Thursday 1 October 2015

Making Storytelling Visual

Debra Sloan: Travellers to the Coast

Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition, a new exhibition presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver in collaboration with the BestB4 Collective, opens at the On-Tak Cheung Gallery at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum on Saturday, 07 November, 2015 from 2 – 4pm. 

Vancouver visual artists Alison Keenan, Edward Peck, Phyllis Schwartz of BestB4 Collective bring their new project Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition to the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, opening November 7. In collaboration with six other artists and community members, the gallery is transformed into a meeting place where photography, painting, ceramics, fibre and installations tell and evoke stories.

Edward Peck: Looking Outward
A series of community events are planned that include an Artist Tour and Exhibition Catalogue launch (29 November), Tea and Talk Party (21 November), Printmaking Workshop (22 November), Calligraphy Workshop (05 December) and Artist Salon (06 December).

Storytelling is a timeless medium for teaching, entertaining, comforting and connecting. These stories require time to relate, absorb and reflect upon, as do personal tales and critical opinion, and in contemporary visual culture, stories are compressed into instantaneous imagery. Hence, Telling Stories invites dialogue about essential contemporary questions between the artists, the Chinese community and other cultural groups.

Alison Keenan: Avian Fables 3
Phyllis Schwartz: Evidence
Alison Keenan’s Avian Fables, a series of painting, explore stories in the surreal bodies of land and water, aided by avian guides, the harbingers of seasonal and environmental change. Phyllis Schwartz uses photography to tell a story about environmental devastation and community adaptation in her Salton Sea Series, I Cannot Look Away. Edward Peck’s On the Wall series frames the complex on-going story telling found in Berlin graffiti.

Daphne Harwood: My Map of Imagination Market 
Daphne Harwood’s quilt series nuances the clash of urban erasure using panelled images as a means of comprehending the transformation caused by an uncontrollable process. In a similar way, Happy to Meet You, Colette Lisoway’s textured, iconic screen print pannels illustrate cross-cultural connections, which lead to inevitable cultural integration. The forces of cultural adaptation present conflicting values arising as a result. Sophi Liang’s installation, Where Does This Ladder Lead Us, manipulates Chinese symbols to make visual cultural deconstruction and asks challenging questions about the contemporary significance of the arts for the Chinese scholar: music, chess, calligraphy and painting.
Sophi Liang: Where Does the Ladder Lead?

Debra Sloan’s sculptures are filled with tension: edgy characters seen as naughty and mischievous. June Yun’s paintings compel a second look at a seemingly iconic landscape only to reveal a nuclear winter in China’s polluted landscape. The impending storm depicted in Jim Friesen’s photography reads as a metaphor of oncoming disaster or the release of tension, implying the cyclical nature storytelling.
Jim Friesen: Iona Island Confession

June Yun: Mountains and Water
Colette Lisoway: Happy to Meet You
Reading the imagery in Telling Stories: a Visual Arts Exhibition invites dialogue about essential contemporary questions. Taken together, the visual stories told by artists in BestB4 Collective invite viewers to become active spectators and interpreters. In this way, the viewer is a community member in conversation about universals that transcend text and context, geography and culture. The emerging story in this ongoing process of collaboration ultimately consolidates this visual chaos.

Telling Stories is presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver and partially funded by the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia.

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