Curated by Sherry Chunqing Liu
Works by Lotus Laurie Kang, Brubey Hu, and Patrick Cruz
May 3–July 22, 2023
Art Museum at the University of Toronto
15 King’s College Circle, Toronto
Sociologist Avtar Brah defines “diaspora space (as opposed to that of diaspora)” as a conceptual category that “includes the entanglement, the intertwining of the genealogies of dispersion with those of ‘staying put’”. In the reconciliation of such “entanglement,” the diasporian subjects, as scholar Sara Ahmed describes, take up unfamiliar spaces with their bodies to inhabit what “might come to feel like home”.
In Where have I arrived?, Lotus Laurie Kang, Brubey Hu, and Patrick Cruz echo one another as they render palpable the personal and untranslatable feelings in moments of longing and disorientation that emerge from their inhabitation of “diaspora space”. The in-betweenness of the conceptual diaspora space and the literal lived environments become unfolded, or more tangible, through the artists’ hands.
Departing from the question of “Where have I arrived?” evoked by a personal polaroid of the curator of her childhood home in Xiamen, China, this exhibition explores the themes of food/kitchen, translation, and body through the conceptual lens of “diaspora space”. From different backgrounds of the Asian diaspora, each artist, in their own ways, questions the traditions of artistic mediums such as painting and sculpture through an array of playful and nuanced approaches to translate sensory experiences across spaces and surfaces. The exhibition invites audiences to spend time with the works, look for nuances and in-between spaces, and enter any conceptual diasporic realms that their reality might call for. As you enter these spaces, you might also gently whisper, “Where have I arrived?”
This exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.
Photo credits: Toni Hafkenscheid