Evan Lee: Forged Opening Reception | Sunday, November 21st, 2021
2-4 PM | Opening Remarks 2:45pm
We are hosting our first public opening reception since the
start of the pandemic for the exhibition Evan Lee: Forged
on Sunday November 21st from 2-4pm at the Art Gallery at
This is a solo exhibition of photography, painting and
sculpture by Evan Lee, a Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian
artist who explores the limits and possibilities of materials
(particularly lens-based media) through experimentation,
adaptability and an economy of means.
Vaccine passports are required to attend the event. Masks are
required in doors, and we encourage everyone to continue
practicing social distance. Opening remarks will take place
at 2:45pm. This event is wheelchair accessible.
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/evan-lee-forged-opening-reception-tickets-199452737507
EVAN LEE – FULL CIRCLE
19 September to 19 October, 2019
Opening Reception 19 September
Monte Clark Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Evan Lee. Full Circle includes figurative oil paintings that are derived from the artist’s original photography, displayed alongside photographs printed on canvas.
Known as an artist who works in a wide range of media, Evan Lee has been particularly interested in the space between painting and photography. In past projects such the Forest Fire, Flashers and Black Blot/Black Bloc series, Lee improvises with imaging technologies and traditional techniques to create photo-painting hybrids that defy categorization. With his Fugazi and Ginseng Root series as well as his Migrant Ship Re-Creation Project, Lee explores ways to activate the non-rational in photography through his use of lensless and appropriated images. In his new work, digital artifacts and jpegs from the artist’s own photographs are translated into paint and pigment.
In Full Circle, Lee uses technology to invoke the poetic, exploring the people and places of his Vancouver home as subject. In stark contrast to the unexpected colour and surface of the oil paintings, the large photographs printed on canvas are simply enlarged and not altered in any way. Speaking plainly, the they reveal the true nature of photographic depiction while simultaneously reflecting on it. Together, these works continue Evan Lee’s exploration of pictorial possibilities.
Evan Lee, detail, Hole In Glass, 2019, photograph.
Evan Lee, In a Restaurant, 2019, oil on canvas
The City of Richmond invited me to mentor emerging Richmond Artists Crystal Ho and Chad Wong to produce public artworks on the theme of Migration. I wanted to try something a little different and work with text and language. My project, Double Meaningless, 2018 is a response to the ongoing debate in Richmond over signage and English language requirements.
October 21, 2017 to January 14, 2018
Exhibition curated by Cate Rimmer
Opening Reception: Friday October 20, 2017 at 7:00pm
The Pacific, the inaugural exhibition at the Libby Leshgold Gallery, brings together artists from countries in and around the Pacific Ocean.
The exhibition considers the Pacific Ocean as a shared and connected space. It explores the idea that although the Pacific is an immense body of water there is a strong sense that it is a space of connection between peoples that live beside or are surrounded by it — that it brings people together rather than separates them. In contrast, much of the narrative around the Atlantic Ocean has historically perceived it as a space of distancing and division.
In thinking about the Pacific Ocean as a shared space we can consider the histories and contemporary concerns as linked while also being specific to each place. The show will include works that address environmental issues such as rising sea levels, nuclear contamination, the impact of industry and the built environment on the ocean. It will also consider human migration and the experiences of migrants. Finally it will touch upon our deep personal and spiritual bonds to the waters of the Pacific.
Some of the work in the exhibition include excerpts from Charles Lim’s Sea State, which was shown at the 56th Venice Biennale at the Singapore Pavilion, Paula Schaafhausen’s Ebbing Tagaloa, an installation made of sand and coconut oil, and Khvay Samnang’s Air, a video made in the Fukushima Prefecture shortly after the nuclear disaster occurred. Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan will be making a large site-specific installation in the gallery in the weeks leading up to the opening.
