Saturday, 16 March 2013

Shan Hai Jing Dialogue- New Work at IndexG

Join us at the Opening Reception - Saturday, 16 March, 2013 - 3-6 pm
50 Gladstone Avenue Toronto 

Shan Hai Jing Dialogue. An exhibition by Fiona Smyth, Holly Lee, Erik Jerezano(main gallery)
Shan Hai Jing, literally translated as Collection of Mountains and Seas, is an ancient literature on geography and mythology in China.
The exhibition was initiated by Holly Lee, who moved to Toronto from Hong Kong (China) almost sixteen years ago. She started the series of photography titled Shan Hai Jing in 2010. Curious and touched by the works of Fiona and Erik, and finding so many similarities and equivalences under the term "mythology" in different cultures, she suggested to adopt Shan Hai Jing as a theme and catalyst to ignite a body of new work from the three artists.

Fiona Smyth explores themes related to Shan Hai Jing in her series of paintings. Internal and external landscapes are revealed in these new works. Smyth asks what are the domains that we construct to make sense of the real world. What visions do we see as we navigate the impossible. Smyth’s recurring motif of a sleeping woman appears as a symbol of both resilience and permeability. This somnambulist is both witness and creator.

Holly Lee's Shan Hai Jing is a photographic series of parks. Having lived for a number of years in Canada, she started to feel a sense of belonging, and longing to explore different textures of the city. There was an urgency to photograph the parks, which are abundant in Toronto. The preoccupation of shooting parks perhaps arises from the aspiration of wanting to see things beyond specific time, space and geographic locations. A mind journey. Are there more stories to tell, things to be reckoned with in these seemingly ordinary places? The artists once said, "My passage is not guarded nor ruled by time. Moving between the real and the imaginary, springing and bouncing off the trampoline to create free falls." In other words, Holly Lee's approach is to "rephrase" the ancient Shan Hai Jing texts with her own observation and narration, mixing contemporary and old, familiar and unfamiliar, visible and invisible. The acrobatic act is not without calculation.

Erik Jerezano's approach to this project was to build a nonlinear narrative evoking images of transition and transformation in a small expedition to his subconsciousness. Being more alert of the progression of the idea than a final result, the intention is to create a reflection about the complexity of the human relationship with the unknown, and how we use rituals and believes as an existential cane to walk towards the unexplored death. Shan Hai Jing has served as a point of departure to develop a series of drawings to be used as maps to get lost on a land of symbols and metaphors where the uncanny, the absurd and the oddness walk around the viewer in a silent parade.
The works in Shan Hai Jing Dialogue re-examine the shared genetic mystic roots of story telling, present or past. Constantly posting questions of the meaning of reality, and ways of seeing. Ancient memories passed down to us as oral traditions, blurry images and words - as "mythology" often so hard to interpret and make sense. But the word "present" posts an even bigger challenge, it becomes past at every instance of a thought.
Exhibition runs thru 28 April, 2013

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