Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

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

Registration 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.

JUSTIN SHOULDER PRESENTS PHASMAHAMMER / IN CONVERSATION WITH HENRY HENG LU

Justin Shoulder, Carrion (still), 2017, performance. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Join Justin Shoulder for a lecture-performance illuminating Phasmahammer, an ecology of alter personae in their main body of work based on queered ancestral myths. Shoulder’s artwork and performances use avatar as personae, concentrating specifically on movement language in order to enact new kinds of storytelling drawn from the queer club experience, and communal re-imaginings as a way of crafting and enacting new narratives.

This talk is in conversation with Henry Heng Lu, Curator of Centre A.

This program is co-presented with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Friday, August 7, 2020, 5:30 PM PST via Zoom

Register HERE.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

PHASMAHAMMER is the pseudonym of shape-shifting artist Justin Talplacido Shoulder. Working primarily in performance, sculpture, video and collective events Phasmahammer is an eco-cosmology of alter personas based on queered ancestral myth. Creatures birthed are embodied through handcrafted costumes and prosthesis and animated by their own gestural languages. The artist uses their body and craft as an instrument of metaphysics towards a queer Filipinx futurism. P.H. believes in performance and shared ceremony as communal medicine for difficult times.

P.H. is a founding member of queer artist collective The Glitter Militia (Monsta Gras, Pink Bubble) with partner and key collaborator Matthew Stegh and Club Ate with collaborator Bhenji Ra. Their works have been presented across Australia and Internationally where they work between gallery, nightclub, theatre and cinema contexts. Recent performance highlights include: La Manutention performance artist in residence at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2019, The Prague Quadrennial of Stage Design, 2019, Premiere of theatre work Carrion, Performance Space, Sydney (AUS) + subsequent tour to Artshouse, Melb (AUS), Fusebox Festival, Texas (USA), Museum Macan, Jakarta (IDN), Roskilde (DEN), M+ (HK), Singapore Art Museum (SGD), and Asia Pacific Triennial 8 GOMA (AUS).

Pacific Crossings: Dispatches from Manila

Martin de Mesa, Madam Bwakeva is Venus: A Touch By Touch Performance (still), 2018 – 2020, video. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Borrowing a term from both navigation and research methods in social science that employ multiple points of view, Triangulations by Pacific Crossings 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.

PART III: Dispatches From Manila

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

July 30 – August 13, 2020

Watch HERE.

Dispatches From Manila asks artists and curators from the region to ‘check-in’, offering perspectives or creative projects that they have been occupied with during the recent months. Metro Manila has been in various types of lockdown since early March 2020, when measures to restrict movement were taken to prevent the spread of disease. With the COVID crisis unfolding among its citizens, governing officials have used the pandemic as a pretense to impose military and police enforcement around the National Capital Region, inciting fear through forms of restriction that echo previous eras of forced civic containment under Martial Law.

Resistant voices among artists in the community, balanced with considerations of safety circulate messages of critique, humourous resistance, and creative forms of virtual comfort. Dispatches relays perspectives of members of the Manila community. The trail of connections reveals a rhizomatic network of solidarity and support.

The program unfolds in three parts:

Dispatches Screening

Programmed by Lost Frames, this virtual screening follows the collective’s regular format of a community screening of short videos selected in an open call. Deliberately ‘anti-curatorial,’ Lost Frames focuses their energies on artist’s recent works and perspectives, emphasizing sharing and feedback over framing devices.

Some works will screen in Tagalog or other local dialects, without translation.

Between the Corpse and the Tree

Remaining anonymous for reasons of safety, this story by an unnamed artist unfolds as a spectral life of palpable fear lived under a militarized state. Drawn from lived experience, both remembered and imagined, the narrator’s account relays the dark atmosphere created by the extreme force that state-sanctioned violence exerts on the lived realities of Filipino citizens.

Interview with Load na Dito

Following their residency with Pacific Crossings in Vancouver in May 2019, this interview asks Load na Dito’s Mayumi Hirano and Mark Salvatus to elaborate on how their projects continue to unfold under the present circumstances of COVID-19.

ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS 

Lost Frames is a community-based initiative for viewing experimental moving image works in the Philippines, organized by a small group based in Manila. As an in-person event, Lost Frames encourages individuals to share their process and to speak about each other’s methods and ideas. This online screening program presents a selection of artists’ videos from the Philippines.

Load na Dito is a mobile art site that explores creative energies generated and circulated through interactions of individuals, objects, images and ideas. It creates spatio-temporal situations that address issues of participation and problematize the potential of collective production. Load na Dito was initiated by Mayumi Hirano and Mark Salvatus in 2016.

For information about PART I and PART II, please visit centrea.org/pacific-crossings.

Pacific Crossings: Let Individuals Represent Individuals – Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding

Borrowing a term from both navigation and research methods in social science that employ multiple points of view, Triangulations by Pacific Crossings 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.

PART II: Let Individuals Represent Individuals

A talk with Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding

Organized by Henry Heng Lu

Interpreted by Yun-Jou Chang

Response by Su-Ying Lee

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

Register HERE.

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.

For information about PART I and PART III, please visit centrea.org/pacific-crossings.

Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD): Screening & Talk with Lawrence Lek

Lawrence Lek, Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD) (still), 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD)
Screening & Artist Talk with Lawrence Lek
Saturday, June 6, 2020, 3 PM PST / 6 PM EST

Artist/Curator talk immediately after screening facilitated by VAC Curator Matthew Kyba and Centre A Curator Henry Heng Lu.

Screening is 1 hour, starting at 3 PM PST / 6 PM EST
Artist talk at 4:15 PM PST / 7:15 PM EST
Online via Zoom, sign up HERE.

Centre A and The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington are pleased to present Lawrence Lek’s Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD) (2016), an experimental video essay on a future seemingly (re-)positioned by China’s technological development through science fiction, documentary melodrama, social realism, and Chinese cosmologies, un-mirroring cultural clichés. Lek’s video reconciles our latent fears of technology-dominated futures with a human-oriented sociological view. Lek presents an overarching report on contemporary Chinese realities as it relates to Asiatic stereotypes, including computing, copying, gaming, studying, addiction, labour, and gambling. The work weaves in disarming commentary about the embedded and overarching digital domination of our current 21st century, blurring the boundaries between science fiction and fact. There will be an artist and curator talk immediately after the conclusion of the film.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lawrence Lek is an artist, filmmaker, and musician who unifies diverse practices—architecture, gaming, video, and fiction—into a continuously expanding cinematic universe. His works include the feature-length CGI film ‘AIDOL’ (2019), the video game ‘Unreal Estate: The Royal Academy is Yours’ (2015), the video essay ‘Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD)’ (2016), the AI-coming-of-age story ‘Geomancer’ (2017), and ‘Nøtel’, a simulation of a fully-automated luxury hotel in collaboration with Kode9 (ICA, London; Art Basel). As a musician, Lek composes soundtracks and conducts live audio-visual mixes of his works, often incorporating live playthroughs of his open-world games. His most recent release is Temple OST, the soundtrack to a site-specific installation at 180 The Strand, London (The Vinyl Factory 2020). 

Website: www.lawrencelek.com
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/lawrencelek
Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/lek 
#lawrencelek

Pacific Crossings: Revisiting A Journal of the Plague Year on the Eastern Pacific Coast – Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero

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

 

Borrowing a term from both navigation and research methods in social science that employ multiple points of view, Triangulations by Pacific Crossings 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.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 7 PM PST (Vancouver local time)

Register HERE.

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). He co-authored the novel Philip (2007) and has edited and contributed his writing to numerous books, magazines, and exhibition catalogues and has taught and lectured at different universities, art academies, and institutions across the world.

For information about PART II and PART III, please visit centrea.org/pacific-crossings.

Charlotte Zhang: Pine Street

Charlotte Zhang, Pine Street, Now and Again, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Charlotte Zhang: Pine Street

Since April 14, 2020

Online Launch: Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 3 PM PST / 6 PM EST

Centre A is pleased to co-present Charlotte Zhang’s Pine Street in partnership with the 2020 Images Festival and Critical Distance Centre For Curators (Toronto).

Pine Street, Now and Again (2019) is a looping two-channel video installation by Nanaimo-raised and Los Angeles-based artist Charlotte Zhang. Commissioned by the Nanaimo Art Gallery for the group exhibition Estuary, the film is composed of sequences conceived in collaboration with former Chinatown residents and people who are connected to them. For this installation, Zhang was thinking about the parallel structure of conversation and “the ways in which we build and dismantle Chinatown over and over again through conversing.”

The sequences are edited to appear at moments that sonically conflict: a cast of local residents armed with metal detectors swarm an unassuming hill; we witness a conversation between former classmates at the Chinese senior home; the artist goes hunting in a chicken coop. With every loop, these and other images, dialogues, and sounds are recut through the process of recollection. 

This double presentation mirrors the structure of Zhang’s work itself, two channels facing one another with overlapping audio. Critical Distance is located at Artscape Youngplace Toronto and Centre A at Sun Wah Centre in Vancouver’s Chinatown. In noting that both venues are located within artistic and community-driven spaces entangled in creative city planning, Pine Street wades into the forces of erasure Zhang’s grapples with in her film. 

Charlotte Zhang (b. 1999) is an artist from Vancouver Island, currently studying Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts. She is interested in expressions of translocational kinship, technologies of legibility, surplus and refuse, scammers and acts of scamming. She lives and works on the traditional territories of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Fernandeño Tataviam.

Pine Street, Now and Again was initially scheduled to exhibit at Centre A and Critical Distance Centre for Curators as part of Images Festival’s OFF Screen program and has since been adapted for our online program. 

Please see below for the links to view Pine Street, Now and Again, and follow the recommended Viewing Instructions to experience the work at home. The installation is also hosted on the main Festival site and Critical Distance. This work is closed-captioned in English and Traditional Chinese.

View Channel 1 HERE.

View Channel 2 HERE.

Download the Viewing Instructions HERE.

Translation: Henry Heng Lu
Captioning: Karina Iskandarsjah

Online Public Program: Monday, April 20, 12 PM PST / 3 PM EST

IN CONVERSATION
Q&A with Charlotte Zhang and Friends of Chinatown TO
For more information: imagesfestival.com/programs/charlotte-zhang-x-friends-of-chinatown-toronto

To bring about a skill-sharing dialogue between artist and organizer, Charlotte Zhang will moderate a Q&A with Toronto-based community group, Friends of Chinatown TO (FOCT).


Centre A is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.