As a public experiment and ongoing private conversation, artist Divya Mehra (Scorpio), curator Kim Nguyen (Cancer), and writer Amy Fung (Scorpio) embark on a series of public readings that trace their respective, and at times, overlapping experiences of the contemporary art world. Specifically, Mehra’s performative lecture explores memory, race, death, and the service industry in a series of non-linear short stories and poetics. The performance, as well as her overall practice, often asks “how do we exist within the crushing indifference of our day to day?” In her narrative reading, Nguyen will address the perpetual performance of class tourism and privilege that divides art from the real, while asking what it means to choose a life of fraudulence. Sharing similar intentions of re-examining the mundane violence of white supremacy, Fung will be reading an excerpt from a new work in progress, Before I was a critic, I was a human being.
Amy Fung is a writer, researcher and curator born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and currently based in Toronto, Canada. She received her Masters in English and Film Studies from the University of Alberta in 2009 with a specialization in criticism, poetics, and the moving image. Her writings can be found in print and online publications such as Canadian Art, Art Papers, C Magazine, and Frieze, among many more since 2002. Most recently, Fung held the position of Artistic Director of IMAGES Festival, Toronto between 2015 - 2017. She is a co-founder of MICE Magazine and has served on numerous boards and juries across the country. She is currently writing her first book on Canadian art forthcoming 2018.
Divya Mehra works in sculpture, print, drawing, artist books, installation, advertising, video and film and is known for her meticulous attention to the interaction of form, medium, and site. Recontextualizing references found in music, literature, and current affairs, her acerbic body of work addresses the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism. Mehra’s work has been presented as part of exhibitions, screening, and commissions, including with Creative Time (New York), MoMA PS1 (New York), MTV (New York), The Queens Museum (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Artspeak (Vancouver), Justine M. Barnicke Gallery (Toronto), Images Festival (Toronto), Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects.
Kim Nguyen is a curator and writer based in San Francisco, where she is Curator and Head of Programs at the CCA Wattis Institute. Nguyen was formerly director and curator of Artspeak, a longstanding artist-run non-profit in Vancouver, Canada. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals nationally and internationally, with recent texts in catalogues published by Pied-à- Terre (San Francisco), Gluck 50/Mousse (Milan), and the Herning Museum of Art (Denmark). Nguyen is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing. She is currently completing her first collection of writings.