The University of Waterloo Art Gallery starts off 2017 by unveiling Yonder, an exhibit that brings together first- and second-generation Canadian artists from diverse cultural backgrounds. According to the gallery description, Yonder explores “themes of intercultural translation, displacement, and identity construction,” drawing on the immigrant condition.
The exhibit extends beyond the gallery to around the perimeter of East Campus Hall. Outside the south entrance to UWAG is There Are Greater Tragedies by Divya Mehra, a flag with the words “my arrival is your undoing” printed on it. Found at the west entrance of ECH is the sound installation Don’t You Like Us by Jinny Yu, featuring a looped audio of overlapped voices speaking in a harsh tone and quoting lines from the Hitchcock film The Birds.
At the centre of the exhibit is Balikbayan Bakla Maya by Julius Poncelet Manapul. The balikbayan box, an object used by Filipinos to send care packages home, forms the base of the sculpture with handcrafted birds flying out of them.
At the back of the gallery is Weather: an Immigrant Perspective by Sarindar Dhaliwal, a full-colour photographic print with words crafted from marigolds, relating to the nostalgia of the weather and plant life left behind.
Some of the works also use collage to express their message. Dislocated History by Z’otz* Collective — a group of artists connected by their Latin American roots — incorporates pastel, charcoal, and paper collage into their work.
Somewhere by Blue Republic is also a photo collage of a landscape of stamps and coins collaged on. These pieces “allude to [the] process of remembering and finding one’s bearings between the once- and the not-yet home,” according to the artist statement.
The exhibit also contains two single-channel video installations: Standing Leg and Andrew’s Feet by Brendan Fernandes. These videos draw from Fernandes’ experience as a professional classical dancer.
Yonder showcases many pieces exploring experiences as an immigrant, found both inside and outside of the gallery and runs till March 4.