RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting

July 24 - November 27, 2021

Larry Achiampong, Hurvin Anderson, Kamrooz Aram, Moridja Kitenge Banza, Firelei Báez,
Frank Bowling, Cy Gavin, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lubaina Himid, Bharti Kher, Rick Leong,
Manuel Mathieu, Julie Mehretu, Jordan Nassar, Yoko Ono, Maia Cruz Palileo, Rajni Perera,
Ed Pien, Jessica Sabogal, Marigold Santos, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Shanna Strauss,
Curtis Talwst Santiago, Mickalene Thomas, Salman Toor, Hajra Waheed, Jinny Yu

Curated by Cheryl Sim

This group exhibition explores the multiple and complex meanings of the idea of the diaspora, its condition, and its experiences as expressed in painting. “Diaspora issues and concepts are of particular importance to me as a person of colour, born in Canada with mixed Asian origins,” says curator and director Cheryl Sim. The wide spectrum of interpretations and fruitful relationships attached to diaspora experiences knows no bounds, which promotes constant dialogue with notions of kinship and identity in the current context of globalization and mass migration.

This exhibition offers a selection of works by artists who address the question of the diaspora from various points of view, approaches, and aesthetic languages. With a rich and complex history, painting is a particularly stimulating mode of expression for exploring a variety of issues comparable to the multiplicity of the diasporic experience. All the works on display aim to establish an intergenerational dialogue and to present artists whose work has contributed to pushing the limits of what painting is and can be. Given the open and discursive nature of the subject, the exhibition does not claim to be exhaustive, but rather seeks to generate ideas and encourage dialogue.

RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting is organized by the Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art,
Montreal, and presented in collaboration with the Esker Foundation.

  • Cheryl Sim

    Cheryl Sim is Managing Director and Curator at the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art. Recent exhibitions include RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting, Phil Collins and GROWING FREEDOM by Yoko Ono. Sim is also a media artist whose practice incorporates her background in media studies and research on post-colonial strategies in contemporary art practice. Her video and installation work has been presented in exhibitions and festivals in North America and Europe. In 2015 she completed a PhD in the études et pratiques des arts program at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). Her book Wearing the Cheongsam: Dress and Culture in a Chinese Diaspora launched in September of 2019 on Bloomsbury Academic.