Things on the Shoreline
February 13 — April 16, 2016
Friday, February 12, 2016, 7:00 PM , Saturday, February 13, 2016, 2:00 PM
* Children are encouraged to attend all events
Things on the Shoreline is a collaborative project initiated by Access Gallery, visual artist Cindy Mochizuki, and the students of Lord Strathcona Elementary School and the Vancouver Japanese Language School. From October to December of 2015, Cindy was a guest artist at both schools, and in a series of image- and story-making workshops, worked closely with students in grades four and five. The starting point of these workshops was the visualization of an empty, barren seashore—the empty page—and, working with ink, salt, and words, and then to slowly draw out the myriad possibilities that lie await in that space. The results of the workshops—a raucous population of whimsical inky creaturely things and the invented environments in which they live—is the focus of the exhibition at Access Gallery. The project culminates in the launch of a limited-edition, hard-bound children’s storybook, which incorporates both Mochizuki’s Things and those of her student-collaborators.
Things on the Shoreline draws on Mochizuki’s established practice of mining community stories and folklore, and sees her extending her drawing practice in new experimental ways. Here she investigates the art of slowness, and explores the ways in which something wondrous can arise from nothing, revealing the emancipatory potential of the “messy antics” (to use Walter Benjamin’s term) of play.
This project has been made possible by a BC Arts Council Youth Engagement Grant. Additional support has been generously offered by Opus Art Supplies and VIVO Media Arts Centre. We are grateful also for the workshop support provided by esteemed children’s educators Caroline Liffmann and Sarvenaz Amanat, for our project intern and photographer Sara Sampson, videographer Asa Mori, sound composer Ellis Sam, and Japanese translator Kazuho Yamamoto.