Exhibition Curator: JJ Lee
Exhibiting Artists: Iman Bhatti, Jasmine Cardenas, Angelica Fernandes, Yi-Shuan Lee, Wei Qi, Faryal Shehzad, Zhizi Wang and Michael Veneracion
Exhibition dates: Wednesday Jan 2 to Friday Jan 25, 2019
Opening Reception: Thurs., Jan. 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Saturday January 19th, 1 to 3 pm

“Painting and identity politics do not mix easily.” Kenneth Baker

Painting, especially of the “oil-on-canvas” variety, is laden with historical baggage and hierarchical genres, and has been upheld as the canon of fine art in the white Western world. So what happens when young, first and second generation artists of colour reclaim this traditional medium and turn this visual language back on the contemporary art world? How do you navigate a medium that historically has contributed to your own “otherness”? In light of current dialogues about cultural appropriation, questions of authenticity and authorship are ever more important.

This exhibition features eight young painters of colour. Their identities are hyphenated Canadian: Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Ecuadorian, Taiwanese, Filipino. They are equally positioned between a western education in a medium traditionally mired in Eurocentric history and their own cultural/ethnic identities. When they were students, they asked where they were represented in their art history and studio classes. Now, as artists, they are making paintings that reflect the diverse communities we live in through a range of approaches: employing traditional techniques and processes from their own cultural histories, and merging them with Western painting practices, and inserting their visible minority selves into the imagery. They are telling the stories of the new faces of painting.

More detail about the exhibiting artists:

Iman Bhatti, born in Lahore, lives in Toronto and identifies as Pakistani-Canadian.
Jasmine Cardenas, born in Mississauga, lives in Toronto and identifies as Ecuadorian-Canadian.
Angelica Fernandes, born Mumbai, lives in Toronto and identifies as Indo-Canadian.
Yi-Shuan Lee, born in Taichung, lives in Toronto and Taiwan, identifies as Taiwanese-Canadian.
Wei Qi, born in Tianjin, lives in Toronto and identifies as Chinese-Canadian.
Faryal Shehzad, born in Sargodha, lives in King City and identifies as Pakistani-Canadian.
Zhizi Wang, was born in Xi’an lives in London ON and identifies as Chinese-Canadian.
Michael Veneracion, was born in Dubai, lives in Toronto, identifies as Filipino-Canadian.

Curator: JJ Lee, born in Halifax, lives on Toronto and identifies as Chinese-Canadian.
JJ Lee is a practicing artist and an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Issues of Representation at OCAD University. She taught the artists in this exhibition when they were students at OCAD in 2017.

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