Curated by Cate Rimmer, The Pacific extends the research begun in the multi-part exhibition The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea. It will include the work of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan (Philippines), Taloi Havini (Papua New Guinea), Charles Lim (Singapore), Genevieve Robertson (Canada), Jane Chang Mi (Hawaii), Khvay Samnang (Cambodia), Simryn Gill (Malaysia/Australia), Michael Drebert (Canada), Paula Schaafhausen (Samoa), Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (Tonga/New Zealand), Evan Lee (Canada), Beau Dick (Canada). There will be a series of talks and events scheduled around the opening and during the run of the exhibition that will include artists, migrant communities, social historians and scientists.
Exhibition: Pictures from Here, Vancouver Art Gallery
curated by Grant Arnold
May 19 – September 4, 2017
“The rise of photo-conceptualism in Vancouver has influenced not just contemporary artists
across Canada, but contemporary art practices around the world.”
– Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art
Comprised of photographs and video works by Vancouver-based artists that date from the late 1950s up to the present, Pictures From Here reflects the development of the innovative lens- based practices that emerged as a counter- point to the lyrical landscape tradition that dominated art making in this city well into the 1970s. At that time, Vancouver-based artists such as Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall and Christos Dikeakos adopted intellectually rigorous approaches to photography that both articulated an affinity with the challenges to tradition put forward by the modernist avant-garde and acknowledged the place in which they were working.
The term “photo-conceptualism” emerged out of this moment and has become intrinsically linked to the rise of Vancouver as an internationally known centre for the production of contemporary art. However, while terms like photo-conceptualism may be useful in describing approaches to photography that draw upon the critiques of the image mounted by Conceptual Art and post- modernism, they can also efface significant differences in the practices of artists whose work might be associated with the label.
Focusing on representations of the city and its surrounds, Pictures From Here acknowledges the legacy of the innovative approaches to photography developed in Vancouver, while also emphasizing the diverse range of interests and socially engaged practices that have informed lens-based art in the city over the past four decades. The exhibition is comprised of work drawn from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Collection and from private collections, many of which have not been previously exhibited in Vancouver.
Pictures From Here includes work by artists Roy Arden, Karin Bubaš, Christos Dikeakos, Stan Douglas, Greg Girard, Rodney Graham, Mike Grill, Arni Haraldsson, Fred Herzog, Barrie Jones, Evan Lee, N.E. Thing Co., Marian Penner Bancroft, Henri Robideau, Sandra Semchuk and James Nicholas, Althea Thauberger, Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Paul Wong , Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona.
Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art.
Patrick Cruz, Gwenessa Lam, Evan Lee, Mehran Modarres, Byron Peters, Tadasu Takamine, Alex Cu Unjieng, and Qahraman Yousif
Opening March 16th, 7pm, 2017
In recent months the world has tipped past a precipice toward a dramatic time of transition. The shift is not necessarily sudden. The political trends of silencing scientists, appealing to nationalism, looking suspiciously on migrants or making hay by regulating religious dress have been fermenting for a while. Anti-diversity, anti-internationalist calls to patriotism have taken the Western world by storm, as though the post-WWII order is crumbling. It is no longer a given that those in power will pay even rhetorical homage to the advancement of democracy and human rights or the value of domestic diversity and international cultural and economic exchange. In such a moment, both the value and the feebleness of our cultural institutions become glaringly apparent and we are challenged to consider the role of art.
In Spring Exhibition we bring together the work of old and new friends to constitute a contemplative space stimulating considerations of the value of diversity and free expression, the struggles of migration and the possibility of cultural exchange.
Preluding this exhibition, on February 24th, on occasion of the 130th year since Vancouver’s first Anti-Chinese riots we held The Unwelcome Dinner. Chefs Wesley Young and Jacob Deacon Evans grounded diners’ palates in Vancouver’s foundational fissures and fusions, and host Henry Tsang, accompanied by various speakers, reflected on the history of racism and white supremacy in this city. Now, we invite Patrick Cruz, Gwenessa Lam, Evan Lee, Mehran Modarres, Byron Peters, Tadasu Takamine, Alex Cu Unjieng, and Qahraman Yousif to set the stage for a season of contemplation.
Qahraman Yousif’s work Lodge 179 is a reflection on the experience of imprisonment and migration and its effects on how language is experienced. Mehran Modarres’ Ma Miaeem, va Miravim/We Come and Go investigates hybridity and language through interventions in an English textbook from her childhood. Tadasu Takamine’s Ask for Trade illuminates moments of transformation during initial cross-oceanic engagement. Alex Cu Unjieng’s I Know Very Well, But Still utilizes décor in response to the gendered inequities of representation. Patrick Cruz’s Luzviminda explores cultural displacement and immigrant identity. Works from Gwenessa Lam’s Mongrel Histories series meditate on the history and value of cultural hybridity. With renderings from his Untitled Migrant Ship Re-Creation Project, Evan Lee examines the dual functions of depiction and construction in the portrayal of migrants. Byron Peters’ talk, Anti-Racist Mathematics and Other Stories, surveys selected communication and control technologies and their historical roots. In ad hoc constellation these artists’ works constitute a space for contemplation of the complexities of contemporary cultural/technological/political climate and the possibility of diversity.
Parallel to Spring Exhibition, Y Vy Truong and Christian Vistan have curated a selection of publications from Centre A’s reading room. At the centre of this gesture is documentation from the 1971 Vancouver Indo-Chinese Women’s Conference. The re-presentation of the literature produced for the Vancouver Indo-Chinese Women’s Conference expands public memory and re-conceptualizes the history of feminist movements in Canada. Truong and Vistan’s reading room challenges the Eurocentric memories, perspectives and tendencies in art, activism and other avenues of culture making in Vancouver, offering an inclusive space for the public to engage in conversations, to sip tea and consider paths forward.
Please join us for the opening of Spring Exhibition, at 7pm on March 16th, at Centre A, 229 East Georgia. The exhibition will be on display until May 13th. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-5pm. Over the course of the exhibition we will be holding talks, recordings and other events as relevant.
In the Open
In the Open brings together an international and multigenerational group of artists who have captured images in public spaces, utilizing the invasive potential of the lens gaze to examine these civic regions. The exhibition spans over 40 years of artists looking at ‘open’ space and how it has been defined, surveilled and controlled. Often working from a source image to articulate social inequalities, the works in the exhibition consider how we frequently consent to inequitable though legislated conditions. In this way, the project aims to open questions about what is our right to privacy when we are out in the open and how are these locations monitored and regulated.
Our public spaces have become arenas for unprecedented frenzies of digital media. Surveillance cameras and smartphones are capturing images and uploading them from every street corner. As these photos become instantly transferable, finding themselves in internet, print and cable media, questions about the control of these pictures has become amplified. Over the last few decades, artists have anticipated this fervor and recorded the increasingly slippery boundaries of what constitues public or private use and the increased inability to control the contextualization of these images.
Through the artists’ conceptual picture making, questions are posed about what is being photographed when we are out in the open. What is ‘taken’ in these snap shots and why? Analysis of the motivations behind this compulsive production continues to reveal systems of desire, persuasion and control. Boundaries both official and personal are defined through this manipulation, the artists working to picture how these mediating systems articulate the social realities of their individual subjects.
Shimmer and Paste
Evan Lee and Ben Reeves
Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
opening November 5, 2016
Vancouver artists Evan Lee and Ben Reeves have left their mark on contemporary Canadian art—Lee for his always-intelligent explorations of post-photographic reproduction and Reeves for his deconstructive approach to painting. Together they represent a generational engagement with the status of the image. Career-long friends despite the often-exclusive camps of photography and painting in which they find themselves, they come together in this exhibition to demonstrate mutual considerations of light and collage.
