You’re invited to learn more about artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong’s two major bodies of work currently on display at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.
The Chinese-born, Montreal-based artist reinterprets traditional Chinese symbols and practices in both Skin Deep (2014 to 2020) and I Have Been There (2015, ongoing) and will elaborate on the origins and genesis of each and how they relate to her practice as a whole during the Lunch and Learn event.
Skin Deep examines the link between shame and the face in Chinese culture. In this series of photographic self-portraits featuring an augmented reality component, Dong conceals her face in the same traditional Chinese silk fabrics that comprise the background. The expression of shame and loss of individuality reflects her experiences as a young woman in China and as an immigrant in Canada.
In I Have Been There, Dong covers her body with a silk duvet as she lies on the ground at culturally significant sites or events around the world. Her performance is based on a funeral tradition in her hometown of Yueyang in Hunan Province, in which the daughters of a deceased person each make a duvet to place over their loved one’s body.
Virtual monthly artist talks provide community members with a chance to learn about current and future exhibitions, as well as hear about ongoing curatorial research happening at the gallery. The speakers’ series also supports emerging and established artists by providing them with a forum in which to present their work.
Dong will discuss her work on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 on Zoom. Registration is required. She was listed among the 10 Artists Who Are Reinventing History by Canadian Art in 2017 and was awarded with Cultural Diversity in Visual Arts from the Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2021. Her exhibition runs at the Varley Art Gallery at 216 Main St., Unionville until Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
Photo of Chun Hua Catherine Dong, I Have Been There–Vanier Park, Vancouver, Canada, 2018, performance and photograph, courtesy of the artist through the Varley Art Gallery.