Art by Xiangmei Su
Opening Reception: Wednesday October 11th 7 – 9pm
Culture Days Hands-on Workshop: Saturday October 14th 2 – 4pm
Artist Talk: Wednesday October 18th 7 – 9pm
Exhibition: October 12th – November 4th Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Artist Xiangmei Su (苏向) lives in an era where the natural climate is changing drastically, the economic direction is accelerating, and human productivity is making great strides. New energy, new materials, 5G communications, artificial intelligence, etc. are taking mankind into wider unknown areas. As the other wing of human society, art will inevitably develop and evolve with the pace of science, technology and economy.
From witnessing her grandmother using wooden looms to make traditional textiles, to observing the mechanical assembly line in her father’s factory, to creating her own contemporary art and becoming a full-time artist, Su uses her talent, wisdom, and personal immigration experience to create unique works of art. She passed through Suzhou, a famous cultural town in China, roaring contemporary industrial cities, and arrived in Canada, where the cultures are intertwined. Painting, installation, and fibre material art have transformed into new extensions and connotations in her hands.
The lines in the Intricately Woven Series of paintings are clear in latitude and longitude, sparse and orderly, exquisite, three-dimensional, and unpredictable. They bring our sight into the profound spatial dimension and inspire us to explore the essence through phenomena. The maze-like “factories,” “workshops,” “parts” and “units,” and other contemporary industrial images she depicts with single-toned lines make us stand in awe of the great wisdom and productivity of mankind, and at the same time make us realize human insignificance. We have conquered matter and improved efficiency, so where will technology take us?
In her installation works, she uses canvas as a two-dimensional medium and uses pins and threads to carefully weave three-dimensional works on the surface of the canvas. This series of works are neither textiles nor paintings, but installations that utilize fibre materials, light, colour and space. Through the artist’s special perspective, social productivity transforms material into brand new things in a specific environment.
Su’s latest installation “Interweaving (交织)” will also be exhibited this time. She used ancient techniques, traditional tools, and her usual symbol of material culture – thread, and used her mother’s dowry suitcase as a “prism” to “refract” onto the wall the maps of Suzhou and Vancouver, the two cities where she had lived. The complex trajectory of fate and journey are visualized to tell the story of the destiny and journey of life.
The Chinese sage Wang Yangming’s “investigating things to gain knowledge (格物致知)” is about obtaining true knowledge through exhaustive investigation of things. Su’s artistic practice, artistic works, and artistic style well reflect this cognitive proposition. She gained new knowledge from the “investigation” of traditional crafts, regional culture, and creative media, and maintained and managed her relationship with history, tradition, humanity, and nature, and then used new artistic techniques and forms to interpret new world and era.
Intricately Woven: Art by Xiangmei Su will open at Lipont Gallery, 4211 No. 3 Road, Richmond BC from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday October 11, 2023. The exhibition remains on view until November 4th. The gallery opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is free.
On Saturday, October 14th, from 2:00pm to 4:00 pm, Su will lead the audience in a hands-on workshop during the Culture Days (https://culturedays.ca/), using canvas, pins, thread, and other materials to create installation works. The workshop is free and open to people of 12 years old and above. Please register at https://suworkshop.eventbrite.ca.
On the evening of Wednesday, October 18th, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Su will introduce her creative process and works to the audience in detail. The talk is free and open to public. Please register at https://sutalk.eventbrite.ca.
千丝万缕 – 苏向艺术展
开幕：2023年10月11日星期三19:00 – 21:00
艺术手工坊：2023年10月14日星期六14:00 – 16:00
艺术家讲座：2023年10月18日星期三19:00 – 21:00
展览：2023年10月12日至11月4日，周二至周六11:00 – 18:00免费开放
【千丝万缕 – 苏向艺术展】将于2023年10月11日星期三晚19:00 – 21:00时在温哥华力邦美术馆开幕。展览至11月4日结束。周二至周六11:00 至18:00免费开放。
10月14日星期六14:00 – 16:00时, 苏向将于 “加拿大文化日 (Culture Days)” 期间带领观众进行艺术手工创作，用画布，大头针，线等材料创作装置作品。免费对12岁以上人士开放，敬请注册 https://suworkshop.eventbrite.ca
10月18日星期三晚19:00 – 21:00时，苏向将以讲座的形式为观众详解她的创作历程和作品。免费开放，座位有限，敬请预订 https://sutalk.eventbrite.ca
Xiangmei Su – Artist Biography
Xiangmei Su is a multimedia artist from China who now lives in Canada. She received her B.A. in Visual Art at University of British Columbia. She works with installation, painting, photography, and video. Su has exhibited several solo and group shows in both China and Canada. Her first solo show The Wind was exhibited in Changshu Art Museum in China in 2012. Su was an artist-in-residence at Dr. Sun Yet- Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver from January 28th to June 30th, 2022 and her solo show Intangible Thread – Part Two was presented at the Garden. She has published two catalogues. In 2020, she was invited for a TED Talk, Becoming Who I Am. In 2022, she was invited to be an Exhibition Advisor for West Vancouver Community Art’s Council’s Jury for Exhibitions at the Kay Meek Art Centre.
