Rock/Paper/Scissors (Jan Ken Pon)
Collaborative installations by Tomie Arai/Yukie Asa, Yoshiko Sunahara/Noriko Maeda, Kai Chan/Tamotsu Torizuka Curated by Marilyn Jung and Aiko Suzuki Rock Paper Scissors (Jan Ken Pon) is comprised of three site specific installations and are the result of six artists working collaboratively - three who work within "traditional" Asian art forms have been paired with three who work within a contemporary art framework. Each artist's practice has been highlighted through a dynamic process that does not fit easy designations.
The artists, working in pairs, negotiated between the tenets and processes of their respective practices to produce works that reflect that dynamic interchange. This exhibit is dedicated to the late Walter Sunahara. This exhibition is ideally situated to dissolve boundaries between traditional and craft-designated cultural practices and contemporary art practices. The resulting artworks are intriguing hybridities that will confound viewers' preconceived ideas of "traditional" vs. "contemporary", "craft" vs. "fine art", "artisan" vs. "artist" and, finally, "east" vs. "west". While some of these artists may have received formal training in Japan, their practices have continued to evolve here in Canada and other parts of the world, subject to western influences and those of other art disciplines. In the same way, the contemporary artists, whose work may be inflected by their cultural heritage, often draw on diverse cultural iconography and materials while having formally trained in Euro-American art practices. Hybridity, therefore, will be found in varying degrees throughout these artists' works. Through collaboration, these artists have examined their modes of practice in a self-conscious way, and have undergone a galvanizing process of negotiation, and enrichment.