction. Yen-Chao has been invited to give public presentations at Artexte (Montréal), Concordia University (Montréal), GAX Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art (Montréal), PHI Foundation (Montréal), among others. Her works have been shown at Art Metropole (Toronto), Berlinale (Berlin), Edinburgh International Film Festival (Edinburgh), OBORO (Montréal), SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin), SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art (Montréal), TIFF Lightbox (Toronto) among others. Yen-Chao currently serves on the Board of articule (Montréal) as vice president. Her most recent installation The Eroding Garden will be featured at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in fall 2020.

ABOUT THE CO-PRESENTER

A grassroots, women-led, migrant-driven non-profit arts organization, Cinevolution’s mission is to: Promote innovation and critical discourse through film and new media art works; Bring new ways of thinking and expression into cross-cultural communication; and Foster creative exchange and collaboration among filmmakers and media artists in Canada and around the world. Founded in 2007, Cinevolution has been committed to making experimental film and media art accessible for all since its inception, with a particular focus on connecting and empowering immigrants and other historically marginalized communities through community festivals, participatory media art projects, film screenings, workshops, and live performance events. Our work is powered by the belief that art can transcend cultural, social and linguistic divides to transform both the artist and the audience.