café for contemporary art

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait

Posted in art, exhibitions by tyler057 on September 16, 2009

CafCA is buzzing as we set up for  Sueng-Young Kim: Self Portrait, marking the Korean artist’s first international solo exhibition. The show features documentation of three performance works that occurred in New York City and on a flotilla in the waters between Korea and Japan, focusing on themes of identity and globalization (see below for an overview of the works)  We’re holding an opening this Saturday, September 19th from 7-9pm, with the artist in attendance; come by for good coffee and conversation.

Also, on Sunday afternoon (around 1pm), as a playful nod to one of Kim’s pieces, we’ll be flying paper airplanes in the park across the street. Hope to see you this weekend!
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Paper Airplane Project, (Marcus Garvey Memorial Park, Harlem)

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait

September 19th – October 25th, 2009
Opening Reception: September 19th, 7-9pm

café for contemporary art
140 East Esplanade Ave.
North Vancouver, BC
V7L 4X9, Canada

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Café for Contemporary Art proudly presents, Seung-Young Kim’s first international solo exhibition. Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait is an exhibition of select works from the artist produced while participating as an artist in residence in New York’s PS1 International Studio Program (1999-2000), and, during a process of exchange between Korea and Japan. This exhibition is a part of the Café for Contemporary Art’s dynamic line of exhibitions aimed at exploring the contemporary negotiation of life, identity and relationships in an age of global migration that continues to be tainted by the experiences of colonialism.

Seung-Young Kim has used his artistic practice as a means to explore the relationship between memory and the fluid constitution of the self. Straddling a space between an outward challenge of encountering and joining the cultural other and an inward desire for peace in the turmoil of the mind, Kim constructs spaces for contemplation and embarks on transformative cross-cultural encounters in his work. An engaging invitation to a shared inner-world of constant change, Kim’s work is removed from the ebb and flow of urban mania, pop-culture and mass-media, and refocuses on fundamental, ancient human questions of the self, relationships to community, nature’s role, and inter-communal relations. The challenges related to the transitional journey between cross-cultural social encounters in the face of inherited perceptions and unresolved historical tensions, are at the centre of the curatorial rationale for the selection of works in this show.

This exhibition is primarily a triptych with Kim’s Self-Portrait (1999) resting at its centre.  This is a video piece of the artist repeatedly posting a slightly larger than life-sized image of himself on a wall only to have it fall again and again.  This work stems from Kim’s experience of trying repeatedly to post a Joseph Beuys poster on the wall of his studio while in residency in New York. He was struck by the similarities of this repetitive act to his process of establishing himself in a foreign environment. Exhibited along with this work, are documents from two social encounter projects. One is Paper Airplane Project (2000), a simple project where Kim ventured into Harlem and made paper airplanes in a park. This will be the first ever exhibition of the photos from this project. And the second, Picnic on the Ocean (2002), where Kim and Japanese artist Hironori Murai (Kim’s studio neighbour at PS1) engaged in a long journey of preparing and realizing a picnic in the seas between Korea and Japan.

Through his works, Kim invites us to join him on these acts of encounter, and offers us an opportunity to consider the myriad of challenges faced in plodding through inherited social perceptions and lingering historical anguish.  Along the way, he opens doors to the possibility of constant renewal.

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait runs from September 19th through to October 25th, with an opening reception on September 19th from 7-9pm.

A 24-page full colour pamphlet accompanies the exhibition.

This exhibition is supported by: Arts Council Korea

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Public Meeting Attendees Lend Art Project Overwhelming Support

Posted in exhibitions by tyler057 on May 20, 2009

Scott and Steve Proposal

The attendees of the Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal meeting lent the project overwhelming support.

