Curated by Kristen Lambertson, Sugar Bombs invites us into a candy-coloured world where innocence and beauty meet images of war and violence. The exhibit combines prints by Vancouver artist Diyan Achjadi with ceramic pieces by Kamloops artist Brendan Tang that explore militarized conflict in the guise of pop culture.
Brendan Tang, Manga Ormolu version 3.0-a, ceramic [Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops BC, Apr 5-May 24]
Indonesia-born artist Diyan Achjadi has been using a character called The Girl for several years in her digital prints, video, Web project and mixed-media installations. Achjadi uses "Girl" like her personal avatar to explore themes of patriotism and national identity, militarism and political unrest. The figure appears in numerous guises, from a single, larger-than life, slightly menacing version to a paper doll-like motif used for massed groups of identical girls who march, wave flags, stand at attention or salute.
Achjadi spent her formative years in Indonesia and her family subsequently moved to Hong Kong, London, back to Jakarta and Washington, DC before settling in New York for ten years. In July 2005, Achjadi moved to Vancouver where she is an assistant professor of printmaking and critical and cultural studies at Emily Carr University.
Brendan Tang was born in Dublin and holds an MFA from the Southern Illinois University. Tangs vividly coloured ceramics are meticulously crafted and inspired by 18th century French porcelains, although his labour-intensive ornamentation unexpectedly incorporates robotic and cyborg forms. His traditional forms with decorative details borrowed from consumer culture often take the shape of vessels and have implied functionality. A self-described ceramic fabricator, Tang is interested in the potential of clay to mimic other materials.