Haida Manga Reading Room and Comic Jam Studio

May 7, 2011 - Jun 25, 2011 @ Gendai Gallery at JCCC
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Opening Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2-5pm
Workshops & Talks: Saturday, May 7, Sunday, May 8, Saturday, May 14
Closing Reception: Saturday, June 25, 2-5pm

Gendai Gallery presents Haida Manga Reading Room + Comic Jam Studio, an exhibit of the graphic works of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Joanne Hui, and a series of workshops launching on May 7. Both artists use the form of manga to address unique moments in Canadian history that are particular to their culturally specific histories of activism and resistance.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
After decades as a political activist, renowned senior Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas began to apply classical Haida forms and narratives to contemporary means of communication. He has gained recognition for what he calls “Haida Manga,” combining Northwest Coast formlines with the philosophical underpinnings of Asian graphic novels known as “manga” (Japanese) or “manhwa” (Korean). Though typical neither of Northwest Coast art nor Asian graphic novels, “Haida Manga” addresses contemporary issues in an accessible and emotive manner using classical design elements to communicate socially relevant information. Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ publications include A Tale of Two Shamans (2001), The Last Voyage of the Black Ship (2003), A Lousy Tale (2009), Hachidori (2006), Flight of the Hummingbird (May 2008), RED (2009), A Haida Manga (2009) and The Canoe He Called Loo Taas (2010).

At Gendai, Yahgulanaaas presents a collection of previously unpublished and rarely seen graphic works dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s. On display as reproductions, his work invites visitors to handle and take time reading through these archival materials that document decades long political activism and cultural advocacy work. A highlight of the exhibition is Yahgulanaas’ monumental 15 ft wide watercolour mural, the panels of which make up the pages of his 2009 award-winning publication RED.

Joanne Hui
Joanne Hui is a visual artist and doctoral candidate at Concordia University (Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, Doctorate in Humanities and Philosophy). Her research investigates concepts of identity in comic art, particularly the way in which graphic art addresses culturally specific and historical conditions of migration. Recent works include Shanghai Daily (2008), a travel collage in the form of a graphic novel, and The Potato Wars: Chinese-Canadian Resistance during the Exclusion Era, a comic poster selected for inclusion in the exhibition DIASPORArt; Strategy and Seduction by Canadian Artists from Culturally Diverse Communities (2009-2010) displayed in the Ambassadors Room of Rideau Hall, the official residence of then-Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

A selection of Hui’s originals and reproductions from her recent titles will be on display in tandem with Yahgulanaas’ archival materials. Additionally, Hui will enliven the gallery by conceptualizing and facilitating a series of workshops as the host of Comic Jam Studio at Gendai. Presenting talks by the curator, the artists and guest speakers, Comic Jam Studio invites participants to create a collaborative publication that records the shared experience of the comic jam sessions and discussions on the topics of global citizenship, migration and cultural activism.

Guest curated by Liz Park

Haida Manga Reading Room + Comic Jam Studio is made possible through the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council.

Events

Free Art Bus Tour (Manga Edition)

Sat May 7, 2011 - 2:00 pm @ T.B.A.

Mini Tours by Artists Joanne Hui, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and guest curator Liz Park

Sat May 7, 2011 - 2:45 pm @ Gendai Gallery @JCCC

Artist Talk & Book Signing at Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Sun May 8, 2011 - 11:15 am @ Toronto Reference Library - Beaton Auditorium 789 Yonge St., Toronto

Comic Jam Workshop Series Hosted by Joanne Hui - Workshop 1

Sat May 7, 2011 - 2:00 pm @ Gendai Gallery @JCCC

Comic Jam Workshop Series Hosted by Joanne Hui - Workshop 2

Sat May 14, 2011 - 2:00 pm @ Gendai Gallery @JCCC

Closing Reception with Workshop Publication Launch

Wed Jun 15, 2011 - 2:00 pm @ Gendai Gallery @JCCC

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