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Image: Amy Wong, AMY 2 ó to 4 yrs., 2024 (detail), cassette tape audio recording. Image courtesy of the artist. Image of gold and black cassette tape, with Amy 2 1/2 to 4 years written in blue ink.
June 19 to November 30, 2024
Organized by Ryan Rice

_other tongues part I communication is centered around the theme of language, communication, and cultural heritage presented through the tangible creative disciplines of art, media, and design. The exhibition aims to raise awareness and broaden the focus of the wide-ranging fragility of language – “mother tongues” – across many cultures and resonate in the face of global environmental and social crises.

lyanu Ajagunna
Schem Rogerson Bader
Susan Blight
Simon Glass
Ursula Handleigh
Julius Poncelet Manapul
Diane Mikhael
Dr. Kathy Moscou
Par Nair
Julia Rose Sutherland
Tommy Truong
Natalie Majaba Waldburger
Amy Wing-Hann Wong 

_other tongues Exhibition Publication

Above image credit: Amy Wong, AMY 2 1/2 to 4 yrs., 2024 (detail), cassette tape audio recording. Image courtesy of the artist.


About the Artists

lyanu Ajagunna is an Irish born and Toronto Based Nigerian Designer who was a staff member of OCAD University's admissions and recruitment team as a provincial recruiter. The work she creates is typically tied to her heritage and is her way of understanding and sharing her identity from both a cultural and personal point of view as a third culture individual. lyanu is not a medium specific artist; predominantly working with acrylic paint, digital illustration, and textiles, but often dabbling in a variety of different forms. 

Schem Rogerson Bader is a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts. They are a scholar, curator and artist working with themes of materiality, archives, 2SLGBTQI+ themes and political economies. Schem recently completed a Research Position with Dr Liz Fitting at Dalhousie University (SSHRC- funded) for a project titled Making the Archive: Coming Out During the AIDS Crisis. Schem completed a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellowship with Archive-Counter Archive at York University and was awarded a Connections Grant (SSHRC- funded) for a National conference and exhibition titled Indexing Resistance: The Blood & Guts of Queer Protest in Canada. Schem has a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from the Joint Graduate Program at York/ TMU Universities and an MFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York. 


Artwork by Schem Rogerson Bader, A Storm is Coming From Paradise, 2024, assemblage, 10 x 10 inches. Black and white photograph in a record envelope, with black ribbons on either side, on a white background.
Image credit: Schem Rogerson Bader, A Storm is Coming From Paradise, 2024, assemblage, 10 x 10 inches. Image courtesy of the Artist

Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. Susan is co-founder of Ogimaa Mikana, an artist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads and landmarks of Anishinaabeg territory with Anishinaabemowin and is a member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide free new media training for Indigenous youth. Susan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in Integrated Media. She is currently a PhD candidate in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) and her dissertation looks at the visual and spatial formations of Anishinaabeg geographies of resistance. Susan is Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Science and most recently, joined The Capilano Review as Associate Editor of the publication's Indigenous Places and Names series. 

Simon Glass is a Toronto-based visual artist. He is a Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University and teaches photography and cross-disciplinary art. Glass graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1983 where he trained as a photographer and visual artist. He completed an M.A. in Media and Communication at the European Graduate School in 2005 with Distinction.

In his artistic practice original, archival and found photography is combined with mystical, liturgical and biblical Hebrew text. His work has also traversed sculpture and installation. In recent work, he examines the poetry of Paul Celan and its relationship to the thought of German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Glass practiced freelance photography for twenty years and his artwork has been exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Ursula Handleigh (she/her) is a Tkaronto Scarborough-born artist and educator of Filipino/a/x mixed-ancestry working within expanded photography, moving image and alternative processes of image making. While challenging traditional methods of documentation, Handleigh's practice explores questions of identity and how the role of memory, ancestral knowledge and storytelling can be used to reconstruct archives and preserve histories. Handleigh holds an MFA from NSCAD University and a BFA from OCAD University. In support of her research, Handleigh has received grants from SSHRC and Canada Council for the Arts. She has participated in numerous residencies and exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Harbourfront Centre and Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier21. Handleigh is currently an Assistant Professor at OCAD University. 

Julius Poncelet Manapul (they/them) (Manila, Philippines 1980) immigrated to Canada in 1990, identifying as a queer migrant Filipinx artist from Ilocano ancestry. In 2009, they completed BFA at OCAD and MFA (UofT) in 2013. Over the last decade, Julius P Manapul has exhibited across North America and Europe. Currently a professor in the Faculty of Arts at OCADU. 

Through research-based art practice, Julius Poncelet Manapul examines eternal displacement, complicated by colonialism, sexual identity, diasporic bodies, global identity construction, and the Eurocentric Western hegemony. Focusing on the hybrid nature of Filipinx culture through post-colonial realities, as well as through the gaze of queer identities as taxonomy, they study narratives specific to diasporic queer bodies; the loss of motherlands, feelings of belonging as a consequence of the colonial pedagogy and imperial power. 

Artwork by Julius Poncelet Manapul, Kamayan na! Erasing My Tagalog (Let’s eat with our hands now!), 2021, video still.  Image courtesy of the artist. 6 gold, blue and white ceramic plates, with text.
Image credit: Julius Poncelet Manapul, Kamayan na! Erasing My Tagalog (Let’s eat with our hands now!), 2021, video still.  Image courtesy of the artist.

Diane Mikhael is an Associate Professor (tenured) in the Graphic Design Department at OCAD University, Toronto. Her research interest revolves around multilingual typography, design and culture, design for social change, design activism, the politics of design, radical futures and the new narratives, and technology in design. 

