Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Imag(in)ing Home: A collective art -work by Vancouver Srliankan Tamils. Facilitated by T. Shanaathanan.For exhibition at UBC Museum of Anthropology
Boundary and Translation: New Art Across CulturesExhibition marking the launch of the ‘new’ Museum of Anthropology on January 23, 2010Curated by Karen Duffek, MOA Curator of Contemporary Visual Arts, and Niranjan Rajah, Assistant Professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University Co-presented by Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Boundary and Translation: New Art across Cultures is an exhibition of international contemporary art that will inaugurate a major gallery at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) in 2010. It will bring together the work of twelve artists engaged in a dialogue about cultural boundaries—within and between communities, art practices, audiences, or institutions—and the possibility of translation across them. A full-color catalogue featuring curatorial essays, a preface by leading cultural anthropologist James Clifford, and photographs by Ken Mayer will accompany the exhibition. Contemporary art is increasingly significant as a site where cultural differences and values are both produced and contested. At the same time, MOA, as an anthropological museum located on traditional Musqueam territory, is involved in a critical re-thinking of the relationships among cultural institutions, originating communities, knowledge systems, and collections of art and ethnology. Boundary and Translation will contribute to the dialogue by showcasing a diversity of productive, disturbing, and boundary-altering art approaches. Integrating community-based practices with those of transnational art arenas, the exhibition will emphasize the co-existence of traditional, modern, and postmodern forms within contemporary art. Boundary and Translation is part of MOA’s commitment to exploring, developing, and inviting new ways of representing understandings about culture and its translations in the 21st century. Exhibition co-presented with Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Sponsored by The Vancouver Foundation, The Canada Council, Consulat Général de France à Vancouver, and Audrey Hawthorn Fund for Publications in Museum Anthropology. Participating artists include: Hayati Mokhtar and Dain-Iskander Said, Malaysia; John Wynne, Canada/England; Edward Poitras, Canada; Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan, Sri Lanka; Tania Mouraud, France; Marianne Nicolson, Canada; Gu Xiong, Canada; Prabakar Visanath, Canada; Rosanna Raymond, England/Samoa; Ron Yunkaporta, Australia; Laura Wee Láy Láq, Canada.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The One Year Drawing Project: May 2005-October 2007
Participating Artist Mohanned Cader//T.Shanaathanan//Chandragupta Thenuwara//Jagath Weerasinghe
Initiated and supported by;Sharmini Perera-London based art curator
SriLanka,2 Cities,4 Artists,29 Months,208 Drawings,52 Exchanges,
The One Year Drawing Project
In May 2005 each of these artists created a drawing. The artist then posted their drawings to one other artist in the group, who created a new drawing in response to the one they received. So marked the start of The One Year Drawing Project. This process of exchange continued until each of the artists had received and sent 52 drawings, with the project reaching its conclusion in October 2007.
In March 2008 these drawing made available to the public in a form of a book; Published by Raking leaves London& Colombo.
This book brings together the exchange that ensued between the four artists in response, and as a consequence, to the initial four drawings. As a book, the project documents an exchange of view-points-artistic and ideological-sustained during a period of violent conflict in Srilanka.
History of Histories
An Installation by.People of Jaffna ,collabrated with T. Shanaathanan, S. Kannan, K. Tamilini, K.S. Kumutha, R. Vasanthini.
Concept of artwork:In one of the Buddhist jathaka stories, one mother requested the Buddha to give life to her son, who had died by snakebite. The Buddha told her that if she was able to get a handful of rice from a house where no death has occurred, he could then be able to give life to her son. Then, this mother went to each and every house in the village to get the rice, and found that there was no house where death had not occurred. This story brings us to the contemporary reality of northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, which are the battlefields of conflicting histories, which had also seen war over the last twenty years. Loss, destruction, despair, disappearance, suffering, death, exodus and nostalgia became part of mundane and ordinary experience. There is no house or street or village or town without the touch of war. They are affected physically or psychologically. Even though the people restarted removing the physical destructions of war and engaged in reconstruction, they still live with their inner wounds in the ‘no war’ time.
This artwork, ‘History of Histories’ was specially done for the Jaffna Public Library, which was burned, and itself became a memorial for the civil war. Like a local Hindu madipichchaikaran who goes from door-to-door and collect rice in order to organize an offering at the temple as part of his vow, we collected materials from 500 houses (randomly chosen within the Jaffna peninsula). These materials represent the owners’ history and memories of last 20 years of their lives in this land. In the process of collecting these materials, they shared their experience and memories in relation to these objects. We have arranged these materials in the form of a museum where we have tried to amalgamate these small parts and the ordinary things into a factual history of this society. Like the way madipichchaikaran shares his food, in the end we too share our experience with others. The viewers of these memories may construct numerous histories through the process of viewing this work.