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    Sunday
    Oct262014

    KAGAN GOH HONORED WITH AN EMPOWERED FILMMAKER AWARD AT WORLD POETRY PEACE & HUMAN RIGHTS FESTIVAL



    Tuesday
    Oct212014

    SPATIAL POETICS IN PHOTOGRAPHS

    Spatial Poetics in Photographs

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    The thirteenth iteration - "WeMix" - is captured beautifully by Alisha Weng

    Recently, Mark Jacobs reviewed Spatial Poetics XIII for VANDOCUMENT (Read the full review here: SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix. Vancouver’s thirteen-year tradition of artistic mash-up plays to a packed house at The Western Front.”). Photographs were supplied by their PR, which we are grateful for.

    VANDOC’s ace photog Alisha Weng also shot, and her gallery is fantastic. So here we are, presenting them in their own post, deservedly so. Enjoy.

    Better Living Subdivision

    by Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero
    In his review, Mark Jacobs says of Better Living Subdivision: “With high theatricality and deadpan, unspoken good humour, these two cogs in the artistic industrial complex work diligently through their shift to combine the very finest ingredients – cardboard slabs (“SLABS!”), foam blocks (“FOAM!”), and paper rings (“HOOPS!”) – into the products that will satisfy consumer demand for art.”

    "Better Living Subdivision" By Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    “Better Living Subdivision” By Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Photo by Alisha Weng

    "Better Living Subdivision" By Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    “Better Living Subdivision” By Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Photo by Alisha Weng

    "Better Living Subdivision" by Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Photo by Alisha Weng

    “Better Living Subdivision” by Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    Rendering Translations

    by Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui
    “The strength of this performance lies in both the concept and the considerable skills of each of the artists,” writes Jacobs, “The sometimes tight, sometimes sketchy relationship between the dance movement and the music extempore illustrates both the intimate and conventional relationship between these forms and the challenges in being the fourth link in an improvisational chain…”

    "Rendering Translations" by Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui. Photo by Alisha Weng

    “Rendering Translations” by Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    "Rendering Translations" by Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui. Photo by Alisha Weng

    “Rendering Translations” by Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change

    by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson
    In which Jacobs notes, “The revelation in Nieto’s performances is the effectiveness with which she deploys this expressionistic style, so historically and ideologically enmeshed in torment and despair, to convey the sweet sentimentality that is such a strong undercurrent in Goh’s stories.”

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Photo by Alisha Weng

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Photo by Alisha Weng

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Spatial Poetics XIII at Western Front, Vancouver BC, 2014. Photo by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

    “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” by Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson. Photo by Alisha Weng

    SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix
    Curated by YACTAC
    3 July 2014 at The Western Front

    Read the full review here: SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix. Vancouver’s thirteen-year tradition of artistic mash-up plays to a packed house at The Western Front.”

    Photo gallery of Spatial Poetics XIII: WeMix by Alisha Weng for VANDOCUMENT

     

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    Tuesday
    Oct212014

    SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix REVIEW ON VANDOCUMENT

    SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix

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    Vancouver’s thirteen-year tradition of artistic mash-up plays to a packed house at The Western Front.

    Salome Nieto in "Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change" - photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball

    Salome Nieto in “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” – photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball for The Powell Street Festival

    This marks the 13th consecutive year of Spatial Poetics, a celebration of cross-disciplinary artistic collaboration that heralds the beginning of the annual Powell Street Festival. For more than a decade, this event has mashed-up local artists of diverse interests, approaches, and specializations to createnew works based on the adventure inherent in the seemingly happenstance combination of talent.

    Spatial Poetics XIII: “WeMix” is curated by YACTAC (The Young Asian-Canadian Twins Artists Collective), comprised of Janice and Justine Cheung and Peggy and Karen Ngan. This is YACTAC’s second spin coordinating the Spatial Poetics performances, having taken-charge of the 2009 production.The Western Front plays host, the door is by-donation, and the house is enthusiastic and full.

    This year’s program presents collaborations forged solidly within each artist’s established expertise, rather than on pushing the collaborators outside their zones of comfort and experience, as often has been the case in Spatial Poetics performances in years past. Two of the pieces – Better Living Subdivision and Rendering Translations – are explicitly self-referential in their exploration of interdisciplinary artistic collaboration; the third – Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation and Change – places diverse talents into a more orthodox combined performance.

    .

    Better Living Subdivision
    By Kuh Del Rosario & Ryan Romero

    Kuh Del Rosario and Ryan Romero  in "Better Living Subdivision" - photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball

    Kuh Del Rosario and Ryan Romero in “Better Living Subdivision” – photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball for The Powell Street Festival

    Hooded, dust-masked, and enshrouded in hazmat suits, Kuh Del Rosario and Ryan Romero work throughout the duration of the evening’s performances in a gleaming white set that evokes clean-room sterility within a Terry Gilliamesque aesthetic of screwy techno-whimsy. Their task? “Mass production” of unique sculptural art pieces that one might say falls at the intersection of Del Rosaio’s visual art practice and Romero’s brand-oriented graphic design work.

    With high theatricality and deadpan, unspoken good humour, these two cogs in the artistic industrial complex work diligently through their shift to combine the very finest ingredients – cardboard slabs (“SLABS!”), foam blocks (“FOAM!”), and paper rings (“HOOPS!”) – into the products that will satisfy consumer demand for art. Each piece is constructed in assembly-line fashion, components passing back and forth between the indistinguishable art-workers. It is then inspected for quality control, catalogued, placed within appropriately excessive product packaging, and added to inventory. After the performance, the pieces are available for purchase on a pay-as-you-wish basis – proving, yet again, that the least functional, least certain, least sustainable aspect of our dysfunctional, uncertain, and unevenly-sustainable system for supporting artists is the “support” part. The commodity fetishism of market-economy orthodoxy does not work for artistic modes of production.

    .

    Rendering Translations
    By Patrick Cruz, Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz & Michelle Lui

    Michelle Lui in "Rendering Translations" - Photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball

    Michelle Lui in “Rendering Translations” – Photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball for The Powell Street Festival

    This piece explores and tests the bonds of interdisciplinary collaboration by setting-up an elaborate artistic feedback-loop. Multi-talented performance and plastic artist Patrick Cruz doodles (drawing, copying, cutting, pasting, and rescaling) on a large projection screen using a simple laptop “paint” app. The Surrey New Orchestra — Franco Maravilla, Miguel Maravilla, Charity Cruz – translate Cruz’s ever-shifting three-colour image into an improvised score, which Michelle Lui then interprets in real-time as dance. The circle is completed as Cruz takes the inspiration for his graphics from the forms and movement of Lui.

    The strength of this performance lies in both the concept and the considerable skills of each of the artists. If there is a weakness, it is in the frequently facile and tenuous nature of the linkages from one medium to the next. But this is hardly a flaw in the work. To the contrary, the simplistic translation of image to sound correctly and appropriately highlights the seduction and peril of attempting to translate ideas and emotions from one artistic medium to another. The sometimes tight, sometimes sketchy relationship between the dance movement and the music extempore illustrates both the intimate and conventional relationship between these forms and the challenges in being the fourth link in an improvisational chain, asked to interpret not just the spontaneity of a single musician, but the agglomerated sound of three musicians each struggling to both find a voice and combine that voice with those of the others. The seeming remoteness between Lui’s movements and Cruz’s images highlight the temporal disconnect between the immediacy of the dance performance and the process-durational nature of image creation. As with any well-designed experiment, the points of failure are as illuminating as the points of success.

    .

    Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation and Change
    By Kagan Goh, Nicholas Epperson & Salome Nieto

    Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson  in "Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change" - photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball

    Kagan Goh, Salome Nieto, and Nicholas Epperson in “Seasons of Rebirth, Transformation, and Change” – photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball for The Powell Street Festival

    This collaboration features the narrative poetry of Kagan Goh, cello scores by Nicholas Epperson, and Butoh dance performances by Salome Nieto. The four poems alternate between themes of personal tragedy engendered by Canada’s internment of its Japanese citizens during World War II and delightful love stories. The mix is far more natural than these descriptions might suggest. In part, this is a function of Goh’s deft attention to the emotional complexity in each of the narratives, his refusal to write (or to recite) in over-wrought dramatics, and the silver-lined sensibility intrinsic to even his darkest clouds. As he counsels in the poem “The Evolving Flame”, injustice and misfortune must not cause us to “dismiss the happy memories” which also define our lives. Similarly, Epperson gives the performances “movements” a coherence and continuity by establishing and maintaining a strong, evocative soundtrack. The music nicely captures the delicate balance of sweetness and melancholy inherent in Goh’s writing, and the sonorous range of the cello resonates in exactly the right emotional register.

    Like Goh’s stories of the Japanese Canadian experience, the inclusion of Butoh feels appropriate to the Powell Street Festival’s Japantown roots, even if Japantown was but a vestige of itself by the time Butoh emerged. And the post-war narratives seem particularly well-suited to interpretation in a dance form that grew from the social turbulence and trauma of post-war Japan. The revelation in Nieto’s performances is the effectiveness with which she deploys this expressionistic style, so historically and ideologically enmeshed in torment and despair, to convey the sweet sentimentality that is such a strong undercurrent in Goh’s stories. If the strength of the dance performance wavers at times, it comes from an unfortunate closeness to the poems, not a distance. Nieto sometimes cannot resist the impulse to project Goh’s meticulously described tales in pantomime, rather than in the embodied abstraction through which Butoh shines.

    .
    SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix
    Curated by YACTAC
    3 July 2014
    at The Western Front

    Don’t miss the incredible additional photos of Spatial Poetics XIII: WeMix by Alisha Weng, featured in“Spatial Poetics in Photographs”

    Monday
    Sep222014

    WORLD POETRY PEACE & HUMAN RIGHTS FESTIVAL PRESENTS A SCREENING OF STOLEN MEMORIES

    WHERE: UBC Learning Exchange. 612 Main Street (at Keefer)

     

    WHEN: 25TH OCTOBER, 2 PM

     

    Info. Line: (604) 408-5164

     

    STOLEN MEMORIES (43:39)

    A chance purchase in a garage sale turns into a fascinating detective story in this film by Kagan Goh. The purchase was a photo album, possibly from as far back as the 1930s, of a Japanese family. Who were these people? What happened to them? Are any of them alive today? The search for the answers leads to a striking look into what the lives of Japanese Canadians in the late 1930’s and 1940’s living in British Columbia just before and during World War Two. At the center of the story is a remarkable young woman whose life is revealed. The documentary features interviews with surviving members of the extended family.

    Sunday
    Aug172014

    POETIC JUSTICE PRESENTS TANGUY "TITANG" EXUME AND KAGAN GOH

    Poetic Justice Returns! featuring TANGUY ‘TITANG’ EXUMÉ and KAGAN GOH with host, Franci Louann @ The Heritage Grill, Back Room - 477 Columbia Street, New Westminster - (604) 759-0819
    Sep 7 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Tanguy “titang” Exumé is a young Haitian poet; passionate about writing. He arrived in Montreal in 1999 and has been residing in Vancouver since 2008. While living in Montreal, between the years of 2004 and 2007, far from his native land, he decided to put his pride, shame, joy, sadness and anger of being Haitian, onto paper. It is in this context that Haïti Parle (Haïti Speaks) was born; an allegorical dialogue between a man in exile and Haiti—adored mother and denied homeland. Haiti Parle later became a poetry slam show with Tanguy’s performances of spoken words and acoustic music. Now a French immersion teacher, he is inspired by the philosophical questionings of his students which he feels position him in a place of lifelong learning.

    Tanguy “titang” Exumé

    Tanguy “titang” Exumé

     

    Kagan Goh is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published author, spoken word poet, journalist and mental health activist. Kagan was diagnosed with manic depression at twenty-three on Valentine’s Day in 1993.  He started writing of his experiences living with a mental illness and became involved in Vancouver’s literary community.

    Kagan is an established spoken word poet who has performed at open mics, readings, festivals and on radio. His personal mission is to educate about mental health issues and to fight the stigma against these illnesses.

    Kagan Goh

    Kagan Goh