Then, now

Jun 19, 2010 - Jul 2, 2010 @ Gendai Gallery at JCCC

Ten years after the Recollection Project, an exhibition that marked the inception of a contemporary gallery situated within Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Gendai looks back on its exhibition history from the year 2000 to today. The exhibition reflects on elements of Gendai's founding programming trajectories, such as the celebration of senior artists such as Aiko Suzuki, Kaz Nakamura, and Walter Sunahara through retrospective exhibitions; propositional commissions challenging the boundaries between craft and contemporary art (Rock Paper Scissors with the pairing of artists Tomie Arai/Yukie Asa, Yoshiko Sunahara/Noriko Maeda, Kai Chan/Tamotsu Torizuka, 2004); and meditations on "the spiritual" as exemplified by solo exhibitions with Sadashi Inuzuka (2005) and Akira Yoshikawa (2006).

This earlier part of the decade is contrasted with archives of recent exhibitions tracking a shift in focus from specific questions around representation and media towards self-organized models of cultural production, within the backdrop of globalized Pan-Asian community. Through Gendai exhibitions and projects such as Empty Orchestra (2008), The Arts of Togetherness (2009), Keywords School (2010) and BAGART (ongoing), artists from Canada, China, Japan and Europe have been dealing more conceptually with the production, presentation and dissemination of their work on an international plane, using interdisciplinary approaches to media such as video, participatory performance, and the internet. Community-specific exhibitions such as Artsu Matsuri and Nihongo Art Contest, and the New Creators Series, an experimental collective curatorial platforms for emerging artists and curators (currently developing its third manifestation), round out current modes of addressing and building community, audiences, and publics.

Then, now begs the question of where Gendai's position is in relation to its earlier articulations of the gallery's mandate as "interested in art in the context of culture and community -- local and global -- and an ongoing interrogation of these elements"? What is clear today is that the conditions for art production have changed towards culturally-specific art practice in Canada and internationally, where questions around representation are much more complex and nuanced. The exhibition aims to be both a tool for research and reflection for past and present Gendai members, the Japanese Canadian and contemporary art community, as well as a proposal to map out the current conditions in order to think about new terms for dealing the question, "where do we go from here?"

In addition to the presentation of archives, a library of past publications, brochures, related research materials and documentaries will be available throughout the exhibition in Gendai's temporary reading room. Join us at the opening Saturday afternoon with light refreshments and some conversation.

Gallery Hours:
Wed - Sun 12-5pm
(Closed Canada Day)