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Far and Near: the Distance(s) between Us

Chinese ancestral altar room in Chinatown

Works by:

Alvis Choi aka Alvis Parsley, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Gu Xiong, Will Kwan, Ho Tam, Ken Lum, Morris Lum, Karen Tam, Chih-Chien Wang, Paul Wong, Winnie Wu

Installation of a Chinese-Canadian restaurant
A person's face wrapped in pink silk
Photo of a rundown building for "Asian Topical Tour" in Chinatown

Far and Near: the Distance(s) between Us

September 6 – October 29, 2017

Curated by Henry Heng Lu

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Far and Near: the Distance(s) between Us brings together several generations of Canadian artists of Chinese descent, offering perspectives onto the Chinese Canadian community’s historical and cultural evolutions and developments. The works included in the exhibition investigate overlooked narratives by exploring notions of distancing and being distanced in relation to race, identity, sexuality and their intertwining with Chinese Canadian history.

The idea of distance unfolds in multiple layers: in the geographic sense, as in going through a distance from point A to point B, like the construction process of the Canadian Pacific Railway; in the cultural sense, through the mainstream’s imposition of stereotypes, as in how the Chinese Canadian community has been culturally differentiated and essentialized; and in the context of the Chinese community itself, as in who is “Us”, and the distances between different groups of ethnic Chinese.

This exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

Opening Reception

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Re:Visiting Desires

Friday, September 15, 7-9 pm
Video screening followed by Q & A
Featuring works by Jennifer Chan, Richard Fung, Brenda Joy Lem, Ho Tam, Lisa Wong, Wayne Yung
Music Room, Hart House

Artist Talk: Chih-Chien Wang

Tuesday, September 26, 1-2pm
Room AA304, Arts & Administration Building, UTSC

Chinese Diaspora in Canada: Chinese Canadian Art as an
Apparatus of Revisiting History, a talk by Henry Heng Lu

Saturday, October 14, 2-4pm
Hinton Learning Theatre, Toronto Reference Library

Public lecture: Ken Lum

Thursday, October 19, 6:30-8:30pm
Room 200, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

Discovering and preserving the history: Chinese Canadian
Archives at Toronto Public Library, a talk by Annie Fan

Saturday, October 21, 1-2pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Curator’s Tour with Henry Heng Lu

Saturday, October 21, 2-3pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Artist Talk: Karen Tam

Thursday, October 26, 2-4pm
Moderated by Professor Lily Cho
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Off-site Projects

Gu Xiong’s photographic intervention “I am Who I Am” and a selection from Karen Tam’s Chinese restaurant menu collection
John M. Kelly Library, St. Michael’s College, 113 St Joseph St, 1st floor

Gu Xiong’s work will also be on view at the E.J. Pratt
Library, Victoria College, 71 Queen’s Park Crescent

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, with additional project support from Manulife, TD Insurance, and MBNA, and generously from several individuals and departments at the University of Toronto, including the Bissell-Heyd-Associates Chair of American Studies, Jackman Humanities Institute, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, Richard Charles Lee Directorship of the Asian Institute, John M. Kelly Library, Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, E.J. Pratt Library, and the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Special thanks are due to the Toronto Public Library, Call Again, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.

Title Image: Morris Lum, Wong Kung Har Wun Association, 40″ X 50″, Archival Pigment Print, 2016.

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