Qirou Yang & Sahar Askary Hemmat

Sensing Alienation
Exhibit and artist talk

October 2022
Toronto Public Library – Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8

Closing event: Thursday Oct 13th, at 6:30pm

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Sensing Alienation, explores how traditional buildings in Chinatown have been torn down and modern condos are taking over. During this multi-phased project, Qirou and Sahar will offer disposable cameras to Chinatown residents to document their thoughts in photographs. They will then conduct video interviews with Chinatown everyday workers that reveal their thoughts on the gentrification phenomenon in Chinatown. The stories and memorabilia collected will be showcased in a video displayed on loop at the Toronto Reference Library, followed by a closing event with an artist talk on October 14th.

Artist’s bio:
Qirou Yang is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist who originally came from southern China. She received her BFA at OCAD University and MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. Her art practices, which are intertwined between reality and fiction, are mostly driven by tracing her personal memory and self-perception. She utilizes text, photography, moving images and installation to explore the ontology of the medium. She believes that the nature of every medium ought not to be dull and set in stone, but to be sculptable and flexible. She has participated in Vector Festival, Video Fever, UAAC Conference, Digital Art Residency COLLAB-19 in 2020, and Residency Videopoem at the gallery Vidéographe in Montreal in 2021. She is currently a part-time professor at Faculty of Media & Creative Arts at Humber College.

Sahar Askary Hemmat is a Toronto-based multimedia artist. She was born and raised in Iran. She did her bachelor’s in Photography at Tehran University of Art and has recently completed her MFA in Documentary media at Ryerson university. Her artworks include a wide range of artistic mediums including photo, video, textile and installation. The subjects of her works are driven by her lived experience and reflect on the ideas of “memory” and “place”. She has been part of several group exhibitions. Her latest exhibition Gav Khouni, a multimedia installation looking at the intersection of landscape and identity, was held at Prefix Gallery. She has recently been one of the recipients of the 2022 Newcomer Arts Award.

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Capture What You See: Toronto’s Chinatown with Qirou Yang & Sahar Askary Hemmat

Ontario Culture Days is seeking expressions of interest from local partners for its new Regional Hub Series.

Artistic programs are made possible thanks to support from Canadian Heritage, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Toronto Arts Council.