Table of Contents
Day 1 – Friday April 16
Emerald Repard-Denniston – Story of Isolation
Han(a) Clayton – Outside, Inside
Kalore Cao – The Alley
Sofija Lupert – Time for Tea
Jeremy Saya – The Hanged Man (Self-portrait)
Huda Salha – After the Last Frontiers–These Are NOT the Keys
Par Nair – Memory
Kalina Nedelcheva – (Settler) Land Acknowledgement
David Khazam – Scans
Day 2 – Saturday April 17
Mohammed Abdullah (Double Aye) – PROJEKT: CROSSROADS
Eepa Lee – Process of: Dreamy illustration using watercolour and coloured pencils
Rachel Kim – Online Shopping
Joan Nuguid – Dearest
Evelyn Trista Baik – Swimmning
Charlotte Durnford-Dionne – Moon Baby
Kiana Rezvani Baghae – We Are Not Alone
Hyun Young Yang – Pinwheel
Si Yuet Cheung (Jessie) – Clown Consume
Brigitte Sampogna and Justin Mezzapelli – Converse/Traverse
About the Works
Emerald Repard-Denniston, Story of Isolation , 3 minutes, 33 seconds
The discrimination and racism towards Asians have been at the forefront of my mind since covid began. I have had a very isolated experience during this pandemic. I am working right now on animation responding to my experience during Covid-19. I incorporate the concept of ‘the one way mirror” in relation to my cultural erasure and whitewashing. I represent times and places where my body has roamed uncomfortably. I bring up personal struggles with internal racism, assimilation, and discrimination. This is a video collage animation, specifically cut-out motion. It includes illustrations, photos, and animations. I include figurative tropes like the “Yellow Peril”. Photos are collected of my real lived spaces, like my birth town in China, downtown Toronto, and North Vancouver. I’ve been inspired by Howie Tsui’s Retainers of Anarchy.
Han(a) Clayton, Outside, Inside , 2 minutes, 31 seconds
The title of this work is Outside, Inside, as it is heavily inspired by Dr. Leroy Littlebear’s exploration of the theory of Flux in relation to the interconnectedness of all things in existence, and challenges western notions of linear time and space. In my work, Within and Out, I use natural surroundings interacting with my trans body to represent the endless potentialities, and possibilities of queerness through the lens of Flux. The movement of branches against my body represents the universal energy waves that flow between and through all things.
Kalore Cao, The Alley, 3 minutes, 4 seconds
The Alley is an original song composed by Kalore Cao, inspired by the reverence toward nature and pondering the human relationship with the natural world. The video consists of playing the portative organ, interacting with the animals and the forest, creating illustrations, and dancing in the woods. It is an introspection of how we, as people, should treat the natural world, especially during this unconventional pandemic time. Worth mentioning this portative organ is a medieval musical instrument handmade and imported from Germany. Each note is sounded by pumping the air through the pipe tube by pressing the concordance, an air pumper handmade from parchment and Maplewood. The Alley aims to bring the audience to contemplate the sublimeness of nature and ponder the simple way of life. Let us walk into the enchanting woods and answer the deepest desire of our hearts – our search for the true selves.
Sofija Lupert, Time for Tea, 1 minute, 27 seconds
Time for Tea suggests an eerie fortune of death from a tea reading. It is an older creepier tone to a favored past time of drinking tea. While the process of making this tea is relaxing and meditative, it is what is left at the bottom of the cup that has our hearts racing. The soft music hums along with the call of a crow in the darkness. The orange hues capture the chilling qualities of this concoction of herbs. The bad omen in the teacup leaves us with little information, but a lot to think about. Alongside this video, there is a composite photograph depicting the aftermath of the scene that has unfolded after being witness to the reading of the tea leaves. We question what might have happened with a shocking drop at the end of the video. It’s time for you to find out your future in this ancient art practice of leaf divination. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a better ending.
Jeremy Saya, The Hanged Man (Self-portrait), video documentation of installation, 2019. 3 minutes, 53 seconds
The Hanged Man is a work inspired by the tarot card of the same name. The light source passes through the moving print, projecting the image onto the walls of the space. This projection is at the whim of the movement created by the fan below. In the tarot, The Hanged Man represents surrender, change and transformation. The relationship between these themes and the body represented in the work explores the impermanence and fluctuation of identity.
Huda Salha, After the Last Frontiers–These Are NOT the Keys. 2 minutes, 9 seconds
The meaning of artifacts can change depending on their connection to places and historical context. For Palestinians, keys hold a different meaning. They are connected to a violent colonial context, marking Palestinians’ forceful displacement from their homes in 1948. Unlike other objects that people leave behind in similar situations, the keys are the objects that Palestinians carried with them when they locked their doors for the last time before they were displaced. They are a symbol encapsulating the lost homes and homeland and everything left behind. Consequently, keys are dominant in the Palestinian collective memory. As a national symbol of the Right of Return, they carry emotional as well as legal value.
