The Making of An Archive — Reel Asian International Film Festival

Tue Nov 11, 2014 - 1:00 pm - Sat Nov 15, 2014 - 6:00 pm @ Various locations

Gendai is pleased to present The Making of an Archive once again in the Greater Toronto Area, in partnership with Reel Asian International Film Festival.

Workshop dates and locations:

November 11, Art Gallery of Ontario Weston Family Learning Centre (AGO), 1-5pm
November 12, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), 1-5pm
November 13, Aga Khan Museum (AKM), 1-5pm
November 15, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts (RHCPA), 2-6pm

Bring with you: your family photo albums, your family members and your friends!

During the workshop, artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen will facilitate scanning and conversation sessions around your photos. Your photos and stories will then become part of the collective narrative of immigration in Canada through their inclusion in The Making of an Archive.


There were two main catalysts for the initiation of Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen’s project, The Making of an Archive. One was the photo albums of the artist’s father, an amateur photographer who took countless photographs of his daily life when he first immigrated to Canada in the 70’s. The second was the research Nguyen did for 1967: A People Kind of Place, her sci-fi documentary created out of archival material the artist found of Canada’s centennial which celebrated the implementation of the country’s point-based immigration system. Her research into various national archives for the film—from the CBC, the National Film Board and the Ottawa Archives—turned up surprisinglty very little under searches for “multiculturalism” or hardly any evidence of the everyday lives of immigrants in Canada who came to live under this new system.

The lack of representation of the immigrant’s daily life in state narratives seems paradoxical for a country that is internationally known as the instigator of multiculturalism. Meanwhile, the printed images that her father took, much like countless albums collecting dust in homes across Canada, will soon disappear with age, becoming forgotten or lost. Due to this visual deficiency and threat of disappearance, Nguyen initiated The Making of an Archive, a project that seeks to collect images of everyday life photographed by Canadian immigrants, in a direct, collective and exploratory approach.

The Making of an Archive invites newcomers and families of newcomers to Canada post 1967 to digitize their photographic documents and share their personal histories. These scanned documents together with their corresponding narratives, will eventually be made public via an online platform. With this project we ask, what is the process of building a collective archive? and how do we come to understand our own pictures, together?

Quebecois-Canadian of Vietnamese origin, Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is a research-based artist currently living and working in Brooklyn (US) and Stockholm (SE). Nguyen recently completed the Whitney Independent Study Program (Studio 2010-11), and obtained her MFA and a postgraduate diploma in Critical Studies at the Malmö Art Academy (2003-05). She has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and has exhibited both internationally and nationally.

For more information on The Making of an Archive visit the website here.
For more information on Model Minority visit our blog here.

The Making of an Archive is a project by artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, commissioned by Gendai Gallery and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Related Events

Screening and artist talk with Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen

Sat Feb 1, 2014 - 12:00 pm @ A Space Gallery

Unlearning the Making: What makes a counter-archive? Roundtable Workshop with Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen

Sun Nov 9, 2014 - 11:00 am @ CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St, Toronto, 3rd Floor, Room #4

The Making of an Archive – Peterborough

Tue Nov 18, 2014 - 12:00 pm @ T.B.A.