MORTAL WINDOW w/ MICHELLE NGUYEN & ROBERT-DAVID KOLIC
july 21st - aug 11th 2018
Opening: Saturday July 21st 7-10 pm
Show dates: July 21- August 11th.
Gallery Open: Saturdays 3-7pm during run of show
Michelle Nguyen is a painter, potter, and writer based in Vancouver. She studied Environmental Design at the University of British Columbia and graduated in 2016. She has participated in four group art shows, starred in four solo art shows, and is currently represented by Bau Xi Gallery with solo shows in both Vancouver, (2017,) and Toronto, (2018.) Nguyen’s paintings are large and immersive. Most often working with oil paint, she outlines or emphasizes with oil pastels. She paints groups, gatherings, or parties populated by humanoid figures. Her brush strokes gesture, implying movement and dynamacy from the figure or background. Driven by literature or language, she admires how writing can articulate the subtle feelings spanning human experience. What sticks and resonates while she reads, she paints. Inspired by the poetic technique of ekphrasis, a vivid description of a work of art, she creates the inversion: a work of art that suggests narrative. While Nguyen paints crowds, there is little interaction between the characters and instead bouts of social isolation, referencing our generational plague of social anxiety. In addition, she doesn’t paint a single protagonist or individual who stands out. Right now, with the state of the world, we need more empathy and she creates that with her communities of humans, demi-humans, and non-humans. She structures a window into her viewers by observing how they relate to her humanoids: to anthropomorphize, personify, empathize with and ultimately humanize what may have first been perceived as Other. The viewer tries to understand their situation and creates a personal narrative that reveals their own vulnerabilities. The stories viewers create about her humanoids, or how a viewer identifies with, or “tags themself” in the painting are a collaborative process she creates to divide the power dynamic of the gaze.
Robert-David Kolić is a Vancouver based visual artist who graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA, Eindhoven Design Academy, and Capilano University. He structures collages that function as a codex of information, charting solar activity or universal weather with political events on earth. He matches historical events to aetheral events, including movement of the planets that share the solar system with our earth and sun. He often utilizes the technique of monotype and xylene transfer, pulling images from publications such as Time. In addition, he ink etches, sculpts with beeswax or gold leaf, and paints with watercolour. His premiere collection, Versor Aspects/Higher Orders, is a counterspace timescale that acts as a reflective acquaintance, weathered friend, or wise seer that blends thought into quadrants of symbolic representations coalescing into visual hysteria. Images and visions of places he visited in the Balkans during his childhood are captured on paper. While working, he looks to the past: how did we interpret physical forces of nature without our present day tools? How did we understand the effects of the sun and express its movement with symbols? What languages did that build and when? What reasons did we need to know the weather and its causes? He visited Croatia during his childhood and his work builds from the unsettled foundational aspects of its present day. Its history is fragmented, its importance dictated, its role delegated, and its existence co-dependent. Its architecture is a physical mish-mash of WW2 Communist monuments, Roman ruins that “escaped” pillage, medieval monuments that survived, and other points of invasion or migration that came and left. Kolić assembles not just images, but thought, history, science, and architecture into equations that map complex answers for those with the knowledge to decipher them.