Amy Li Chuan Chang 張麗娟 received a Bachelor of business in Taiwan before immigrating to Canada. By the time she moved to Vancouver she had already found her passion for art during her eight years working for the Cloisonné Company while studying ceramics in a private pottery studio. Amy then decided to go back to school to study art focusing on ceramics. She received a Diploma of Studio Art from Capilano University in 2003, then continuing on to complete her BFA from The Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2007. Since then Amy has become a studio artist focusing on contemporary ceramic sculpture.
In recent years Amy has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions around Vancouver area and overseas. Amy’s work also has been selected into local and international ceramics competitions. Such as the 3rd place award in 2018 Salt Spring national ceramics competition and 2019 International Ceramics Biennale, Taiwan.
Born in 1980 in Alberta, Bornowsky currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, and an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery; the Western Front, Vancouver; Ottawa Art Gallery; G Gallery, Toronto; SFU Gallery, Burnaby; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and Unit 17, among others. His writing has been published in Fillip,C Magazine and Pyramid Power, and he has curated numerous exhibitions and events at the Or Gallery, Vancouver.
Eli Bornowsky is a painter, writer and curator who lives in Vancouver and Brooklyn. Frequently drawing on a wide array of influences from art, mysticism, math and science, Bornowsky has produced a significant body of work that takes a consistently studied and exploratory approach to abstract painting, with special emphasis on colour. The artist’s investigations in recent years have resulted in shaped paintings, low wall reliefs and optical tessellations.
A Way to Finish Thinking presents a new group of abstract paintings by Eli Bornowsky. Created in Brooklyn and Regina over the last year, the egg tempera paintings in this exhibition evidence a return by Bornowsky to his earliest emphasis of polychromy, geometry and optical experience. Building on these early interests, the pictures are composed using modern mathematical number series, stochastic processes, geometric tessellations and computer software. Bornowsky has said that the structures generated with these mathematical and technological means both pressurize and problematize the artistic impulse for subjective expression. Expression is suspect: better to evacuate the artwork of its significant references and observe what is pulled into the remaining vacuum.
Central to the exhibition is Bornowsky’s use of the ancient medium of egg tempera–a principal material of religious painting through the medieval and renaissance periods. The sacred aspect of this mediums history is emphasized by the artists recent practice of Russian Orthodox icon writing at the Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York. The religious tones of this practice come into contrast with the conceptual methods and abstract appearance of the work. Here the paintings weave together elements of science, formalism, and phenomenology with spirituality, contemplation and prayer.
In addition, the exhibition includes a rarely exhibited element of Bornowsky’s practice, a modular table-top drawing installed by the artist on a flat surface in a ritualistic fashion. Previously installed in various states and at various times in the artist’s home, the drawings multiple components are installed in unique constellations for each iteration.
Eli Bornowsky is a painter, writer and curator who lives in Vancouver and Brooklyn. Frequently drawing on a wide array of influences from art, mysticism, math and science, Bornowsky has produced a significant body of work that takes a consistently studied and exploratory approach to abstract painting, with special emphasis on colour. The artist’s investigations in recent years have resulted in shaped paintings, low wall reliefs and optical tessellations. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at King’s Leap in New York City.
Duration: Sep 27 – Nov 27, 2019 Opening Reception: Sep 27, 2019, Friday at 5pm Venue: Canton-sardine Address: 268 Keefer street, #071 at Lower-ground (LG), Vancouver Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 12-6pm Artists: Amy Chang Li-chuan, Wei Cheng Curator: Steven Dragonn _
Immortal of Play – Amy Chang Li-chuan & Wei Cheng Ceramic Exhibition
Text / Steven Dragonn
As early as the Neolithic Age, humans have utilized ceramics as utensils of daily life. As humanity evolved and developed, ceramics as an art-form has prevailed long before the first definition of art endowed by humankind. In a way, our sensibilities towards ceramics are deeply rooted in our genes as humans: it’s inseparable from our diet, and it corresponds to our status and our positions in society. Generally speaking, ceramics is associated with functionality and practicality as everyday utensils, while its artistic quality an additional attribute. As civilization continues to advance, the distinctiveness of ceramics beyond its functionality gradually separates and becomes a unique art form, a vessel to a never-ceasing obsession.
How ceramics (or clay), as an art material and medium in artistic practices continue to evolve in contemporary art is an issue faced by every ceramic artist – how does an ancient art form generate new possibilities and necessities to contemporary social realities? In the same way as to how competitive sports evolved from life and death combat, the concept of “to play” has become a symbol of “civility” in human civilization. The two artists in this exhibition, Amy Chang Li-Chuan and Wei Cheng both attempt to break away from the ingrained concepts in ceramics differently, yet “to play” has become their shared strategy.
