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Transpulsation: new asian canadian imaginings

15 May to 12 June 2009 | York University

Cultural traversing and globalization are two overriding features of the present state that (re)shape our understanding of the “connected world.”  In Canadian context, these features hold a significant importance in terms of their effects on Asian Diaspora, whose interaction with their homelands has been transforming their living experience in social, economic, political, and cultural domains.  Asian-Canadians, as one of the largest groups of immigrants, have testified to the possibilities of building meaningful links between their native places and their newly-adopted home, enriching their life experience by traversing from “here” and “there.” 

 While desire of belonging, identity politics and memory of culture among others were commonly detected themes in the works of Asian Canadian artists in the 1970s to the early 1990s, in recent years, “transnationality” has been a newly emerging trend reflected in works produced by artists of Asian heritage. As opportunities for traveling to and from Asia become more readily available, the geographical distance—both physical and emotional—between one’s place of cultural origin and Canada is narrower than ever before. While “identity” remains a crucial issue to understand who they are, these artists have reconstructed the paradigm of identity politics through broadening the scopes of cultural interactions.

The four artists, Shelly Bahl, Will Kwan, Meera Sethi and Amy Wong, who participate in this exhibition, demonstrate new possibilities to comprehend the constantly transforming and far-reaching effects of cultural interactions.  Traversing between the macrocosm of political economy and migration studies to the microcosm of personal narratives, the artists display their inspirations, visions and contentions of the notion of globalization in their works in an attempt to create meaningful dialogues between Asia and Canada.  They are travelers who explore stories of being “here and there,” connecting pulses of multiple locales and individuals. 

This exhibition was part of the York Centre for Asian Research's (YCAR) contribution to the 50th anniversary celebrations of York University in 2009.

 

Gary Beechy photograph

 

 

 

 

 

Curators Doris Sung and Jooyeon Rhee (extreme left and right) and artists (from left to right): Amy Wong, Will Kwan, Shelly Bahl and Meera Sethi

 

 

 

 

 

 
Endless Prosperity,. Eternal Accumulation | Will Kwan | 2008.2009 | Chromira print, 12" x 17" each, set of 50 images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  Displacement (with Chinese Characteristics) | Will Kwan | 2006 | Chromira print, 48" x 34"

 

 

 

Cherry Oh Baby! | Meera Sethi | 2007 | Ink on paper, 24" x 56"

 

 

 


Beautiful Struggle | Meera Sethi | 2007 | Ink on paper, 24" x 56"

 

 

 


I Found My Smile Again | Meera Sethi | 2007 | Ink on paper, 24" x 56"

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk Bananas | Amy Wong | 2008 | Oil, acrylic, collage on canvas, 160 x 105cm

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The cumulation of life is the essence, so is sublimation | Amy Wong | 2008 | Oil, acrylic, paper and ink on canvas, 180 x 160cm

 

 

 


 

What? | Amy Wong | Oil, acrylic, charcoal on canvas, 70 x 105cm

 

 

 

 
A Day in the Life | Shelly Bahl | 2006.2007 | Digital archival photographs, 24' x 36' each

 

 

 


 


A Day in the Life | Shelly Bahl | 2006.2007 | Digital archival photographs, 24' x 36' each

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life | Shelly Bahl | 2006.2007 | Digital archival photographs, 24' x 36' each

 

 

 


 
A Day in the Life | Shelly Bahl | 2006.2007 | Digital archival photographs, 24' x 36' each

 

 

 


 

 

Paprika/ Cinnamon/ Curry/ Nutmeg... Are Heating Up More Than The Kitchen | Shelly Bahl | 2003 | Ink and acrylic on paper,set of 20 drawings, 4" x 4" each, installation is 5' diameter

 

All installation photographs by Justin Wong

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