Wen-Li Chen: To My Unborn Child

When 14 Sep 2018 - 10 Nov 2018
Where Richmond Art Gallery
7700 Minoru Gate
Richmond V6Y 1R9
Enquiry 604.247.8300

Talk and Tour with Curator Tyler Russell: September 13, 6-7pm
Opening Reception: September 13, 7-9pm
Richmond Art Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm

Wen-Li Chen, whose practice focuses on matrilineal/mother–daughter/grandmother–granddaughter communication, memory, and processes of identity loss and formation, examines these questions in her new work, To My Unborn Child. A dynamic multi-media installation featuring video, light, and book-making, To My Unborn Child struggles to consider what can be held on to and what might be lost in this transmission between generations. What is the texture and form of memory? Beyond mere text and toward the embodied and highly personal, when memory is transferred from mother to child through the womb, what is its form? How is it felt? How is it held? How does the child feel it? Can it passed on? What new shapes accrue?

To My Unborn Child derives from the artist’s research, sourced from family archives, household objects, conversations with family and friends, official government documents, recent documentation of her village’s infrastructure, newspaper articles, forgotten textbooks, and didactic historical texts. Chen presents her findings as a conversation with her unborn child, using experimental image-making processes that, in her words, imagine “how the child is going to experience life as her mother did, learning something lost and missed in fragments and blurry pieces. When the baby is inside the womb, she can only experience the world through blurry light and sound through the fetal membrane. This resembles the way I have grasped, collected, and gathered fragments of memory and history from personal experience and everyday life in order to understand and learn about what Kavalan means.”

Wen-Li Chen is an artist based in Taiwan and the United States. She holds a Masters of Design in Photography from the Glasgow School of Art and has exhibited her work in Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She is founder and executive director of FOGSTAND Gallery & Studio (立霧工作坊), based in Hualien, Taiwan and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Image courtesy of the organizer.

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