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Why This Word


Event details

Why This Word

Hou I-Ting | Valentina Jager | Wang Yahui 

Curated by Jo Ying Peng

July 17 to August 21, 2021

Deluge Contemporary Art
636 Yates Street, Victoria BC | deluge.ca
Exhibition Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 4pm

Why This Word is an exhibition that draws an axis between interpretation and vocalization to deconstruct the act of writing as a way to shape identity. 

The title is inspired by a quote—“the word is my fourth dimension”—in Clarice Lispector’s novel Agua Viva, and partly borrowed from a biography of the author (Why This World, Benjamin Moser, Oxford University Press, 2009). Referencing the looming myths of Lispector’s own life as a means to speak to universal female experiences, Why This Word considers how fractures in the socio-political world may otherwise remain invisible.

Detailing women’s labor within the global workforce, Hou I-Ting examines the politics of the body through her practice. Valentina Jager’s work is infused with a deep sensibility that explores the precariousness of truth, subjectivity of interpretation and fragile nature of memory. Wang Yahui employs poetic imagery in dynamic scenarios to present alternative ways of translating time through quotidian materials. The exhibition combines these different narrative approaches—writing in time, labour and poetic rhetoric—to amplify definitions of feminist micro-narratives. 


Hou I-Ting (Taiwan) is especially interested in female labor conditions in socioeconomic systems of the past and present. Her practice pivots around the changing relationships between the body and the visual image over time. Hou has exhibited internationally, including We Now Stand – In Order to Map the Future, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2019); Contemporary Art from Asia, Australia and the Pacific: A Selection of Works from QAGOMA’s Asia Pacific Triennial, Centro Cultural La Moneda, Santiago, Chile (2019); Tejiendo Identidades (Weaving Identities), PhotoEspaña, Centro de Historias, Zaragoza, Spain (2019); and Cold Chain,Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2019). 

Valentina Jager (Mexico/USA) unfolds her practice in the borders between writing, sculpture and performance, focusing on ephemerality and materialism. Jager has participated in residency programs such as Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Fieldworks Marfa and the Syros Institute. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at galleries and museums internationally such as the Orange County Museum of Art, Paul Kasmin Gallery New York, Alumnos47 Mexico and the Kunstverein Göttingen. She is currently a PhD student of Creative Writing in Spanish at the University of Houston and recipient of the 2021 Artadia Houston Awards. 

Wang Yahui (Taiwan) turns imageries of contemporary life into microcosms with the artist herself as an astronomer observing the hidden relationship between nature and all living things: Huizi and Zhuangzi debating the happiness of fish. Solo exhibitions include Still Life Sonata, Taitung Art Museum (2021, Taiwan), The Diamond that is Raindrops, Absolute Space for the Arts (2020, Taiwan), A Brief History of Time, Eslite Gallery (2019, Taiwan), Questions to Shadow, Neuer Kunstverein Giessen (2018, Germany), A Slant of Light, TKG+ (2016, Taiwan), Pick up a leaf when it falls, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Kyoto (2012, Japan) and Handmade Fairytales, Cable Gallery, Helsinki (2010 Finland). 

Jo Ying Peng (Taiwan/Mexico) runs Vernacular Institute and co-ran Taipei Contemporary Art Center as open platforms to present, exchange, create and share artistic ideas outside of institutional discourse. Working across curatorial, editorial and cinematic boundaries, Peng strives to expand possibilities beyond linear narrative and is dedicated to projects with performative approaches and in experimental settings. Selected recent projects include Buenos días mujeres (ARIEL, 2020), Who Writes? (Gallery OMR, 2019), Narratives of Exchange / Exchange of Narratives (Instituto Alumnos, 2018), Vernácular: Art Book Fair (Proyectos Monclova, 2018), There after Here: Performing a Verb (Vernacular Institute, 2017), Portrait Portrait (TCAC, 2016), Marginal Matters (Arkipel, 2016) and A Gaze on the Contemporary (Urban Nomad Film Fest, 2016). 

Why This Word is supported by the Province of British Columbia and the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.



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