Image: Poster designed by OCAD University Graphic Design student Phoebe Chen.
Exhibition fosters community with artwork by Asian-identifying students & faculty
Blueprint for a Collective Home, an exhibition that tackles anti-Asian racism and building community through art, opened on April 8 on the second floor of 100 McCaul St. at OCAD University.
On view until April 20, the show’s over 40 multimedia works by students and faculty at OCAD U reimagine the home as an environment that is free from gender roles, stereotypes and other structures of harm.
Co-curated by Drawing and Painting student Emerald Repard-Denniston and Photography student Loanne II Tran and co-organized by Sculpture and Installation students Katie Luu and Jason Mendiola as well as Life Studies student Aysia Tse, the exhibition will create a space for reconnection, sharing, healing and love.
“We hope to have everyone contribute to the building of a safe shared space. Together we can engage in mutual learning and dialogue with one another,” notes Tse.
While building this structure together, the artists’ works consider the intersectional complexities and experiences of what home means to those living in the diaspora. Participating artists are also offering a series of workshops from April 8 to 20 on topics that include printmaking, the relationship between mehndi (also known as henna) and identity, crocheting and mahjong.
“As a community, we invest in a space where we are seen, heard and valued. We invite the audience into our home to consider their own relationality and involve them in the process of building safe(r) space(s),” the organizers note in their exhibition statement.
Blueprint for a Collective Home is presented by the AZN Artists Collective, a student led group at OCAD U made up of Asian creatives working to build community strength and solidarity, co-founded by Repard-Denniston and Tran. Through art, they come together to address identity, political concerns and issues of social justice.
“We’re coming together and rebuilding a space for all Asian-identifying bodies that is free of trauma, stereotypes and Western ideologies. This exhibition allows us to heal as a community and provide long term loving support,” notes Tran who is a co-founder of the AZN Artists Collective.
The exhibition has been made possible with support from the OCAD U Student Union, the Office of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost, the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Arts & Science. Community supporters include the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto (CCNCTO).
The AZN Artists Collective stands in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of Canada and commit to working within a decolonial approach to art and community making.