Photo credit Michael Cullen, TPG Digital Arts Toronto. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
Curatorial statement by Fynn Leitch for the exhibition These Things I have Seen at the Art Gallery of Peterborough
Through sculpture, installation, and painting, Code, MacDonald, and Morimoto explore themes of memory, nostalgia, and ideality while disrupting the embedded colonial patriarchy of the art history canon. Their works portray kitch, the domestic, or street scenes from Chinatown and Etobicoke in canonical vernaculars such as American realism and baroque still life using colour, light, and technique to render the familiar unfamiliar; to reimagine the quotidian fantastic.
What happens when kitsch is inserted into classical art; when the quaint explodes; when we accept that the present is just as susceptible to ideation as the past? Referencing and manipulating techniques from established movements whose once-contemporaneity is so long past that it is romanticized if not forgotten, the artists comment on the vulnerability of truth and the power of imagination.