The Bluffs Gallery is presenting an exhibition featuring emerging Scarborough artists. These nine artists – Christopher Dela Cruz, Kim Hoang, Rui Hu, Wei Luo, Iori Matsushima, Kachely Peters, Nivedita Sridharan, Caleb Y. Tao and Sabrina Yip – are grappling in their lives and in their art with concerns, pressures and anxieties confronting their generation.
The themes and ideas articulated in the artworks overlap and intersect, creating a web of interconnectedness. Kachely Peters and Rui Hu explore identity and the interior and exterior aspects of self. Peters’ drawings examine scars and mental health while Hu’s canvas and wool sculpture portrays the messiness and consequences of decision-making. Nivedita Sridharan has harboured a life-long concern about humanity’s relationship to other species. Her underlying concept of time running out for the survival of so many animals of the world, relates to Christopher Dela Cruz’s consideration of time. Dela Cruz, though, explores time in relation to employment and minimum wage – a reality that most twenty somethings are grappling with.
Relationships form the touchstone for all the artwork in Twenty something. The relation of self to society is the focus of Caleb Y. Tao’s text-based plastic-wrapped sculpture and Iori Matsushima’s disrupted video. Tao invokes a political commentary on censorship in China, while Matsushima’s Fake News challenges how and what we consume as news. Sabrina Yip’s animation shows a utopian urban vision. Yet the bright colours and dreamy pacing subvert the underlying anxiety of the precarity of housing and employment that twenty somethings face.
Pressure and anxiety also inform the work of Wei Luo and Kim Hoang. As well, both artists allude to memory and childhood. Luo’s cardboard place settings explore traditional family dynamics. The implied pressure is examined from a different perspective in Hoang’s installation. Hoang’s piece references the grade school Multistage Fitness Test, or Beep Test, that induced much distress in young students.
The exhibiting artists’ works reflect serious subject matter that they and their generation must make sense of. With piercing clarity and honesty they regard the flawed world they have inherited. Yet the care with which they construct their artwork, speaks to an elegance that envelops us with beauty and fills us with hope for the future.
— Yael Brotman
May 25 – July 31
Bluffs Gallery at Scarborough Arts
1859 Kingston Road
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Caleb Tao is a Chinese-Canadian artist who lives and works in Toronto. He was born in China and after finishing high school, he moved to Canada in 2013. He enrolled at the University of Toronto Scarborough in the Studio Program. With the experiences that he has had in the various disciplines of the Studio program, he finds himself most interested in sculpture, painting, and drawing. Caleb will graduate soon from University and his intention is to continue to develop his art practice and combine it with his interest in philosophy.
Kachely Peters is an artist born and raised in Scarborough and is currently pursuing a BA in Studio Art at the University of Toronto Scarborough; graduating in 2019. Working across the diverse media of drawing, painting, and sculpture, Kachely is continuously influenced by the Canadian landscape and her Caribbean background; the flora and fauna of the two environments recur throughout her work. Dealing with themes delving into the intimacy of experience, love, and belonging, Peters often mixes mediums to evoke the often-imagined places. She generates these spaces with the hope of engaging in the ethereal nature of the environments, taking in the seemingly smallest of moments.
Kimberly Hoang is a double major in Biology and Studio Arts, pursuing her knowledge, understanding, perspective and techniques to integrate science and art into her concepts and artwork. Currently exploring the concepts of the transparency of recollection, she has found her interests to be a conceptual spread of opacity, layers, and indirect communication. Kimberly hopes to continue to develop her practice, taking in new methods and techniques to utilize in her artwork. Her goal is to integrate fragments of her identity, in which she considers her works to be unfinished, to give way for continuous progress.
Iori Matsushima was born and grew up in Gunma, Japan. After graduating from high school there, she moved to Toronto for university, and it has been almost four years. Though she works with various media, from 2D to 3D, the main focus of her artwork is video or animation. Since last year, she has been exploring the use of the medium further by creating video projections. Because of her Japanese upbringing, Japanese popular culture lies at the core of her inspiration. Having a background in computer science and statistics, she also likes to explore themes such as information and technology in her artwork.
As an undergraduate majoring in both Biodiversity and Conservation and Studio Art, the artist is passionate about our environment and our species and wishes to highlight her concerns. Thus, her art practice often reflects environmental issues and seeks to bring focus on the threats that the natural world is facing. The majority of her artworks focus on species and the various problems threatening animals’ survival such as habitat loss or human encroachment. Nive’s education in conservation has allowed her to learn about saving species from a scientific perspective, and art gives her the opportunity to process and translate her knowledge into various creative forms.
Rui Hu is currently studying in the New Media and Studio programs at the University of Toronto. As an artist, most of her works discuss contemporary cultural and social issues. She hopes her works can cross different cultures to create a sense of empathy and get people thinking about their responsibility as members of society. Usually Rui presents her ideas through drawing, sculpture, and photography. But recently she has also experimented with video, projection and digital mashup. As she gains experience with the new media platform, it is her goal to incorporate art and new technology together in her visual vocabulary in the future.
True Self is a sculptural piece whose theme relates to critical thinking and choice making. People make decisions all the time. This can be done on purpose or in unintentional ways, without being conscious of choices being made. All decisions result in effects on others; like the butterfly effect. Generally speaking, all the choices we make demonstrate our true selves.
Sabrina Yip is an artist and a multimedia designer. She is currently studying in the New Media and Studio programs at the University of Toronto. As a new media and art student, she is fascinated by merging art and new technology. She loves to use colourful geometric elements to apply to her work. Her modes of presentation include video, illustration, projection and digital platforms. Having lived her life in various dense urban centre in Hong Kong and Toronto, most of her artwork explores cultural and social issues relating to human density.
CHRISTOPHER DELA CRUZ
Christopher Dela Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian artist whose works often investigate the relationships of objects and technology, to interculturalism and individuality. His primary medium of work revolves around sound, sculpture, video, installation, and photography. He has been actively collaborating with artists and musicians within the Toronto community. His most recent work, “Long Distance Relationship” was exhibited as part of the main programming of the Independent Projects group for Nuit Blanche Toronto and Long Winter at the Tranzac Club in 2018. He currently lives in Toronto and works as the audio director of “Festival Italiano di Johnny Lombardi” at CHIN Radio/TV International.
Wei Luo was born in Toronto in 1997. She is currently in her fourth year at UTSC completing a double major in Psychology and Studio arts. She specializes in creating feminist-themed sculpture and photography. Wei’s past exhibitions include: Studio Practice Exhibition at AA 3rd floor hallwalls gallery (2018), Sculpture and the Everyday Exhibition at Gallery 1265 (2018), and Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at Gallery 1265. (2019). Wei has an interest in communications and works part-time at TD bank as an EasyLine specialist. After graduation, Wei plans to continue working in customer service while pursuing a career in the visual arts.