Yellow Peril

May 10 — June 8, 1991

Curated by Paul Wong

Press Release

For the first time in Canada a diverse spectrum of recent and new work by twenty-five Asian Canadian artists and writers will be brought together in the important and timely exhibit : Yellow Peril: Reconsidered.

Asian is defined by the skin colour yellow. The treatment and portrayal of Asians by the dominant white culture is distinctive from that of other visible minorities – Native Indians, Indo-Canadians and blacks.

Experimental and documentary film, video and photobased artwork grappling with the Asian New World consciousness will be pushed to the forefront on this national tour.

Marginalized themes of sexuality, identity, home, feminist perspectives, institutionalized racism, farming, bilingualism and Hong Kong 1997 are explored in forms embraced by mass media and popular culture, providing an alternative and more accurate view of Asian Canadian artists. The (not so) exotic seen from the point of view of the (not so) exotic becomes familiar.

YELLOW PERIL: RECONSIDERED is a film, video, and photography exhibit which concentrates on Asian-Canadian work displaying a new world consciousness. Twenty-four artists are included in the six-city tour. The purpose of this show is to present new and challenging work, moving it from a position of marginality and placing it in the forefront of attention. The exhibition will provide alternative, more accurate views of Asian-Canadians. The (not so) exotic seen from the point of view of the (not so) exotic becomes familiar.

More traditional media are shunned in favour of the tools of mass media and popular culture: photography, film and video. These media are often accepted as the media of truth; what is contained in them is an accurate re-presentation of something that actually happened. What is often ignored is that the truth of popular media is selective truth. That which is document is, of necessity, not everything that happened. The events recored are less important than who recorded them. Much of the work in YELLOW PERIL grapples with the notion of truth. Whose truth is most often heard? Whose truth is ordinary truth?

The work in this exhibition, brought together for the first time in Canada, represents a broad range of artistic, social, and community concerns held by Asian Canadian artists. Formalist, experimental, and documentary art, by both emerging and mature artists is included.

In addition to the presentation of the work themselves, a publication is available. It documents the work presented, and presents various analyses and criticisms, which, up until this point have been lacking



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