While there was one naysayer who left before the meeting got fully underway, the overwhelming majority of attendees seemed to really appreciate  how the installation would function to enrich the neighbourhood through Scott and Steve’s thoughtful engagement of the square’s current artwork Launch, by Elisabeth Roy.  Roy’s work comes with a plaque that says that the work “acknowledges the site’s transformation, from a workplace for the men and women who pioneered the community, to a place for the next generation to build upon.”  Accepting Roy’s invitation Scott and Steve begin the building upon by questioning the foundation, or the basic narrative within which Roy’s work functions.  Steve, displacing his zero from the original location of its guerilla installation, re-employs it in a disruption of the assumed temporal parameters of Roy’s work while allowing the consideration of new beginnings.  Meanwhile, Scott’s work, a self-portrait/welcome figure that awkwardly hovers in time between a pioneer past and a post-consumer present, questions simplistic and reassuring assumptions about pioneers.  Placing this un-selfassured person onto the landscape implies a shift in settler posture and self-image that may, like Steve’s zero, open doors to the consideration of the possibility of new beginnings.

While the attendees of the meeting gave great support for this particular installation, they also seemed invigorated by the fact that none of us are interested in a permanent installation, hoping instead that after a several months or a few years new works could be installed on the site transforming it into a space for ongoing cultural discussion through pubic art.  There was even talk of how it might be advantageous to the cultural vitality of the area if the public art agenda of the entire Pier developments could include an ongoing programme of periodically changing public art installations.  This discussion of course went hand in hand with talk of the re-location of the Presentation House Gallery to the area.

FYI, a handout presented at the meeting laid out the proposal in the following manner:

The Proposal:

Scott August and Steve Hubert propose the addition of two works to Pinnacle Square, namely Scott August’s twenty five foot tall die cut photo of himself representing a cowboy welcome figure wearing oven mitts and cut-off jeans and a replica of the zero Steve Hubert added to Vancouver’s Centennial Sculpture in October 2008.

3 Reasons to welcome the Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal:

1.    The artwork enriches the neighbourhood by opening up a chance to imagine its past, present and future with a perspective that while inclusive of shipbuilder’s history is not solely bound to it.

2.    By showcasing a sense of humour, and a sense of being open to knowledge we don’t have full mastery or control of it welcomes the formation of a vibrant creative community that might not have otherwise been possible.  This, if Richard Florida’s theories about the implication of the rise of the creative class on real estate value have any meat to them, would in turn have positive effects on local real estate values.

3.     Rather than setting out First Nations and Settler narratives as parallel stories, it opens up a chance for narrative engagement between the communities.

The Sinixt Don’t Make Totem Poles Either: Public, Art, Memory

Posted in Uncategorized by tyler057 on May 7, 2009

Tonight we open our second exhibition! If you have a chance come on out!

Where: 140 East Esplanade, North Van.
When: May 7th, 6-9pm
What: An array of works by Scott August, Steven Hubert and Marilyn James that may come together to percolate discussions about memory, our relationships to the landscapes we inhabit, the role of public art, how diverse communities relate to one another and so on…

ps: We now serve Flat Whites and we are featuring Ethiopian single origin coffee this month…

Now Open

Posted in Uncategorized by tyler057 on April 7, 2009

We are now open!  Finally.

   Our opening exhibition: WE LOVE YOU COMRADE NAVIN, featuring Navin Party projects, Navins of Bollywood and Quotations from Comrade Navin is up. And warmly accompanying it are a few opening-appropriate works in our café including: the billboard painting and photo document of Navin Rawanchaikul’s 2001 PS1/Public Art Fund project, I  Taxi; Steve Hubert’s The Dive; and two little works by Scott August, Winter Panda and Bull on Pink.

Meanwhile, the café is serving great coffees roasted by 49th Parallel and Intelligentsia.  Our current espresso, for those of you who are interested, is 49th’s Organic.  And if you do stop by soon, try the Ethiopian Aricha on our Clover.  It is really a coffee to write home about.  If you are hungry come have a panini we just started selling them a few days ago.

We are located at 140 East Esplanade in North Vancouver BC, just a short walk from the Seabus terminal at Lonsdale Quay and not far from the Presentation House Gallery where I understand this weekend they are opening Phot(o)bjects, a new show curated by Bob Nickas.