宴 | Found in Translation
August 7, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm| Free
In collaboration with the Bonnie Mccomb Kreye residency and funded by the BC Arts Council, The Fifty Fifty presents “Found in Translation” by Artists Mao Chen and Chris Savage; Mao Projects
Drawing inspiration from the art + craft history and our own cultural backgrounds we present an installation of ceramic works that examines cross cultural communication through narrative forms. Referencing classical ceramic forms, ornamental and pop cultural symbols, and an abstract painterly application of glaze, the works provide a pluralistic vision indicative of our individual and shared experiences. Our collaborative approach aims to find both the connections and points of friction between the variety of references from different cultures and periods. We utilize fragments from cartoons, abstract painting, still life painting and traditional ceramics that interest us for their ability to convey visual information and present potential narrative meaning through themes of time, greed, sharing and growth. The colourful glazes appear both alluring like a multicoloured lollipop and repulsive like a build up of chewed gum, combined with the graphic drawings of bugs, fruits and animals, allow the narrative to extend from one piece to the next in an open ended and nonlinear format. The blending together of these references, we feel, re-contextualizes the fragments we draw upon from the past, adding depth to the narratives while resisting a singular didactic interpretation.
Kun and Chris met while completing their Masters of Fine Arts Degrees at the University of Calgary in 2017. The artists and, now, life partners began collaborating in their home studio in Calgary in 2020, shortly thereafter creating the collaborative studio Mao Projects. Combining different cultural backgrounds, Kun being born and raised in China and Chris having grown up in Victoria BC, the artists look to create works that reflect upon their individual and shared perspectives. They have attended residencies together in Canada and have exhibited collaborative works within Canada and Asia.
The fifty fifty arts collective is comprised of individuals living and working on unceded and occupied First Nations Territories, specifically the lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, as well as the W̱SÁNEĆ, Sc’ianew and T’Souke First Nations.
The programming space itself is situated on Songhees and Esquimalt Territory but engages with individuals and communities across Turtle Island.
As a collective we endeavour to deepen our own understandings of how we are implicated in the history and in the present ongoing project of settler colonialism. As members of the fifty fifty arts collective we continually responsibilize ourselves to the complex kind of space that is the fifty fifty which hosts and facilitates the dissemination of the ideas and work of others.