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January exhibitions opening reception at Xpace Cultural Centre

Join us for the opening reception of Xpace Cultural Centre's January exhibitions!

Main Space: Soft Refractions curated by Mary Chen and Theresa Wang

DeBugReBoot, Jessy Kitchen, HaeAhn Kwon, IvanovStoeva, Carson Teal, Xuan Ye

January 18-February 16, 2019

The word “refraction” declares breakage from form. Used to characterize an optical phenomenon tracing the speed of light as it traverses material barriers, refraction inherently speaks to rendering the non-material visible through an alternative way of seeing. The works featured in Soft Refractions demonstrate a desire to destabilize established value systems, and, in turn, mine for new capacities. As manners of representation stretch rapidly into new forms, this exhibition looks at the boundary for otherwise encounters to invoke a mediated articulation of the contemporary world.

Xpace acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council for this exhibition.

Project Space: Arezu Salamzadeh, Fortune Flavors the Bold

January 18-February 16, 2019

Arezu Salamzadeh is a Toronto-born artist who can’t speak Cantonese.

Fortune Flavors the Bold is a room warded for good luck, inspired by the symbols and spiritual cures of the household in which the artist grew up with her mother, an immigrant from Hong Kong. Like many second generation children who grew up in the West, she examines what it means to be part of a distant culture, whose language one does not speak. Salamzadeh’s understanding of Chinese culture is informed by observing her mother performing Chinese Traditional Medicine rituals and superstitious actions .

In this ‘room for good luck’, focus is given to ceramic lucky cats, dragons, ginseng, and other objects endowed with the ability to change our futures. The unification of these works is an attempt to live vicariously through these mischievous dictators of fate and partake in the sharing good fortune.

Window Space: Cat Lamora, The Aberrant

January 18 - February 23, 2019

The Aberrant is a three dimensional paper installation that attempts to address the experience of a gyopo — a term for Korean expatriates who have been citizens in their new countries for longer than a decade.

With this work, Cat Lamora questions the affect of expatriation in Korean-Canadian gyopos selfhood, and the deafening loneliness produced by the conflict of navigating the culture one is born into versus the newly adopted. Having to lead a life of duality between two names, two cultures, and two homes, the piece seeks to express the balancing act that gyopos struggle to reconcile.

This exhibition is part of DesignTO 2019.

External Space: Jessie Sheng, Havoc in Heaven

January 9 - February 12, 2019

Havoc in Heaven is a short video-collage titled after a famous Chinese opera that dramatizes an ancient fable of the Monkey King, whom the other deities scorn despite being a magical entity with great powers himself. As the story goes, the Monkey King discovers his exclusion from an important banquet in heaven and he retorts by raiding the celestial palaces, leaving them in ruin prior to the celebration. This work juxtaposes found video footage of this Chinese opera with stock images of suburban houses to interrogate the validity of the American Dream, a widespread fantasy that continues to seduce individuals with the promise of a better life.

Havoc in Heaven expresses discontent with some of the failures and falsehoods of the American Dream. In particular the denial of certain individuals, the homogenization it necessitates and the subsequent erasure of cultural identity for some, leading to questions regarding the potency and posture of Western hegemony in today’s postcolonial world.

The External Space is located in the OCAD University Learning Zone at 122 St. Patrick St. External Space exhibitions are also viewable online:

January exhibitions opening reception at Xpace Cultural Centre

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