Her art practices deal with the relations between spaces (cultural, natural, social and individual) and her own cultural identity. The subject of immigration is the one that holds personal meaning for her. Like other immigrants, from her hometown, Changshu, China to Vancouver, Canada, she has been crossing borders and cultures, struggling with the formation of a transnational identity and re-identifying herself as Chinese-Canadian. As a new immigrant in Canada, she experienced both peace and conflict. On one hand, she needed to learn and understand the newness in order to fit into her host country. On the other hand, she always feels the primordial pull of her origin. Notions of identity and belonging are consistently in flux and are always being renegotiated by the individual. After struggling between these two cultures for years, she realized that it was impossible and unreasonable for her to actually have a single cultural identity. She started to ask herself what it would be like to live ‘in-between’ spaces, cultures and countries. She eventually shifted to a different investigation of her cultural identity within a new space. She found herself transforming as space and time interweaved to produce complex configurations of individuality and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion. These notions combine and overlap to form her new transcultural identities.
苏向 – 艺术家简介
苏向是一位来自中国的多媒介艺术家,现居加拿大。她在加拿大温哥华卑诗大学(UBC) 获得视觉艺术学士学位。她从事装置、绘画、摄影和视频方面的创作。苏曾在中国和加拿大举办过多次个展和群展。2012年她的第一个个展【风】在中国常熟美术馆展出。苏于2022年1月28日至6月30日在温哥华孙中山中国古典园林的常驻艺术家。她出版了两本画册。2020年,她受邀参加 Tedx 演讲:成为我自己。2022年,她受邀西温哥华社区艺术委员会担任在Kay Meek艺术中心展览评审团的展览顾问。
Artist Statement – Intricately Woven
During my childhood, I always saw my mum sitting on a big loom. A wooden shuttle was flying back and forth between two layers of cotton thread. Different plaid patterns slowly appeared. Hundred thread under my her hands were eventually transforming into a beautiful piece of cloth.
However, as time passed, the traditional wood loom began to vanish. New industries were rising in China. My father started to build up his high tech-knowledge factory. The conventional oil went through different, giant machines and came out white powder which was the main material of insulation for iPhone and space flight in the world. China’s economy was growing very quickly.
At the same time, the significant migration was brewing in China. People left rural areas for urban centres and foreign countries, in order to look for new opportunities. My family was part of this great migration, moving from the countryside to the city, and I, myself, left for Canada to pursue education. My new life in Canada brought about substantial changes, presenting both harmony and discord. I faced the challenge of adapting to a new culture while still feeling a strong connection to my roots. This internal struggle led me to question my true identity.
Over time, I eventually shifted to a different investigation of my cultural identity with a new understanding. Like the mum’s thread and father’s conventional oil have gone through long and hard processes, eventually becoming the final products with their specific missions. I have discovered a metamorphosis within myself, where the interplay of space and time weaves intricate patterns of individuality and identity, blending the past and present, the internal and external, and the realms of inclusion and exclusion. This amalgamation has given rise to my new transcultural identities. – Xiangmei Su 2023
艺术家陈述 – 千丝万缕系列作品
XIANGMEI SU – CV
Discipline: Installation, Photography, Video, Painting and Drawing
Research Interest: Identity and cultural hybridity
Dept. of Visual Arts, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
2022 Intangible Thread: Part Two, Thread and Pin on Canvas, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC., Canada
2022 Intangible Thread: Part One, Painting and Installation, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC., Canada
2020 Interweaving, Painting and Installation, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC., Canada
2019 Fragments of Memory, Painting and Installation, Yeats Studio & Gallery, West，Vancouver, BC, Canada
2018 Crossing Between Grids, Photography and Installation,R Space, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012 The Wind, Photography, video and Installation. Changshu Art Museum, Changshu, Jiangsu, China.
2022 Group Show, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC., Canada
2021 ArtspaciVic, Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre Mail Hall Gallery, Langley, BC., Canada
2020 Natural Perspectives, Kay Meek Arts Centre, West Vancouver, BC., Canada
2018 Hometown, Changshu Culture Centre, Changshu, Jiangsu,Chia
2018 Bliss, Silk Purse Art Centre, Vancouvver, Canada
2017 Share, Changshu Culture Centre, Changshu, Jiangsu, China.
2011 Identity, Asian Centre, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2010
2010 BFA/BA Visual Art Graduating Exhibition, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
2010 Roberson Square Video Exhibition, Roberson Square, Vancouver, Canada.
2018 Crossing Between Grids, an exhibition catalogue published by Canton Sardine, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 28 pages
2012 The Wind, an exhibition catalogue published by Changshu Art Museum, Changshu, Jiangsu, China. 28 pages
2020 Becoming Who I Am, Tedx Talks, https://www.ted.com/talks/su_xiang_becoming_who_i_am_a_journey_through_the_evolution_of_an_artist
2022 Exhibition Advisor, West Vancouver Community Arts Council Jury for Exhibitions at the Kay Meek Arts Centre in 2022.
2021 “” 加拿大兰利Aldergrove Kinsmen 交流中心画廊。
2018 “乐园”,加拿大西温哥华Silk Purse 艺术中心。
2017 “共享”, 江苏省常熟文化中心。
2018 “格子”, 加拿大温哥华沙甸咸水阜出版。
2020 “成为自己”, Tedx Talk,https://www.ted.com/talks/