MADE IN CANADA; Works from the Collection of Canada Council Artbank
March 25 - April 25, 2010

Ottawa School of Art - Orleans Campus / Shenkman Arts Centre

Asian/Canadian artists from the Canada Council Art Bank Collection

Millie Chen (Taipei, Taiwan)
Will Kwan (Hong Kong, China)
Richard Leong (Burnaby, Canada)
Edward Pien (Taipei, Taiwan)
Paul Robles (Philippines)
Karen Tam (Montreal, Canada)
Howie Tsui (Hong Kong, China)
Chuang Ying-Yueh (Taipei, Taiwan)
Jin-me Yoon (Seoul, South Korea)
Gu Xiong (China)
Lin Xu (China)

Asian Canadians are the largest ethnic group in Canada. They are present in almost all provinces and territories and they have succeeded in becoming an integral part of this country. As a community, Asian Canadians work hard to maintain their traditions as a fundamental element of their social and economic life. The success this community has had maintaining their traditions and in seeing them included in the larger Canadian society is demonstrated by the presence of Asian Canadians in almost every social and commercial sector in the country.

The process of cultural integration is not always easy. It is often preceded by cultural conflict and a period where the traditions and social structures of both the established and the new cultural groups are challenged.

This period of challenge and change has become a focal point in contemporary art as artists new to Canada cast doubt on accepted notions of nationalism and local traditions. At the same time these artists highlight the processes of immigration and globalization as inevitable elements of change and as conditions of the new social dynamics in a global economy.

The artists selected for this show – some of them born outside Canada while others are first or second generation Canadians – are the product of this process; their art is a reflection of the human struggle to find an identity. Their reality is an ongoing struggle to maintain their heritages in their daily lives. Their work focuses on their experiences as immigrants and in their sometimes-contradictory relationships with their traditions and heritage. Regardless of their various circumstances and backgrounds, all of them consider themselves as Canadians, and they consider this country as their home.

The main characteristic of the pieces in this exhibition is the reuse of traditional elements, such as culturally based materials and concepts. The artists contrast them with accepted Canadian notions with the intention to produce visual metaphors of their own experiences. Their Asian traditions are blended with Western ideas and it is evident that these artists want to create a paradox for the viewer where the contradiction of traditional concepts is the only solution and this solution is MADE IN CANADA.

This exhibition would not be possible without the support and help of the Canada Council Art Bank and the Canada Council for the Arts, who are aware of the social changes facing this country and who also are open to receiving and integrating the views of other communities by giving them the opportunity to be part of the cultural life of this multicultural country.


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