I use a psychoanalytic approach and create disfigured objects—keys that are non-functional to disturb their familiarity and to highlight their non-materialistic significance. Additionally, this depiction of disfigured keys suggests that the keys no longer hold functional values, but are mere objects of memory that connect them to the past of their owners. They reflect the absurdity of all the injustices that humans inflict on each other. This work aims to awaken the viewers to current situations of violence and oppression in the world and make them question the dominant discourses dictated by hegemonic systems.
The keys are cast in bronze, aluminum and iron. The variety of materials reflects class distinctions and demonstrates how this upheaval affected Palestinians of all classes, colour and religion, rendering it a collective experience. While bronze or brass are among the most expensive and sturdy metals, many of the original keys were often made of iron, hence their heavy weight. The key installation is divided by an LED sign running a poem in both English and Arabic by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, titled The Earth is Closing on Us.
Par Nair, Memory. 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
The yearning for a home and sense of belonging becomes one of melancholy due to the multiplicity of stories and realities in migrant/settler journeys. The work calls for safe spaces of communal healing and new knowledge creation while acknowledging oppressive structures and colonial damage. This short video piece titled Memory (2021) features the artist performing with her grandmother’s diary while recalling a visceral yet fragmented memory of her mother braiding her hair. It is a meditation on intimacy as well as estrangement. It is a memory the artist keeps close to her heart.
Kalina Nedelcheva, (Settler) Land Acknowledgement. 5 minutes, 50 seconds
The video documents a walk from my home to Trinity Bellwoods that I make frequently to manage anxiety levels during the lockdown(s). It traces my steps and my throughs through a combination of poetic reflection and disruptive visuals that honor the histories of the land that are still present today. The cinematography purposefully denotes the cyclicality of my movements, as well as the repetition and cyclicality of time. The shots are sporadic, but balanced and symmetric, reflecting my feelings in a chaotic state of solitude. The billboard is part of Gallery TPW’s project MOVEMENTS. The photograph is part of a series titled Piliutiyara (2019) by Inuvialuk artist Kablusiak that “deconstructs the sexualization of Indigenous women and femmes by making viewers hyper-aware of the settler-colonial gaze.” I pay homage to it because I am the colonial gaze and I recognize that I need to strive to do better. I also turn to it to say I am sorry as it is the only Indigenous labor I see around me at the time of my walk.
David Khazam, Scans. 2 minutes 10 seconds.
I have been searching for alternative processes to convey ideas. Having the advantage of knowing the functionality of some devices used to create images and sound, it became a goal for me to explore the limits of those devices and use them as a creative tool. While learning how cameras capture images I had a recurring thought: if optics had the function of focusing and sharpening the pictures, what would happen if that element was switched or replaced all together? how would those images look?
After experimenting with various methods I started using flatbed scanners as the main tool for my creative process. The particularities of the device brought different challenges and opportunities at the time of making images. SCANS deals with the collaboration that exists between me and the scanner in the development of this piece, the artist and the device working together and responding to each other’s inputs, identifying the scanner’s limitations as potential advantages and the device’s output as pieces of an abstract sequence of motion images.
For this iteration, I created a video where I explore light, reflection, abstraction and the material aspect of the elements involved in the process, in conjunction with the functionality of the flatbed scanner to produce abstract sequences that I animate and edit.
Mohammed Abdullah (Double Aye), PROJEKT: CROSSROADS. 2 minutes, 24 seconds
PROJEKT: CROSSROADS is a 2D animation that showcases the narrative of Abdullah’s Characters, Ryit and Crosshair as they resolve their ever-going conflict with one another. It appropriates popular anime fight scenes, Kakashi vs Obito (Naruto) and Zoro vs Ain (One Piece). The fighting is edited according to modern hip-hop music, which is uncommon in anime fight scenes, but pays homage to the AMV creators and its aesthetic to give the animation an energetic feel to it.
The plot revolves around two contrasting characters. They light-heartedly yet aggressively fight over their dislike of one another while the animation displays their memories during the fight. Even though they do not want to kill one another due to their childhood memories, Ryit gets stabbed with the same knife that was involved in the murder of her sister. When the memories are pieced together, it gives an insight to the deeper narrative between their hatred and why Ryit may be chasing Crosshair. In addition to who may be orchestrating their conflict. Which is left for the viewer to decipher.
Eepa Lee, Process of: Dreamy illustration using watercolour and coloured pencils. 6 minutes
In this video, I share my process of creating one of my illustrations named “Alert! Glow Star Thieves!” with an original story, which is much like a children’s book. The story goes like this:
“Under the bed, there lived fairies who only awakened when the night was at its darkest. The fairies adored the glowing stars on the wall. Unlike the dusty and dark shadow they lived in, the glow stars made their fingertips feel warm. One night, they decided to take some stars off the wall and bring them down the bed while the owner of the room was deep asleep.”
I also explain my thoughts when working on an illustration and take you along with my art-making processes. I start by laying out the colours and tones using watercolour paint and then add details by layering coloured pencils.
Rachel Kim , Online Shopping . 1 min 42 seconds
In this animation, COVID does not end until 2030, and the online shopping technology has come a long way in the past 10 years. It is about a girl who gets bored during her long quarantine. She searches for fun things to do on her computer, and the ads for customizable robots are all over the internet. She finally clicks the link and she immediately falls in love with the robot character that she builds. The site claims that it is on sale, so she decides to order one. The robot gets delivered in seconds with the extremely advanced delivering technology, but it seems quite off from how it looked on the site. But she loves her robot anyway. It is a satire of the industry that uses all kinds of strategies to make us purchase new stuff more and more. We get fooled by it every time.
Joan Nuguid, Dearest. 2 minutes, 45 seconds
It is a 2 minute and forty-five second video of a horizontal image that pans up and down. The image is a scattering of white, blue and earthy red prints on a black backdrop. It is accompanied by sounds of someone moving around a room; lifting papers, opening and closing doors, moving pencil cases, dropping random objects. The subtitles tell a story about the human and animal relationship but are ambiguous enough that it is open for audience interpretation. It ends with a static humming song.
Evelyn Trista Baik, Swimmning. 4 minutes, 10 seconds
Swimmning is originally titled in Chinese Character 游泳 (youying, or youyoung). This is the term usually used to describe the action of swimming, especially fish, swimming in circular motion. The video was inspired by a flock of white goldfish living in a small fish bowl and the desire for freedom. The main video of the dancer was taken at the Han River, which is the symbol of Korean nation, the origin of the ethnicity. By juxtaposing the footage of the swimming fish with the actions of a Korean Traditional Dancer, this video presents the struggles the fish might experience, wondering if it should escape or stay where it is. The music is a combination of lots of different Korean Traditional Music: Ajeng, Sanjo, Gueum, Geomungo Sanjo, Manjosang Haewongyeong.
Charlotte Durnford-Dionne, Moon Baby. 2 minutes, 5 seconds
For this project, I decided to explore felt not only as a tool for sculptural construction but for editorial style illustration. Inspired by three-dimensional illustrators like Hudson Christie and Walter Wick, I decided to focus on the unique qualities the felted medium could offer to diorama style illustration. As Susan Brown, an assistant curator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, explains, felt is made not by knitting or weaving but by matting wool fibers together using water and friction. The result, she said, “is very comforting, warm and inviting.” (McKeough). I figured this “warmth” would translate nicely to my colorful and playful illustration style.
Kiana Rezvani Baghae, We Are Not Alone. 52 seconds
To connect the effects of astronomy on culture, I have written, drawn, and musically composed an animation. On the one hand, the narrative is inspired by the scientific revelations of Flat Earthers, Geocentrism, and Heliocentrism. On the other hand, the narrative and music are capturing an enticing story about detachment, individual investigation of truth, a journey of learning, perseverance, and collaboration.
Hyun Young Yang, Pinwheel. 2 minutes, 6 seconds
My work is about building interfaces for my body. Pinwheel (2020) is a breath interface, based on Arduino with 5 DC motors. As a person who enjoys observing the invisible and expressing it, I materialized wind through physical computing. The front foils flap in the wind and touch the foil behind them. As soon as the foils meet, they function as switches, and the pinwheels start spinning. When the wind stops and the foils fall off each other, the pinwheels stop spinning soon. I wanted to give a pinwheel, which means wind, to everyone who felt stuffy, including me, as the time to stay indoors was longer due to the pandemic. The wind is made by breath and connects pinwheels to people as interactive art.
Si Yuet Cheung (Jessie), Clown Consume (2020), 1 minute, 3 seconds. Frame by frame animation
A clown binge eating and throwing up, with intensifying bassline in the background.
Brigitte Sampogna and Justin Mezzapelli, Converse/Traverse (2021). 5 minutes
Inspired by the photographic conversation and essay, Converse/Traverse uses the language of the moving image to illustrate an exchange between two voices. The conversation flows through environments in which either artist perceives dissociations. Graphic elements and personally nostalgic qualities connect the images, suggesting a movement through time – both in the dialogue and among spaces. Converse/Traverse is a video that emerges from two friends at a time when they desire to move forward, yet remain stagnant.