East goes East

Third Space Gallery goes further EAST
EAST goes EAST is a series of contemporary art and community events featuring an exhibition, artist talks, performances and workshops by visiting artists Karen Tam (Montreal), Kitsum Cheng (Vancouver) and Suzanne Caines (Halifax). EAST goes EAST investigates cultural differences and perceptions of Orientalism through the lens of art. EAST goes EAST was listed as a “must see” art event for 2011 in the Globe and Mail (December 31, 2010).
Karen Tam is perhaps best known for her intricate and detailed reproductions of Chinese North American restaurants within gallery or museum settings. For her participation in EAST goes EAST, Tam will be working directly with actual Chinese restaurants in Saint John, creating customized menus, posters, audio playlists, film screenings and decorations. Be sure to check the Third Space Gallery website for updates on participating restaurants. Tam will also conduct a workshop on traditional and contemporary Chinese paper-cutting techniques on February 5 between 12noon-5pm at the Saint John Public Library. All welcome!
Suzanne Caines will re-create her video-documented performance Romance in China, originally created in Beijing in 2009. How will the change in locale alter the meaning of the work, which is based on communication, exchange and the search for authenticity? Between February 3 – 7, the public will have the opportunity to take part in the artist’s investigations into private experiences within the public sphere. The resulting video work, entitled Romance in Saint John, will be launched February 8 at 5pm at the Mary Oland Theatre, New Brunswick Museum, before completing a comparative installation on King Street.
KitSum Cheng will organize a group exhibition of artworks from Third Space members, the general public and herself that will open on January 24 in Market Square. The exhibition will culminate in a veneration ceremony for the dead on the evening of Chinese New Year, February 3, during which the artworks will be burned outdoors at Market Slip starting at 5pm.
Each of the artists will give a presentation of their work on February 4 beginning at 6pm at the Saint John Public Library followed by a roundtable involving the public, the artists and EAST goes EAST curator, Chris Lloyd, on the topics of Orientalism and the notion of the “local”.
EAST goes EAST was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Artists and Community Collaboration Program. Additional support comes from the Multicultural Association of Saint John, The Hardman Group, The Saint John Free Public Library, the Telegraph Journal, Punch Productions, the Province of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Museum, Northern Chinese Kitchen, Fortune Market and Third Space Gallery volunteers.
Timeline of public events:
January 24: EAST goes EAST exhibition opens at 4pm in Market Square
February 3: Kitsum Cheng presents ceremonial burning outdoors at Market Slip, at 5pm. Reception indoors to follow.
February 4: Artist Talks and roundtable discussion at 6pm in the Saint John Free Public Library
February 5: Paper-cutting workshop for all with Karen Tam from 1pm-4pm at the Saint John Free Public Library. (RSVP with Alison Gayton at 654-7233)
February 6 – 10: restaurant visits with Karen Tam (check gallery website for details)
February 8: Romance in China by Suzanne Caines opens at 5pm at the Mary Oland Theatre, New Brunswick Museum
About the artists:
Karen Tam is a visual artist currently completing her PHD at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. She completed her MFA in sculpture in 2002 at The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and her BFA in 2000 at Concordia University, Montreal. She has exhibited widely in Canada and the UK and was a semi-finalist for the 2010 Sobey Art Award.
Suzanne Caines received a MFA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, and holds a BE from Mount St-Vincent and NSCAD Universities, as well as a BFA from NSCAD. She is currently attending the PHD program in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London UK. She has exhibited throughout North America and Europe.
KitSum Cheng graduated from the School of Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in 2009. In the past year, she has exhibited works at the Balcony Gallery, Victoria and participated in the Pursuit: Failure Symposium, Berlin. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC.