May is Asian Heritage Month and an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about and reflect on the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage. Asian-Canadians have contributed to the sciences, economics, and cultural fabric that is reflected in the foundations of Canadian history.
The University of Winnipeg is fortunate to be the caretakers of an art collection that includes more than 100 pieces by artists of East Asian descent. Until now, we have not given these works the attention that they deserve.
Coinciding with Asian Heritage Month, Gallery 1C03 at The University of Winnipeg is launching Within and Beyond Tradition: Works by East Asian Artists in The University of Winnipeg Collection. This group exhibition is curated by East Asian Languages and Cultures student Irene Chan.
The exhibit, which opens with a public reception on Monday, May 8 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., will continue on display until Friday, August 4. It can be viewed weekdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
“The University of Winnipeg is fortunate to be the caretakers of an art collection that includes more than 100 pieces by artists of East Asian descent. Until now, we have not given these works the attention that they deserve,” said Jennifer Gibson, Gallery 1C03’s Director and Curator.
“Within and Beyond Tradition brings several of these pieces together in a public exhibition that encourages the University community and the public to learn about and appreciate the rich variety of artistic expression of these creators. Many of the artworks showcase well-recognized techniques and symbolism used for centuries by East Asian artists while others incorporate a mix of Eastern and Western influences.”
Within and Beyond Tradition features an array of works by artists of Chinese and Japanese descent, including historical embroideries and ceramics, as well as contemporary prints, paintings, and drawings. Featured artists include Kam Wing Lee, Noboru Sawai, Takao Tanabe, Zheng Yan and Akira Yoshikawa.
Yoshikawa, whose abstract minimalist drawings are featured in the exhibition, says the “aesthetic and cultural practices that relate to my works are my interest in Eastern philosophy, with its expression of compassion, serenity, and spirituality.”
Affiliated events with the exhibition include:
Exhibition tour with Curator Irene Chan: Monday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m.
Learn about Chinese Characters with Yongshan He: Tuesday, May 16 at 12:15 p.m. in Room 3C30
Artist Talks by Takashi Iwasaki and Akira Yoshikawa: Friday, June 23 at 2:30 p.m.
“This exhibition is also a good example of how the Gallery interacts with various academic departments and works to support student success,” Gibson added. “Irene Chan, the student curator of Within and Beyond Tradition, has done a tremendous job conducting research on the artists and artworks featured in the exhibition. Her research has been supported by faculty members Yongshan He and Lenore Szekely, as well as the Oral History Centre.”
Exhibited works illustrate a broad spectrum of artistic expressions and the evolution of traditional art beyond its conventional boundaries. They also exemplify the artists’ unique approaches to exploring their identity as Asian-Canadians. Through Within and Beyond Tradition, Gallery 1C03 promotes greater understanding and appreciation of East Asian art.
Gallery 1C03 is the campus art gallery of The University of Winnipeg. The Gallery opened in September of 1986. The Gallery’s mission is to engage diverse communities through the development and presentation of contemporary and historical art exhibitions and related programming initiatives.
The Gallery is also responsible for the development, preservation, and presentation of the University’s art collection. Since its inception, Gallery 1C03 has hosted more than 160 exhibitions and welcomed more than 170,000 visitors.