Amy Chang Li-Chuan’s work takes inspiration from Steampunk; a distinctive style and genre of the 1980s and 1990s North American subculture. From there, Chang develops her concept of imitation. Chang uses glaze to imitate metal textures, uses the hand-made quality of ceramics to mimic a lifeless industrialized production, and uses ceramics as functional utensils to mimic an impractical Steampunk assemblage. The three layers of imitation find peculiar connections between the practical and the useless, resemblance and non-resemblance, the seriousness and humorous, all of which makes up Chang’s art practice.
Wei Cheng’s works, on the other hand, attempts to break apart from the shackles of ceramic’s inherent qualities in a more radical way. From an institutional criticism viewpoint, Cheng emphasizes her reflections on the indispensable constituents of ceramics: “clay” and “fire.” The production of ceramics is the integration of “clay” and “fire”: clay to take the physical form, while fire the intervenient force that transforms clay into pottery. The properties of “fire” and “clay” have always been the two directions pushing forward ceramics to ultimate craftsmanship. Cheng, in contrary, adapts a playfulness to release the primitive nature of “clay” and “fire,” and merges ready-made objects with “clay” and “fire” to create assemblages, differentiating her work from both the context of ready-mades and ceramics.
In additions to the playfulness, the works from the two artists also speculate the subject of Anthropocene, a geological concept first introduced by Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Dutch atmospherical chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000. Crutzen proposed that the earth has moved past the Holocene, a geological epoch that began 11,700 years ago. The rapid growth in population and economic development had tremendous impacts on the global environment. Human activities have caused enough change to earth to create a new geological age. The industrialization of ceramics is precisely the most evidential manifestation of Anthropocene. Heaps of ceramic wastes are gradually changing the soil compositions of the earth’s surface, a change due to the scrupulous attention for high-standard products. To be concise (and not going into a whole other discussion on the art of the Anthropocene age), here is a question worth contemplating: Framing the discussion around the topic of Anthropocene, are the works of the two artists expressions of the uselessness of art, or instead, are they anti-entropian re-creations?
About the artists: Amy Chang Li-chuan Amy received a Bachelor of business in Taiwan before immigrating to Canada. By the time she moved to Vancouver she had already found her passion for art during her eight years working for the Cloisonné Company while studying ceramics in a private pottery studio. Amy then decided to go back to school to study art focusing on ceramics. She received a Diploma of Studio Art from Capilano University in 2003, then continuing on to complete her BFA from The Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2007. Since then Amy has become a studio artist focusing on contemporary ceramic sculpture.
In recent years Amy has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions around Vancouver area and overseas. Amy’s work also has been selected into local and international ceramics competitions. Such as the 3 place award in 2018 Salt Spring national ceramics competition and 2019 International Ceramics Biennale, Taiwan.
Wei Cheng Born and raised in China, Wei now lives and dedicates her art practice in Vancouver, BC. She earned her art education from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she learns to appreciate the ceramic medium. She has been a resident artist at Jingdezhen, Alfred and Yixing. Her professional practice has also taken her to States and Europe. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both national and international venues.
張麗娟 移居加拿大之前，張在台灣獲得了商業學士學位。 當她移居溫哥華時，她在景泰藍公司（CloisonnéCompany）工作的八年中，並在私人陶藝工作室學習陶瓷的時候，已經對藝術充滿了熱情。 然後，她決定回到學校學習以陶瓷為主的藝術。 她於2003年獲得卡皮拉諾大學（Capilano University）的工作室藝術文憑，然後於2007年繼續從艾米麗·卡爾藝術與設計大學（Emily Carr University of Art and Design）完成文學學士學位。此後，她成為專注於當代陶瓷雕塑的工作室藝術家。
Duration: April 13 – June 23, 2019
Opening Reception: April 13, 2019, Saturday at 3pm
Address: 268 Keefer street, #071 at Lower-ground (LG), Vancouver
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 12-6pm
Curators: Pongsakorn Yananissorn, Steven Dragonn
Canton-sardine is pleased to launch the first solo exhibition of Katharine Meng-yuan Yi, who is a multimedia artist based in Vancouver. This exhibition presents Yi’s recent works made in reflection of her side-job as a commercial portraiture photographer, while in contemplation of the Chinese children’s story, Ma Liang and His Magic Brush.
Yi’s project Healing Brush takes the popular children’s story in mainland China, Ma Liang and His Magic Brush, written by Hong Xuntao in the 1950s, as an entry to contemplate photography and painting’s entanglement to representation. Ma Liang and His Magic Brush tells a story of a once poor boy, bestowed with a magic brush allowing him to turn his drawings into reality. He sets off helping the poor and the unfortunate. Healing Brush too wanders the edges of representation with this same weight. The photographer here, like the painter, wields the brush to recover the ideal, creating an unintentional layer of new imagery. This layer of mark-making surfaces the invisible artistic labour, a labour to make invisible what is deemed imperfect. A fulfillment of a consumer need of a particular “hyperreal” aesthetic standard.
