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Panel Discussion with High Muck a Muck Artists

High Muck a Muck artists from left to right: Jin Zhang, Nicola Harwood, Bessie Wapp, Fred Wah, Thomas Loh, Phillip Djwa

Panel Discussion with High Muck a Muck Artists

Surrey Art Gallery, 13750 88 Avenue

Date & Time:
June 10, 2017
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM




North Surrey


Presented by:

Surrey Art Gallery

2017-06-10 14:30:00 2017-06-10 16:00:00 America/Vancouver Panel Discussion with High Muck a Muck Artists Join the discussion about history, identity, migration, and narrative in digital art practice. Surrey Art Gallery, 13750 88 Avenue

Using poems, paintings, videos, and bingo cards, local artist collective High Muck a Muck tell stories of 19th century to present-day Chinese immigration to the west coast of Canada. On June 10, join High Muck a Muck coordinator, writer, and artist Nicola Harwood, along with former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah, composer Jin Zhang, artist and researcher Cora Li-Leger, and Surrey Art Gallery curator Jordan Strom to discuss history, identity, migration, and narrative in new forms of digital practice.

The digital and interactive exhibit High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese explores historical and contemporary tensions surrounding Chinese immigration to British Columbia. Visitors are invited to participate in the gamble of immigration by filling in a Chinese lottery card called Pak Ah Pu and inserting it into a machine that will read your card and offer you a “fortune” on the screen behind. You’ll encounter evocative poems, watercolour paintings, music, videos, performances, and oral histories by a number of people that give you a snapshot of Chinese life then and now.

High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese is on display in Surrey Art Gallery’s TechLab until August 26 and is part of the explorASIAN festival.

About the Panelists

Nicola Harwood

Nicola Harwood is a writer, theatre, and interdisciplinary artist. Her work is often concerned with the hidden histories of place, women, and queers, which has taken her from making comedy with queer youth in San Francisco to making theatre with Tsilhqot’in youth in the central interior of British Columbia. She currently teaches and practices on the beautiful, unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

Fred Wah

Fred Wah grew up in Nelson, BC, working in his father’s Chinese restaurant. Fred went on to become internationally recognized poet, critic, and Poet Laureate of Canada. His work often explores the notion of hybridity, returning again and again to the tension of his mixed blood ancestry. Fred has published poetry, fiction, and criticism in Canada and internationally for over forty years and participated in hundreds of readings, talks, and panels.

Jin Zhang

Jin Zhang was born in Beijing, China and came to Canada in 1990. Jin is known as a composer who actively promotes combining of Eastern and Western musical expressions. He has received commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and has composed for many ensembles, TV productions, CD recordings, and the theatre. Jin has composed and/or conducted for the Canadian Music Centre, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Cora Li-Leger

Cora Li-Leger received a BFA from the University of Minnesota in 1975. After graduation, she attended the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts in Alberta under the tutelage of Joe Plaskett. There she met her husband and subsequently immigrated to Canada. Cora's art has been exhibited in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, and the UK. As a member of the Surrey Cultural Development Advisory Committee, she has been closely engaged with the City of Surrey since 2011 to develop a new contemporary art space in her local community. She received a Surrey Civic Treasure Award in 2015.

Jordan Strom

Since 2009, Jordan Strom has worked as Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Surrey Art Gallery. Recent exhibitions include Mimetic Workshop: Kelly Lycan and Fiona Ackerman (2016) and Nep Sidhu: Shadows in the Major Seventh (2016), as well as the sound art group exhibitions Sonorous Kingdom (2014) and Sound/Tract (2013). From 2004 to 2008, Jordan was co-editor of Fillip magazine. He holds an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory.