Selection of mixed media and gold leaf on cardboard.
Farzaneh Rostami, originally from Tehran, Iran, lives and works in Ontario, Canada. She studied art in Tehran and Florence for many years. Her artwork focused on the history, mythology and environment in which she was raised. She has explored the medium of sculptures, drawings, paintings and installations.
In her work we see experiences and memories as an Iranian female artist. The artist’s works depict women, their suppression, trauma, movements and relationship with nature. Her culture inspired her collection named the “Renaissance in Persian Gardens.” She explores the differences between Persian miniature and Renaissance in her work. She presents us with the Venus Figure Sculptures series that are the symbol of beauty. She demonstrates how the meaning of beauty changed in the centuries. In her Land Art Series, Farzaneh presents our relationship with nature.
Batik and shibori on linen, silk, and cotton.
Avy Loftus is a Montreal-based visual artist and batik designer. As a visual artist, Avy has held a number of collective and solo exhibitions in Canada, the US, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Bermuda. She received awards for her artwork and, in 2013, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her artistic and community contributions. Her artwork has been sold in Canada, the United States, Ireland, Indonesia and Bermuda.
As a batik designer, she has conducted batik workshops at Harbour Front, Toronto, the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now: Canadian Museum of History), the Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, Marsil Museum, Annual Tulip Festival, Major Park in Ottawa, Middfest International in Cincinnati, Ohio, Chicago Children’s Museum, Textile museum in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Indonesian Embassy and the International Children’s Festival in Washington, DC, the Summer Children’s Festival in Ireland and other private institutions.
Currently, Avy is the President of the Asian Canadian Women Artists, the Director of Peace, Love and Hope for kids and an art educator at MMFA and at MELS (Culture in School program). She is a member of the following organisations; English Language Arts Network (ELAN), National Art Education Association (NAEA), The Textile Society of America (TSA), Women’s Art Society of Montreal (WASM), The Canada-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (CICC), and The Irish Protestant Benevolent Society (IPBS).
Avy holds a B.A. in Education, a B.A. in Language and Art and a Diploma in Public Relations. She is finishing her Master’s in Art Education at Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University this summer.
Sakura (Batik and shibori on Linen – a kimono)
Sakura (cherry blossoms) represents the enduring expression of life, death and renewal. The narration of cherry blossoms is a timeless metaphor for human existence; blooming season is so glorious, enchanting and intoxicating, but tragically short-lived — a visual reminder that our lives, too, are fleeting. I transformed this sakura painting into wearable art – a kimono.
Two Masks (Batik on Silk)
Any immigrant who comes to Canada has two identities; when he/she becomes Canadian, he/she also has another identity (his/her origin- Asian/African/European/ Australian, etc).This artwork reflects the social fabric identity and shows the two identities a person has – one relating to his/her country of origin and the other mask representing the new country of arrival. As Joseph O’Neill said “One of the great pluses of being an immigrant is you get to start again in terms of your identity. You get to shed the narratives which cling to you.”
Intertwined (Batik on cotton)
Coming from a multi-cultural background, my artistic life involves the intertwining of diverse cultural existences, however, it is still rooted in Asian traditions and practices. The indigo colour represents integrity and deep sincerity. It also reflects great devotion, wisdom and justice along with fairness and impartiality. The red flowers symbolise passion, respect, and courage.
Pendawa - Friendships beyond borders (batik on silk)
I use this interpretation of the mythological epic Mahabharata to celebrate friendships beyond borders, celebrating sixty years of Indonesian-Canadian Diplomatic Relations. Both countries believe in unity in diversity and it is one of the values that bring people together in the midst of adversity. This concept of unity in diversity is also used by the Indigenous peoples in N. America.
Selected Performances and Photographs, 2020.
kimura byol-nathalie lemoine (키무라 별 – 나타리 르뫈 – 木村 ビヨル – ナタリー レムワンー) is a conceptual multimedia feminist artist who works on identities (diaspora, ethnicity, colorism, post-colonialism, immigration, gender), and expresses it with calligraphy, paintings, digital images, poems, videos and collaborations. kimura*lemoine’s work has been exhibited, screened, published and supported nationally and internationally. kimura*lemoine, as curator, has developed projects that give voice and visibility to minorities and as an activist archivist, ze is working on A.C.A (adoptees cultural archives) to document the history of adoptee’s culture through media and arts.
Recipient of 2014-2015 Mentorship Program from Montreal Arts Interculturals and a 2015 Vivacité Grant from CALQ and the Prize PowerHouse from Gallery La Centrale and the 2017 ‘Regard sur Montréal‘ (CAM, NFB, ACIC), a 2018 CALQ Grant for zer writing essay project ’88 etc. In 2020, kimura*lemoine completed Adoption 30 years after (with ACIC-ONF/NFB) and exhibited at Dazibao (Jan.-Mar., 2020, Montreal).
My art practice is based on time. The selected images are from the time period of the start of the covid19 pandemic. As a full-time independent artist, the new situation didn't really change for me in terms of social connection since I connected mostly with people through social media. Being from the asian diaspora and having been living in 3 different main places, managin time-zones keeps me busy if I want to keep in touch with my friends and networking artists.
As an artist, I joined a few art projects mainly initiated by Caucasian Canadians. I was definitely a minority and spent my energy encouraging POC artists to join. But they were too exhausted with anti-asian racism (for asians) and systemic racism and police brutality for afro-descendants in Montreal, Quebec and Canada.
I also lost my ex-wife in the beginning of the pandemic which put me in a more fragile state of 'heart & mind'. As an overseas and inter-racial adoptee, paradoxically, I was lucky to connect through Facebook with the Montreal asian group that provided support and self-care. It was helping me a lot that many others out there were sharing their stories. Then, I also joined a few Zoom talks and connected even more with P.O.C adoptees web group discussions. It is very therapeutic (more than expected).
All of this to say that the five selected photos represent this strange time. The last photo and artwork is a work that I made to celebrate my 100 days of confinement (3 months and 10 days -march 13 to june 21). The art piece is made from 100 petals selected from a gift received for my real birthday from a fellow belgian korean (also living in montreal).
oil paintings on Canvas and paper, 2020.
Alyssa Tang is a visual artist and architectural designer born and raised in Toronto. Graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Architecture, Alyssa has been pursuing art in parallel with her exploration in spatial design. Her Canadian Chinese identity combined with a transient educational journey has molded her values in diversification of culture, knowledge and interests. Alyssa’s recent work focuses on the exploration of identity, and the intersection of heritage, culture and design.
Piece Description: In my Skin
Oil painting on canvas
36” x 48”
With the advancement and growing popularity of social media, like many people, I found myself exposed to more and more accounts of hate and violence. As we watched the outbreak of Covid-19 spread to western countries, we also witnessed a rise in Anti-Asian rhetoric which trickled down from those in positions of power, to the everyday person’s news intake.Seeing the rise in hate crimes towards people of the Asian community was both heartbreaking and eye-opening. Growing up in Toronto, I was extremely privileged to live in a culturally diverse community. I was never made uncomfortable because of the colour of my skin, and never had to conceal my heritage. I was lucky to grow up in a country that prided itself in diversity and acceptance.
Unfortunately, this pandemic has uncovered the ugly racism that exists in our country, no matter how diverse or accepting, we as a country like to believe we are. On certain days, I contemplated the irony, the fact that our skin, the largest organ in our bodies, which serves to weatherproof, protect, insulate us, became the target for disapproving glances, racial slurs, and even physical attacks. The mixture of self-consciousness, vulnerability, fear, anger, and pain became familiar emotions that lingered in the back of my mind. The quiet reflections and discourses with friends and family, inspired this faceless self-portrait showing a body with multiple hands trying its best to comfort itself. The different hands express a spectrum of emotions, from anger, shame, to protectiveness. Without associating these human emotions to a face, I hope the painting can speak to a more universal crowd, who can perhaps find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in this fight.
Piece Description: Thank You Have a Nice Day
Oil on Paper
Growing up Chinese Canadian in Toronto, the "thank you, have a nice day" plastic bag was an iconic symbol associated with Chinatown and the Asian community.
This graphic serves as the motif for a new series which recognizes the hardships conquered, and celebrates the talents and contributions of individuals across the Asian diaspora, who are breaking boundaries and (re)defining Asian representation across different sectors. As part of an ongoing series, so far I have painted Takashi Murakami and Bruce Lee, and hope to paint more role models from the Asian community in the future.
selected works, 2018-2020
Florence Yee is a Cantonese-struggling visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Their interest in Cantonese-Canadian history has informed an art practice examining diasporic subjectivities through the lens of gender, racialization, queerness and language. Notable exhibitions include Sino(n)-Québécoise? at Centre Never Apart and Le Salon at Articule, as well as exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), the Gardiner Museum (2019), Centre A (2019), A Space (2019), Art Mûr (2018), and the Karsh-Masson Gallery (2017). Along with Mattia Zylak, Yee co-founded The Institute of Institutional CritiqueTM in 2019. They are currently the Co-Director of Tea Base, a grassroots collective in Tkaronto’s Chinatown run by queer East and Southeast- Asians. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U. They are represented by Studio Sixty-Six. to edit.
My practice started with the research of historical references to Cantonese-Canadian history and has now moved into a more intimate, more self-doubtful examination of diasporic family respectability from a queer lens. I use textile installation to question the stoicism of assimilationist imperatives, by holding space for personal & intergenerational failure and cultural loss. As an expansion upon (and critique of) liberal multiculturalism, it seeks to deromanticize Cantonese diasporic experiences and destabilize linear narratives of the self through humour and an autotheoretical approach. It problematizes labour as the longing for—and futility of—work within Cantonese diaspora, impacted by tradition, family, and queerness.
The banner made specifically for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was hung inside the gallery during their All Hours event. As a recognition of the AGO’s physical site in the neighbourhood of Chinatown (as well as on stolen land), I collaborated with Tea Base, a local arts collective, to knock on neighbours’ doors to invite them to our mahjong hall. The donated proceeds from the night were redistributed to Giditem checkpoint land defenders who were struggling against a pipeline expansion.
My most recent ongoing series, Please Help Yourself, is a collection of glazed ceramics meant to resemble tangerine peels. The offering of tangerines is reminiscent of the ways that Cantonese people often welcome guests in their home, and the simple food that is shared among friends on the side of the curb. As ceramic works, the inconspicuous leftovers of our shared gatherings become small monuments to those moments. As an expansion upon this project, I have transformed it into a collaborative endeavour. During COVID-19, I have mailed a small portion of clay to relatives and friends whom I cannot visit, for us to “share a tangerine,” by making one and sending it back to me to fire in a kiln. The sculptures act as commemorative objects of loss, while also grieving this time through creative acts.
Fragments of text, digital, 2020
.Jayce Salloum tends to go only where he is invited or where there is an intrinsic affinity, his projects being rooted in an intimate engagement with place(s), and the people that inhabit them. A grandson of Syrian immigrants from the Beqaa Valley (Lebanon) he was born and raised on Sylix (Okanagan) territory in Kelowna, BC. After 22 years living and working in San Francisco, Banff, Toronto, San Diego, Beirut, and New York he has been based on the unceded Xwmetskwíyem/xʷməθkʷey̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh/sqʷx̌ʷoʔməx (Squamish) + Selíl̓witulh/səíl̓wətaʔł (Tsleil-Waututh) territories of ‘Vancouver’ for the past 23 years. His practise exists within and between the personal, quotidian, local, and the trans-national engaging in an intimate subjectivity and discursive challenge while critically asserting itself in the perception of social manifestations and political realities. He has worked in installation, photography, drawing, performance, text and video since 1978, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops, and coordinating a vast array of cultural projects. Salloum has exhibited pervasively at the widest range of local and international venues possible, from the smallest unnamed storefronts & community centres in his downtown eastside Vancouver neighbourhood to institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; 8th Havana Biennial; 7th Sharjah Biennial; 15th Biennale Of Sydney; Royal Ontario Museum; Robert Flaherty Film Seminars and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. His texts/works have been featured in publications such as; Third Text, Semiotext(e), The Archive (Whitechapel/MIT Press), Projecting Migration: Transcultural Documentary Practice (Wallflower Press), Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Movie Artists, (Coach House Press), The Militant Image Reader (Edition Camera Austria) and Performing Utopias in the Contemporary Americas: Between the Local and the Global (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2014 he received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.
Annotated Photography, Digital, 2020
j.p.mot is a Khmer-Canadian conceptual artist born in Montreal currently living between Brooklyn and Montreal. He completed a BFA in Visual and New Media Art (2009) and an MA in International Development in (2012), at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and received an MFA in Visual Art at Columbia University in New York (2015). He took part in performance art festivals such as the Raflost Reykjavik Electronic festival and the Montreal’s Viva Art Action!; His installations has been part of numerous group shows in Canada, US, Mexico, Iceland, China and Thailand including Art Mûr, Montreal, Verticale, Laval, Espace F, Matane, Praxis, St-Hyacinthe, the Judith Charles Gallery, New York City, Fisher Landau Centre for the Arts, Long Island City, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore. His artist residencies include Gamli Scóli in Iceland, SOMA in Mexico, Tropical Lab in Singapore, NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, MASS MOCA in North Adam, Red Gate in Beijing, and Wassaic Project in New York.
He has been supported by the Quebec art and Letter Council (2011, 2012, 2013) and the Canada Art Council (2018); He was a recipient of the Columbia Morty Frank traveling fellowship (2015) and the NARS Foundation fellowship (2018); He has been featured in ESSE Arts, the Reykjavik Grapevine, the Singapore Strait Times. Currently, he is part of a year-long project titled “Leadership Camp” (2019 - 2020) with the Asia Art Archive in America and has been selected to take part in the NYFA (New York Foundation for the Art) Mentorship program (2020).
Through annotations this Instagrammable work through personal archive poke light jabs on the subject of Asians being seen as a foil to privilege and a scapegoat for identity politics: somewhat of a buffer to gatekeep class/race disparity and an “acceptable” output for triggered anger toward the perfect subaltern. As we are humble and nice we nod and smile...
There’s always the component of the lived experience vs the myth of meritocracy. In which there’s constant validation of this idea of the subaltern in the rhizome of society. Who, if they (the subaltern) work hard enough and are being an outstanding productive member of their society, can rise above their station. Without discounting anyone's lived experience or qualitative information at hand... the problem is that it (the notion of meritocracy) is still deeply embedded in the notion of shame in line with normalizing instances of micro-aggressions toward minorities. How great do you have to become in this equation of inequity to have the same worth as the privilege to receive basic reciprocity? The myth of meritocracy extends and maintains itself through niceness and humbleness which both participate in conserving a sense of stagnation and status quo in racial disparities due to systemic and institutionalized bias.
Diane Wong, Elizabeth Davis, Tamara Harkness, Chaeyeon Park, Sarah Piché.