Events > Art Fair

04 - 11 Jul. 2021

Art Metropole & TACLA at abC Book Fair, Beijing

Art Metropole is delighted to be hosting a special video presentation produced by TACLA to be aired during the abC Art Book Fair in Beijing (Jul 4-11 2021). The presentation will focus on TACLA’s upcoming publication: Bodies of Knowledge, a digital zine publication that aims to critically archive and highlight significant media art pieces created by Asian Canadian media artists in creative, mixed media formats.

About TACLA:
TACLA (The Asian Canadian Living Archive) is an initiative (founded in 2019) focused on interrogating, redefining and revisioning methods of documentation and archiving. We consider the archive to be a meeting ground for creative storytelling and intergenerational engagement, and are committed to creative research, artful representation, and equitable outreach to craft intentional narratives about the histories, presents, and futures of the Asian Canadian diaspora.

TACLA emerged from difficult but dynamic conversations around how Asian Canadian histories remain largely inaccessible to communities. We recognize that archives are historically colonial tools used to steal, control, withhold and diminish cultural histories. Seminal publications, art, and documented political and social histories are often currently kept in institutional libraries, or within archival organizations in separate industries. They are not included in most curriculums, and remain largely absent in mainstream cultural consciousness. This creates silos of documentation that are difficult to navigate without broad knowledge and access to. As a result, there are repeating structural gaps in how our communal memories are sustained and nurtured across generations and between different Asian diasporas.

TACLA’s Bodies of Knowledge Project:
Bodies of Knowledge is a digital zine publication that aims to critically archive and highlight significant media art pieces created by Asian Canadian media artists in creative, mixed media formats.

There are three components to Bodies of Knowledge:
- A curated selection of media artwork by artists who work in experimental film, digital art, games, animation, and audio-visual installation
- Critical commentary written by Asian Canadian media researchers, curators, and community writers
- Primary narratives including oral stories, interviews, photographs, paraphernalia and correspondence, collected from the Asian Canadian community.

Current models of critical engagement meant to draw art into communal conversation often represent and centre a limited set of perspectives. As communities who play a big role in nurturing the possibilities of those art forms lose access and are not engaged any further, these repeating exclusions, over time, reinforce the consumption, appreciation and circulation of art in set pathways.

Bodies of Knowledge connects the creation of critical theory to TACLA’s principles of community-engaged contexts.
We will gather primary narratives from first-generation immigrants, non-English community speakers: family members, community members, folks of lower-income and precarious status whose stories are often animated, activated or documented and explored through media artists. Through creative and inclusive archival, we hope to challenge and expand the Canadian media arts sector’s imagination on what counts as relevant context and intertext in art discourse.

Through this publication, we hope to introduce new audiences to media arts, generate new threads of conversation about important work, and connect communities laterally in dynamic and inclusive ways. By opening up critical engagement to different voices that historically and institutionally have been excluded, we ask urgent questions about how media art can enrich and nurture our communities in creative and complex postures.

Art Metropole will also feature a number of other publications at abC, including books by Karen Zalamea, Nour Bishouty, Hyung-Min Yoon, and others.

  1. ABC programming TACLA