The “Healing Brush”, as appeared in the exhibition title, is the name of a retouching tool from Photoshop utilized to make invisible, to conceal, and to recover the absolutes and the ideals from imperfections and blemishes. The series of works, ranging from photography, video animation, painting and photo-installation, circulates around Yi’s role as a commercial photographer in the industry, acting both as a spectator and fabricator to an aesthetic standard coming to form.
Katharine Meng-Yuan Yi was born in Beijing, China, she is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Yi’s practice, employing a variety of mediums, investigates and reflects on contemporary societal occurrences, quotidian subjects, and continuously re-examines the role of the artist in a broader social spectrum. As a first generation immigrant/settler, her practice is inextricably attached to the bigger conversation of diaspora and evokes the urgency of the locality and its presentness. Yi received her BFA from the University of British Columbia in 2014.
Duration: Aug 31 – Sep 20, 2019 Opening Reception: Aug 31, 2019, Saturday at 3pm Venue: Canton-sardine Address: 268 Keefer street, #071 at Lower-ground (LG), Vancouver Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 12-6pm Curators: Xiaoyan Yang, Steven Dragonn
BRINGING THE SPIRIT FROM AFAR TO THE OTHER SIDE OF OCEAN
It was in 1987 when Wang Yiming began his first sketching tour to Tibet. Ever since then, he has been obsessed with the rite of “Kora”. In the past 30 years, he made numerous journeys into remote mountains in Tibet. Just as how Tibetan Buddhists express their piety, he also calls his art journey “Kora”. He has already completed 10 trips to Tibet since 2011. Each year he spends one or two months driving to Tibet and practicing sketching from the morning until afternoon when the wind starts to blow. “The way Wang paints may look like sketching , but is in nature a synchronized movement of emotion and body aroused by the majesty of the summit. What sustains his painting on a 8m*3m canvas all day long is the stamina stimulated by a unique emotion. The self-indulgence in his paintings boasts an intense sense of presence, making it more like a tough mental and physical improvement instead of a sketching. In this sense, Wang’s paintings are a kind of action painting, and his artistic practice is the result of something closely linked with his own action”, observed by Yang Xiaoyan, a famous Chinese art critic.
Tibetans practice “Kora” in a number of ways. They walk around a holy mountain or a holy lake just to express their gratitude to mother nature. And this is their spiritual pursuit. I believe a lot of things in human society are just expressed in different ways. They are different because your background of growing up and getting education are different. Or maybe because your jobs are different, just like I am a painter myself. I have been to Tibet for so many times in these years because I am attracted to everything in there. This is my spiritual pursuit and my belief of “Kora”. What appears in my paintings and those paintings done traveling in Tibet are two totally separate concepts. I absorb all the elements in Tibet and reorganize them in my mind before making them into something completely different”, said Wang.
Flag is a spiritual token for Tibetans. Wang borrows this form as a symbol of his action painting. Just as what Huang Jiancheng, a Chinese artist, observed that “Tibet has a sense of belonging and life to Yiming. Traveling to Tibet is just a start, or a part, of his destiny to Tibet. I think what Tibet means to Yiming is more than merely a symbol or a physical experience in surface, but more like a call from within or a religious belief. Only with this can he leave such a meaningful adventure in life”. As a “Tibetan-style” symbol, flags convey the meaning of making wishes and praying for good luck. Stripping off this symbolic element from his abstract paintings created when he traveled to Tibet and elevating it to a kind of behavior art full of a primitive sense of ritual, Wang plans to drag along the “colorful flags” made with 81 pieces of 15m*3m painted cloths around the foot of Mount Everest in the way of walking around the mountain, or “Kora”. He observed that “ I hope people can pay attention to the nature that sustains us. Visitors to Mount Everest leave a large amount of garbage in the camps. Grave environmental pollution can be found at the summit of earth , let alone the rest parts of the world”. Wang hopes to do something for the world, for Mount Everest and for environmental protection through such a painting action.
This time, Wang has brought this spirit with him to Vancouver, a city on the other side of Pacific. In the form of action art, he continues to explore the meaning of life and share his feelings with audience outside China. After his solo exhibitions in Today Art Museum in Beijing (2017), 21 Space Art Museum in Dongguan (2017), Redtory in Guangzhou (2018), Coast Gallery in Zhuhai (2018), chief special art project of Shanghai Art Fair (2018), and Meishan Land Art Festival (2018), Wang started his worldwide promotion of painting actions advocating environmental protection. Vancouver is honored to be the first stop of this journey. Besides paintings created in Tibet, this exhibition will exhibit Wang’s new painting created in this very journey to Vancouver together with local artists. The painting is 20 meters long and is created on a silk-linen cloth.