In his “Phoropter” series, Lee works with images of ophthalmic phoropters used for testing binocular vision. In Lee’s collages however, the spiraling clusters of optics seem to belong to anything but binocular beings. He pushes the post-photographic towards the post-human. With his “Fugazi” works, we see high-end fake diamonds enlarged 1500 percent against geometric backgrounds of Lee’s devising. The result pushes 2-dimensions and 3-dimensions into a merged, indeterminate space, lit by the far-off white light on the original zirconia and the designer colours of the background. The blurring of categories becomes Lee’s analogy of the many-tiered layers of mediated reality.
Reeves brings a painters knowledge mediation that matches Lee’s. Where in the past he has broken painting down to its brush stroke by brush stroke accretion, his new work give us seaside beach views painted on burlap with overlapping elements of fine-grained painted canvas. The horizons in the pictures are as far away as the white light in Lee’s diamonds. Depicted space becomes a negotiation of textures, materiality, colour and pigment. The disjunctions of the collage elements, however, are paradoxically naturalized by the landscape setting where we are used to seeing intrusive trees interrupt the view. Reeves’ paintings let us think about the interruptions and about the sustained continuities that take our eyes as far as they can see.
About Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
Launched in 2016 as part of the new Dupont St. gallery scene in Toronto, Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects is devoted to a developing exhibition program of contemporary Canadian art. Founding editor of C Magazine and editor of Canadian Art from 1996 through 2015, Richard Rhodes brings his expertise to exhibitions by emerging and established artists from across Canada and abroad. Rhodes offers audiences and collectors an informed critical eye that has launched and nurtured numerous careers in the Canadian art world over the past three decades. www.dupontprojects.com.
For more information:
Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects
1444 Dupont St.
Toronto ON M6P 4H3
Evan Lee, from Fugazi, 2015, archival pigment print
Monte Clark Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Evan Lee.
Lee’s new series Fugazi consists of visually stunning 5-by-5 foot prints created from digital scans of cubic zirconia, relatively inexpensive but high quality imitations of diamonds (“Fugazi“ is a slang term used in Mafia films for counterfeit diamonds.) The images are captured at a high level of detail and enlarged fifteen thousand percent to a scale that renders the gems’ internal appearance mesmerizingly random, distorted and fractured, while the effects of digital image-loss and artifacting emerge to aid in their visual transformation. The patterns of abstract shapes and reflected colours appear kaleidoscopic and at times groundless, an aesthetic that Lee manipulates further by constructing geometric backgrounds in response to the resulting visual space.
Lee’s project reflects on his earlier works, such as the Dollar Store Still Life series (2006), which also examined the economic and cultural values of fake and artificial consumer goods. Fugazi also continues Lee’s take on representations of psychedelia, illusion and optics, as explored in such earlier works as Every Part from a Contaflex Camera… (2006), and the Stain (2003) and Phoropter (2012) series. Lee’s practice has always been positioned both alongside and against the grain of photography, and Fugazi continues the artist’s image production in the avant-garde reaches of the post-photographic or camera-less digital realm. Contrary to the reproducible nature of photography, each of the Fugazi prints, made on fine art paper, exists only as a signed unique edition of one.
Alongside Fugazi, Lee will also present works from a complementary series entitled Ichiban. In these new works, Lee mixes paint and instant ramen noodles with other found objects to create experimental sculptures that consider the artificial nature of “instant” food, as well as reflecting on ephemeral form and temporality in the artworks themselves. Taken together, both Fugazi and Ichiban allude to the complex relationship between that which is “real” and that which is “artificial” in our contemporary culture and art.
Evan Lee lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. His first major solo exhibition “Captures” was held at the Presentation House Gallery in North Vancouver in 2006, and included catalogue essays by Jeff Wall and Peter Culley. Since then, Lee has exhibited in numerous museums and institutions including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery, the Confederation Centre for the Arts, the Liu Hai Su Art Museum, and at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as a Sobey Award Finalist in 2014. Lee’s work has been published in Canadian Art Magazine, Art on Paper, Border Crossings, Flash Art, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and numerous other venues.