236 Pender St East,
13 Oct 2023–13 Jan 2024
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22 October–22 January 2022
Serena Lee, wave hands, like clouds, not eyes, exhibition at Or Gallery, 2021.
wave hands, like clouds, not eyes
wave hands, like clouds, not eyes is a sequence of haptic encounters that trace the internal processes experienced by the artist when practising taijiquan, an internal martial art meant for both healing and injuring, incorporating daoist principles of non-purposeful action (無為 wu wei) and natural spontaneity (自然 zi ran), and the dualist interplay of yin yang cosmology. Through shifting textures, sound and scents, emphasizing contact with the ground, air, and the passage through both time and space, these sensorial experiences focus awareness on training bodily agency and the relation of the microcosmic to the wider horizon. Moving through a space of objects that are in flux at different paces, also dispersed throughout are things that have become shorthand for the mix of heritage and daily use that describe ‘Chinatown’ and its place in the diasporic imaginary.
Serena Lee’s practice stems from a fascination with polyphony and its radical potential for mapping power, perception and belonging. She plays with movement, language, cinema, voice, and space. Serena collaborates as part of Read-in, a collective researching political, embodied, and situated practices of reading; and with artist Christina Battle as SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE, a framework for sci-fi world-building through living research and transmedia publication.
Born and raised in Tkaronto/Toronto, Serena is currently a PhD candidate at the Akademie der bildenden künste Wien (Vienna, AT) and holds an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Recent engagements: La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (Alsace, FR), Casco Art Institute (Utrecht, NL), Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Occitanie (Sète, FR), Mitchell Art Gallery (Edmonton, CA), SAW Video (Ottawa, CA), Cubitt (London, UK), S1 Artspace (Sheffield, UK), transmediale (Berlin, DE), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, CA), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK).