Gallery 101 and Asinabka Festival are proud to present
Jo SiMalaya Alcampo and Melissa General
August 21 – September 19, 2015
Opening Friday August 21st 6-9pm
6:30pm: Roundtable Discussion with the artists
Mikwenim is an exhibition presented at Gallery 101 in collaboration with the Asinabka Festival. Jo SiMalaya Alcampo and Melissa General focus the lens of decolonization through two art installations: SiMalaya Alcampos’ Singing Plants Reconstruct Memory and Generals’ Kéyahre: I Remember. Mikwenim is an Anishinaabe word meaning "to remember". It is an animate verb, meaning that what is being remembered, is in a sense alive, and thus brings it's own spirit.
Kéyahre: I Remember is an immersive multi media installation, a series of seven photographs and seven childhood dresses. General collaborated with her mother, using vintage dress patterns, to re-create hand-sewn garments she wore as a girl. Words in the Mohawk language are beaded onto the dress series by the artist’s hand.
General’s project addresses the personal challenges of identity as a First Nations person who lives "off-reserve" and maintains a strong attachment to their heritage and "home". The artist creates this work as a dialog about her past and present relationship to Six Nations and the sixteen years she has lived in Toronto, where she is now.
Melissa General is Mohawk/Oneida from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree at York University. Working in photography, installation and video, concepts involving memory, history, land and her Indigenous identity have been a focus in her practice. Her work has been exhibited at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Art Gallery of Peterborough and Gallery 44.
Singing Plants Reconstruct Memory is an interactive installation in which living plants are keepers of story, cultural history and memory. Jo SiMalayo Alcampos’ work is fundamentally connected to the social and political consequences of war and occupation in the Philippines. Her great-grandparents lived in the Philippines when it was a Spanish colony, they experienced the shift to another colonial power during the Philippine-American War. Her father grew up during the Japanese occupation of Manila, and her immediate family immigrated to Canada to escape Martial Law. Visitors to Mikwenim will be indirect witnesses who did not experience these traumas, but whose engagement makes it possible to reconstruct the fragments left behind.
Jo SiMalaya Alcampo is an interdisciplinary artist born in Manila the capital of the Philippines and raised in Malvern in the heart of Scarborough. Her interactive mixed media projects explore intersectionality, cultural/body memory and soul wounds. She combines various forms of artistic expression including sculpture, installation, sound art, electronics, photography, film/video and performance.
The Asinabka Festival is an annual Film & Media Arts Festival taking place in Ottawa from August 19-23, 2015. The festival screens the best in Indigenous film from Canada and around the world. The Asinabka Festival thanks the Ontario Arts Council.
For more information about the festival visit: www.asinabkafestival.org
Gallery 101 gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Gallery 101 thanks the Asinabka Festival, our members, volunteers, partners, and all our relations.