She is the author of the book Bilingualism in Visual Communication: Visible Forms and Meaning in Arabic and Latin Typography (2017). She is the co-founder and former President of the Middle East Design Educators Association (MEDEA). Diane has more than twenty-seven years of teaching praxis at various design schools in Toronto and internationally. 

Dr. Kathy Moscou is a mixed media artist whose lived experience informs her art, focus on Black cultural aesthetics, research and design for social justice. Her art is representational and uses visual storytelling to explore issues of identity, communicate empowerment, celebrate the Black family, and give homage to elders as knowledge keepers. Recent interactive installations have engaged the public to contribute to the hidden Black history of St John’s Ward – Toronto, Ontario and envision a just and equitable future by “Planting seeds of Change” Her work has been exhibited in Art Gallery of Southwest Manitoba, Royal Ontario Museum, M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery, Seattle, Bellevue Art Museum, Wheat City Nuit Blanche, La Yareta Gallery, Chile, and featured in Toronto, Nuit Blanche. 

Par Nair (she/her) is an Indian born interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator who lives and makes in the GTA (Canada). Her practice which centers hand embroidery, oil painting, installation, and creative writing explores lived experiences of diaspora using decolonial methods and a return to ancestral practices. Par has shown her works nationally and internationally with notable showings at Textile Museum of Canada, Nuit Blanche, Kochi Biennale, Eastern Edge Gallery, Hamilton Artists Inc and Riverdale Gallery. Her recent work is an attempt at unravelling and reimagining historical narratives of Indian women. Par currently teaches drawing at OCAD University. 

Instagram: @parnairr 

Julia Rose Sutherland (JR), is a storyteller, interdisciplinary artist, educator and Assistant Professor at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. She is of Mi’kmaq (Metepenagiag Nation) and half settler descent. Her art practice encompasses a wide range of mediums, including photography, sculpture, textiles and performance. Ms. Sutherland received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University at Buffalo in 2019 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Craft and New Media from Alberta University of the Arts in 2013. Her works have been showcased internationally recently. She has had exhibitions at the Bemis Center of Contemporary Art, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, the K Art Gallery, the WAAP Gallery, and 59 Rivoli Gallery in Paris, France. She’s been recognized with several awards, including the Canada Council for the Arts Creating Knowing Sharing award and the AFA Indigenous Individual Project grant. 

Artwork by Julia Rose Sutherland, Sugulegag "Rotten", 2019, refined sugar, tongue compressors, glass jars, 10” x 72” x 6”. Image courtesy of the artist. Works in glass jars, on a wooden shelf, hung on a white wall.
Image credit: Julia Rose Sutherland, Sugulegag "Rotten", 2019, refined sugar, tongue compressors, glass jars, 10” x 72” x 6”. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tommy Truong is a digital artist, emerging curator, and independent animator, whose work explores the ideas of cultural identity, technological obsession, and storytelling; specifically, how they coincide and complement one another. Recognizing the artistic merit of his practice, Truong was shortlisted for Equitable Bank’s Emerging Digital Artist Award and received OCAD U’s Integrated Media Project 31 Scholarship. Truong currently works at OCAD University as a Technician for the INTM/EXAN Studios. Truong has also exhibited in venues across Toronto like, Xpace Cultural Centre, OCAD University, Artscape, The Royal Cinema, Daniel Spectrum, The Brandscape, Tranzac, and Art Gallery of Ontario. 

Natalie Majaba Waldburger’s current art practice is open-disciplinary and seeks to understand the complexities of respectful collaboration and participatory work in the context of anti-colonial research. In recent years, institutional critique has become the focus for collaborative art practices as a co-founding member of The Drawing Board. As an Associate Professor at OCAD U, Natalie has served as Chair for a number of programs in the faculty of Art including the inaugural Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting / Print Media/ DPXA, Interim Chair of Sculpture / Installation / Life Studies, and currently Chair of Chair for Criticism and Curatorial and Cross-Disciplinary practices. Life Studies has been the focus of Natalie’s appointment at OCAD U. Life Studies is a specialization that brings together the arts, sciences, and humanities to cultivate interdisciplinary studio art practices into a co-taught, multi-level one-room schoolhouse. These pedagogical approaches speak to Natalie’s own art research practice positioned at the intersection of sustainability, social justice, and ecologically-respectful art practices. 

Amy Wing-Hann Wong (b. 1981, Toronto, she/they) is an Angry Asian feminist disguised as an oil painter. Her practice ranges from painting-based installation to collaborative projects that explore the politics of making noise and thinking through together.

Often inverting private and public spaces, Wong asserts ways in which a leakiness and messiness of things can aspire towards feminist and decolonial ways of being. Their practice oscillates between varying systems of representation to evoke non-linear, personal narratives. They often work with what they consider a bad idea or a cliché to redefine them on their own terms. Current research explores mothering as methodology. 

Wong completed her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in 2004, MFA at York University in Toronto, Ontario in 2015, and post-graduate studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2007. Recent projects include The Night of my World at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; A Glitter of Seas at Dreamsong, Minneapolis; Exchange Piece at Design TO; AAFG x Art Metropole x Toronto Art Book Fair at Kem Xuân Huong Ice Cream Shop, Chinatown Centre, Toronto; Alimentary at Obrera Centro, Mexico City. 

About the organizer

Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake, is a curator, critic and creative consultant based in Toronto. His institutional and independent curatorial career spans 30 years in community, museums, artist run centres, public spaces and galleries. Rice is Onsite Gallery’s Executive Director and Curator, Indigenous Art.


Free Public Events

Opening Reception - Wednesday, June 19th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond Street West  

Join us for the public launch of Onsite Gallery’s exhibitions with opening remarks and reception. All are welcome.

Onsite Gallery is generously supported by The Delaney Family.

OCAD University, Onsite Gallery, Generously Supported by The Delaney Family, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Ontario, Toronto Arts Council