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http://www.concordia.ca/content/shared/en/news/finearts/2018/01/17/matter-place-starts-fofa-gallerys-winter-season.html

Matter of Place starts FOFA Gallery’s winter season

Annual undergraduate student exhibition opens this week, exploring personal and cultural experiences
January 17, 2018
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By Marieke Gruwel

Holly Fedida, Disconnecting the Dots (2016). Screenprint, embroidery, and mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist. Holly Fedida, Disconnecting the Dots (2016). Screenprint, embroidery, and mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.

Ever since it opened over a decade ago, the FOFA Gallery has presented an annual juried undergraduate student exhibition. Every year, commonalities in content emerge amongst the artists. Last year, it was humour and repetition.

This year’s show is no exception. In Matter of Place, several artists explore personal identities and cultural experiences.

“What I noticed about the work this year is that it is really quite beautiful, quite detailed, and  more object-based than in past years. We’re seeing smaller works that are very labour-intensive to create and produce, a lot of aesthetic investigations into material.”

‘We really did get something from everyone’

Nickle Peace-Williams, a third-year dance student. Photo: Hadi Jamali. Nickle Peace-Williams, a third-year dance student. Photo: Hadi Jamali.

A wide array of studio arts practices are represented in the exhibition: installation, painting, photography, ceramics, video, collage, textiles and audio art.

But it’s not just students from the Department of Studio Arts participating in the exhibition. Matter of Place shows off the strengths of many departments in the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Art history students were selected to write essays about the artworks  for an exhibition catalogue produced by design students.

Angélique Willkie’s contemporary dance class was invited to participate for the second year in a row. Her students paired up and choreographed dance performances that responded to the artworks on exhibit. A selection of works were chosen through a juried process and the dancers will perform in the Gallery, in dialogue with the artworks.

This collaboration encourages students from various disciplines to work together to explore different practices and thought processes.

“We really did try to get something from everyone,” says Dorner.

‘Artists bring with them distinctive cultural traditions’

Hea Kim, Indecisive Valley (2016-2017). Mixed media installation. Image courtesy of the artist. Hea Kim, Indecisive Valley (2016-2017). Mixed media installation. Image courtesy of the artist.

Several of the artworks reflect the duality of sharing two cultural identities, referencing places, iconographies, materials and politics specific to their heritage.

“Some of the artists selected reference their countries of origin, or the country from where their parents come from, and they bring with them distinctive cultural traditions,” says Dorner.

A good example of this is Hea Kim’s playful piece Indecisive Valley, which is displayed in the Gallery’s shopfront window, looking onto St. Catherine Street.

Kim’s work, like many artworks in the exhibition, are very detailed and deal with materiality. She also spent her childhood and adolescence in South Korea. Indecisive Valley is made with found objects connected to traditions and iconography from her cultural heritage. Through this process, Kim creates beautiful iconic objects that are meticulously executed.

“This piece is beautiful,” says Dorner. “I was standing outside and a lot of people stopped. It’s winter, and normally people are just rushing by, but it catches your eye."

Demonstrating unique, innovative qualities

Kevin Jung-Hoo Park, Letters from a Gapping Zone (video still). Video. Image courtesy of the artist. Kevin Jung-Hoo Park, Letters from a Gapping Zone (video still). Video. Image courtesy of the artist.

Perhaps even more interesting than the similarities in Matter of Place is how the material and conceptual investigations undertaken by these twelve artists demonstrate unique and innovative qualities.

“I’m really pleased with the show this year. The artists, writers, designers and dancers are all coming from different places, exploring their disciplines in such exciting ways and it’s all come together in such a cohesive way.”

Matter of Place runs until February 23, 2018 with the vernissage taking place on January 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The performance evenings will take place on January 25 and February 8 at 5:00 pm. Admission to all events are free.

Visit the FOFA Gallery for more information



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