Brenda Joy Lem: Homage to the Heart
June 18 to September 18, 2010
Homage to the Heart begins with an oral history from the artist's father and aunt recounting childhood memories of growing up in a Chinese hand laundry during the Depression. The exhibition consists of silkscreen prints, a small installation with sound and three video projections.
The exhibition uses photographs selected from the artist's family collections as well as from archival sources to consider themes including memory, trauma, spirituality and what Lem describes as "the enduring heart." Indeed, works in this exhibition point to the experience of life in a rapidly changing Canada, featuring works entitled A Car in the New World, The Globe Restaurant, My Father..., and How Can You Let Those Chinese Boys Do Better Than You? Catalogue essayist and poet M. NourbeSe Adamu Philip describes Lem's use of both printmaking and photography as producing "a fruitful tension."
Brenda Joy Lem began her practice making collages from the packaging and labels found on everyday Chinese-Canadian paraphernalia, a decision that motivated her to confront and publicly comment on emotional connections to the past, including the effects of racism, and inspire her for the future.
This exhibition is organized and circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, in collaboration with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.
Sponsored by the Chinese Canadian National Council, London Chapter.