To support daily operation of Shang Foundation for Art and Canton-sardine, promote environmental protection in art practices and artistic exchanges between China and Canada, Wang has made a generous donation of 15 pieces of exhibit works to raise fund for the operation of the foundation and the gallery.
Flags on the Other Coast: Wang Yiming’s Solo Exhibition in Vancouver is co-curated by Yang Xiaoyan, Chinese art critic and professor at Sun Yat-sen University, and Canadian independent curator Steven Dragonn. The exhibition will open at 3 pm on August 31, 2019 at Canton-sardine until September 20. Guests are invited to grace the opening ceremony, where Wang Yiming will share his thoughts of creation.
Media contact: Steven Dragonn, director and founder of Canton-sardine firstname.lastname@example.org +1-778-954-8126
Brief introduction to Wang Yiming Born in Liuyang, Hunan Province, Wang acquired his master degree from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts. He is now Dean of Art Teaching and Research Office, Dean of Visual Art Laboratory, and Dean of Environmental Art Research Institute at the School of Architecture of South China University of Technology, and member of the Art Teaching Committee of the Architecture Discipline Professional Steering Committee of National Higher Education Institutions.
Solo Exhibitions of Wang Yiming 2017 Mountain Kora: Yiming Wang’s Spiritual Journey, Today Art Museum, Beijing 2017 A Long Spiritual Journey: the Painting Actions of Wang Yiming, 21 Space Art Museum, Dongguan, Guangdong 2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, Coast Gallery of Gree Real Estate, Zhuhai, Guangdong 2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, Chief Special Art Project of the 22nd Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai 2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, E5 Art Gallery, Redtory, Guangzhou
Academic publications Rain Season in Shangri-la, published by Hunan Art Press Mountain Kora, published by Lingnan Art Publishing House
Duration: January 12 – April 2 (Held Over), 2019
Opening Reception: January 12, 2019, Saturday at 3pm
Address: 268 Keefer street, #071 at Lower-ground (LG), Vancouver
Curator: Steven Dragonn
Sat. Jan 12 – Opening Reception
Sat. Jan 26 – Artist Talk
Sat. Feb 9 – Art & Tea Party
Sat. Mar 22 – Exhibition Wrap-up Dance Party
Tue. Apr 4 – Last Day of the Show (Held Over)
Canton-sardine is pleased to invite Lam Wong, Vancouver based artist to show his paintings related with his recent thinking on conceptual art. As he described himself “My art practice is a life long journey of spiritual exploration and discoveries. For me, painting is a vehicle for investigating the mind. I am interested in challenging the received notion of perception: how we construct meaning, the working of memory, and how human consciousness relates to the world. I want to create a discourse about the human condition, and make paintings that engage viewers in questioning existence, and finding freedom.”
This time, he is showing his newer series of paintings, which meets Chinese Traditional Buddhism mind set featuring the occidental abstractionism and minimalism. The Transitional 2×4 series was formed with a realization of a single thought – “Everything and every situation happens only once.” Lam explain that all experience is unique, which is a quiet contemplation on time and impermanence. The frame of each painting symbolizes Nowness, and the content (the walking figures inside the frame) depict the movement in time – an expression of Impermanence in all forms and colours. Like an ever-flowing river, the walking figures seem to transition into other frames in a mysterious way. “I like the idea of my paintings having conversations with each other.” Lam says.
Lam Wong was born in 1968, to an artistic family (calligrapher father and pianist mother) in Xiamen, China, grew up in Hong Kong during the 1980s and immigrated to Canada at the age of 19. Lam studied design, art history and painting, both in Alberta and British Columbia. He is currently practicing painting as his main medium. Lam sees art making as an on-going spiritual practice. His main subjects are the perception of reality, the meaning of art, and the relationships between time, memory and space. Lam lives and works in Vancouver since 1998.
Lam’s newer paintings are very often inspired by his older works. The idea of the undercover hidden paintings and the pairing of two paintings on each panel may come from a large diptych called Westcoast (MOA) 2008, which feature two Buddhist monks on the left panel and a same-sex couple on the right. The setting was the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver. The aesthetics of this new series, upon revisiting them after completion, feels like a subconscious extension of two of Lam’s earlier paintings titled 1964 The Poignancy of Music, and 1964 The Poignancy of Poetry, set in Mark Rothko’s studio in Soho, NYC which he painted between 2010 to 2012. They are the projected ideal of how painting should be made, and what should be felt.
This exhibition which curated by Steven Dragonn and supported by Shang Foundation for Art, will be open to the public from January 12 to March 23, 2019. An artist talk will be hosted on Jan 26th at 3pm, an Tea & Art gathering on Feburary 16th at 3pm and A Closing music party will be on March 23rd at 3pm during the whole exhibition period.