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 email@example.com +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.
Adj.,f inferior in importance, size, or degree : comparatively unimportant;
Noun, a minor musical interval, scale, key, or mode.
What does the body mean to us? It seems to be an issue we often overlook. Once in a while, only when the body is in severe discomfort, it would suddenly be treated upon seriously. The body seems to be inferior to its subject. The human body, with the perpetual reproduction of modern knowledge and the forming of rational subjects, _has now been reduced to its _physicality, as Michel Foucault points out in his discourse on body politics. The body is the sin of morality, the illusion of truth, and the machine of production, restricting the body to productive labor. The body is only conspicuous when it is labored. That is, the body can only exist as a tool, a machine: either productive or reproductive. It is also what Nietzsche encounters in physicality: the body is always subordinate, inferior, minor, and humble. In philosophy, it is unsightly (Wang Min’an, Philosophy Ethics).
He Lixiao’s recent three performance videos employ his sensitive physical experience to show us how the vulnerable body struggles and resists in the social and political system. He Lixiao is an artist from Guangdong, China, who graduated from the Experimental Art Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. In the past few years, he has persisted in making performance video with his body as his main subject. I Invited him to show these pieces in Canton-sardine as an encouragement for him to continue his practice.
Naked Venus listening to the music, a single channel performance video, extends his reflection on the limits of the body and physical labor. The artist lifts a heavy stone and tries to play Paul de Senneville’s Ballade pour Adeline with a corner of the stone. The piece, which originally plays for only two and a half minutes long, had taken He 47 minutes to finish. The body in overload dismembers its function as a productive tool. The title of this work is taken from the work Venus with Organist and Cupid by the Renaissance Italian painter Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). My Speech, a two-channel performance video, shows the artist’s contemplations on body ethics in communication.
The relation of the openness of communication counterposed with the intimacy of sexual desire illustrates when power dominates the body, on the one hand, creates rational needs and desires of the body; on the other hand, rouses repressive illicit desires and needs. In Another Chord, a three-channel performance video, the artist exposes physical punishment in mundane renditions of marching song, trinity, and execution, a work stemmed from the reflection of He’s chronic pharyngitis. In body politics, the negligence of body organs and their function is perceived as a physical deficiency.
This exhibition at the same time exhibits He’s series of work “100 Days in Continuation” made between 2014 to 2015 to provide additional comprehension of his practice.