In Autumn Tigers, Montreal-based Chinese Canadian artist Karen Tam (b.1977) examines histories of the Chinese diaspora and asks how stories, spaces, and communities that have largely been lost to time may be rendered visible. The work in this online exhibition, based on a show of the same name at British Columbia’s Campbell River Art Gallery, explores the bravery and leadership of Chinese Canadians who have thrived despite the pressures of systemic racism, violence, and discrimination, and pays tribute to Chinatowns across the country. Tam’s work is featured alongside art by Tlingit master carver Tommy Joseph (b.1964) and Kristina Cranston, as well as historical images that have inspired these artists. The exhibition honours the long history of Chinese Canadian communities in this country and recognizes strength and resilience in the face of past and present anti-Asian racism.
Karen Tam’s work is held in multiple collections across the country, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and the Prêt d’oeuvres d’art of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. She was a finalist for the 2017 Prix Louis-Comtois and the 2016 Prix en art actuel from the Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec, and was long-listed for the 2010 and 2016 Sobey Art Awards.
Autumn Tigers has been made possible through a partnership with the Campbell River Art Gallery, located on the unceded and traditional territories of the Ligwiłda’xw speaking people, and is curated by Jenelle Pasiechnik, Curator of Contemporary Art. Pasiechnik’s curatorial approach is dialogic and amplifies artists’ voices from traditionally underrepresented positions within contemporary art. She is committed to bringing new understandings of history, combatting erasure, and creating openings for difficult subjects. Pasiechnik has an MA in art history and visual studies from the University of Victoria and has held curatorial positions with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Open Space Arts Society, and the University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery.