Print Edition: September 11, 2013
On the night of September 5, the UFV art gallery in B building hosted Diverging Proposals, an exhibition featuring five fourth-year students and the results of their independent studies from the summer semester. Even though the show was featured as a collective, each artist had his or her own unique installment.
The artists were Miao Chuan (Rex) Yu with his duelling ink portrayals of George Washington and Xi Jinping titled Face/Off; Christi Dos Santos with her collective installment Teacup Christianity, featuring both audio and three-dimensional art in a powerful statement about Christian feminism; Susan Major with Art has a Purpose, where she combines video, sculpture, and paint on canvas to share with us very personal moments of triumph and hope; Jeffrey Rasmussen with three individual pieces done with airbrushing; and Jason Peters with a combination of robots and paint in two massive abstract pieces, Remote: Radio Signals and Remote: Robot Sugar.
In his opening speech to a gallery packed wall-to-wall with people eagerly waiting to hear from the artists, Visual Arts professor Chris Friesen says.
“This exhibition is the result of four months of intensive frustration, and hence we have the title Diverging Proposals. It’s meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek with proposing a project, and then learning more about that project as you work with it, and coming up with a final result that really didn’t have anything to do with the initial proposal,” he says.
In his speech, Peters explains how his idea of building robots to paint originally came about. He says he was playing around with a paint brush tied to the end of a power drill.
“I figured, wouldn’t it be nice if I could take a step back from the whole experience of putting paint on canvas with a brush? How far back could I go? Why not take it up a notch and build a robot to paint for me?”
Yu says Face/Off is a result of having travelled to another country and growing as an individual through that experience. He adds, grinning, that he thought every city in Canada was like New York City when he first arrived.
Dos Santos shares a personal story that drew her to the topic of Christian feminism. In her statement, she explains that Teacup Christianity has several viewing options, similar to the interaction one may experience with Christian feminism. Viewers may implicitly choose to accept it; they may see it and find it difficult to interact with, and move on; or they may take time with the piece, interact with it, and ask questions. One question she poses in her statement is: “Does what I believe align with holistic biblical teaching or with tradition?”
In Rasmussen’s statement he says, “I am my art and my art is a shadow of myself.”
Airbrushing, he explains, is a recent experiment for him. There are four key ingredients to his colourful pieces individually titled, Colour From Another Mother, Textural Ease, Limbo Medley, and Greener Pastures: experimentation, collection, texture, and loss. To lighten things up, he adds, “Using fishnet stockings with an airbrush creates unique textures on the canvas, and it’s ultra sexy.”
Major was the final artist to speak. Her collection included Linda, Emily, and Judith. She explains, “Art is more than creating pretty pictures. Art serves as a valuable tool to meet the needs of individuals who are developmentally delayed, physically, or emotionally challenged.”