Art is not only about personal expression. Art works function simultaneously as historical and contemporary objects, bearing traces of place and global influence.- Dr. Sara Diamond, Guest speaker
The 2015 edition of the Emerging Young Artists Group Exhibition presents works under the theme A Tale of Two Cities. Young artists with international orientation were asked to interpret the theme with a focus on the city engraved in their memory. In our times intensely expanding on the context of globalization, cities physically connected by roads and vehicles, where goods move across in speed, seem to portray our webbed world. But people are the real linking thread and young artists with their natural liking to mobility, tend to materialize this thread in their works.
It was not long ago, just the leap of one generation, when leaving a city, your city or any city, meant that all you could carry with you was a memory; your memory, a very personal chest of images, experiences and life moments. With the new wider horizon formed by globalization in our century, physical boundaries are altered; the abundance of information circulating around the globe has put the act of leaving and the memory of a place into another context. The experience of the individual is enriched by the massive flow of information fed into the web every second. This has added to our life an unforeseen dynamic, emphasized by a sense of belonging resulted from a casually shared existence through the social media. This sense of common experience is expressed in the works of young artists through the multi-dimensional exploration of mediums and styles. Pluralistic orientation is the common ground where young artists find the freedom to develop their individual views. Local history and marginal culture move alongside, also finding a place in the contemporary tale.
The city gives different experiences to different people. It can be the trusted environment of your hometown, that inspiring place full of opportunities, or the ground where love flourished. For those with roots in two cities, there is always a clash in the mind. They are confronted with the perpetual comparison between two selves and the links that broke and grew again, in another form, elsewhere. The knowledge and experience from different cities are advantages that young artists bring forth by voicing thoughts about culture, politics, history and themselves.
Artists leading successful paths unceasingly pursue new ideas and embrace changes and differences. It is this self-achieved environment that permits fresh thinking, surprising style and rich emotional experience initiating the spark for creating original works. Next to that, the creative use of information allows the artists to innovate their artistic skills, to experiment with various new materials and to manifest through their work their autonomous pursuit of a contemporary meaning of life. A Tale of Two Cities suggests a selection of works created in this spirit by young artists reflecting the values of individual differences, diversity and inclusion in various dimensions such as academic discipline, race, gender, age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The visions of the selected twenty-three artists form an exhibition consisting of paintings, prints, photography, installations and sound works. The exercising of their memory imprinted in the works tells us stories of links between faraway places, as far as Bangladesh and Toronto, Halifax and Beijing. In their eclectic observations, the artists identify the changes of their self when posed among different people and in different places; young artists with their sensors alert convey these changes with the clarity of the pure. Their new artistic visions create an exhibition that looks into the future of art. Still honing their artistic vocabulary and mastery, all the participants are enrolled in recognized post-secondary/ graduate level institutions as full-time or part-time students or fellows. Eight Canadian institutions and two international institutions are represented by their students in this edition of Emerging Young Artists Group Exhibition. We are proud to list them: OCAD University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University School of Image Arts, York University, Waterloo University, Western University, NSCAD University, Alberta College of Art + Design, Academy of Art University and China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
February 27 - March 3, 2015
Arta Gallery, 14 Distillery Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4