The Harvest Lantern

Part of a group exhibition for 20 Minutes of Action curated by Sally Frater for the Art 4 Change conference- Unmasking Rape Culture and Gender Based Violence- a joint project with Centre[3] and SACHA in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Harvest refers to the predictable social patterns of gender based violence as a product of the confluence of colonial, white supremacist, heterosexist, ableist and patriarchal social power structures. Historical oppression, colonialism, systemic issues of inaccessibility, and some immigration legislations continue to inform social patterns of vulnerability to gender based violence, and to the predictability of high statistical rates that have maintained unchanged over time. Women at higher risk to gender based violence include Indigenous women; women with disabilities; young women; lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming folx; black and racialized women; women who have been previously sexually assaulted as children; and women who are newcomers, refugees, non-status, or working under precarious terms such as the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. It is when an intersection of these identities and status merge, that statistical rates of vulnerability becomes predictably high. 

The seeds of social oppression are cultivated, normalized and propagated over generations as we continuously fail to acknowledge our own participation, through overt and subtle implicit bias, as socialized agents in propagating and maintaining exclusive privileges of systemic power. The seeds represents the potential and hope for deep systemic change and collective healing. What we sow, will become the future Harvest.

  Detail of The Harvest Lantern by Hitoko Okada, on exhibition at 20 Minutes of Action curated by Sally Frater at Centre[3], 2017.

Detail of The Harvest Lantern by Hitoko Okada, on exhibition at 20 Minutes of Action curated by Sally Frater at Centre[3], 2017.

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The Harvest Lantern by Hitoko Okada, on exhibition at 20 Minutes of Action curated by Sally Frater at Centre[3], 2017.

Hive

Solo exhibition at Centre[3], Hamilton, Ontario 2015.

Hive is a clothing collection and series of paper- based sculptures that explores the internal struggle of the obligated worker as disenchanted proletariat.
Throughout this series, I employ a motif of the honeycomb cell, in repetition, to represent a divisive barrier as social infrastructure created by its workers, and designed for inequity. In the struggle to transgress socialized and internalized barriers in employment, as it relates to poverty, race and gender, I seek to re-imagine an exit from the duality of social oppression towards empowerment, healing and emancipation.

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Site specific window installation at Workers Arts and Heritage Centre 20/20 Vision/ Hindsight curated by Tara Bursey, Hamilton, Ontario 2015

Bling!

Bling! explores the capitalistic drive for representational objects of status and power that are often derived from exploit and colonial means. Bling! attempts to question how the role of the consumer is complicit in and perpetuates economic relationships with marginalized people rooted in colonialism.

This series has been featured on renowned design sites including Mocoloco, Design You Trust, TheMag and selected as one of Trendhunters top 65 statement necklaces. Bling! was initially launched in 2009, as a solo exhibition at Centre[3] in Hamilton, Canada, and has been exhibited in various art galleries throughout Toronto and Hamilton, Canada.

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-HOME [Hyphenated Home] curatorial project

 -HOME [Hyphenated Home] at Centre[3] and Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamiton, Ontario. Artists: Amelia Jimenez, Farouk Kaspaules, Damarys Sepulveda, Ingrid Mayrhofer, and Gu Xiong.  

Unlike the nomadic subject (as discussed by Deleuze and Guattari), the migrant leaves one place to find another. How complete is this act of deterritorializing? Are the imagined spaces created by exile in constant tension with the body that occupies them? Does one belong here or there, in both, or in neither? If there exists a point of return does the returning space retract ever further into the past? How are these notions expressed in different cultures?

In a literal sense, home is a place of residence. Conceptually, "home" negates physical location. Home becomes one’s association with a mental and emotional state of refuge or comfort. The hyphenated identity of first generation new Canadians locates "home" in the liminal spaces between displacement and belonging. Amelia Jimenez describes this phenomenon as “a more fluid, elusive and uncertain place” constructed from “memory or imagination.”  Divided geographies, sociographies, and cultural identities challenge transnationals’ lived experiences. Transnationals- a term used by Professor Loretta Baldassar from the University of Western Australia- to describe migrants who "live their lives across borders and develop and maintain their ties to two (or more) homes, even when their countries of origin and settlement are geographically distant." Gu Xiong’s work centres on the creation of a hybrid identity arising from the dynamics of globalization. Farouk Kaspaules explores the duality of “safe” exile as he addresses the ongoing upheaval in his homeland of Iraq. Damarys Sempulveda, an artist and part-time settlement worker, has recorded hundreds of stories from women who have immigrated to Canada from refugee camps.  Ingrid Mayrhofer “explores her relationship to home though memory, objects, and economic relationship to land, and subsistence as “connection to my place of origin”. As a second generation Canadian, Okada is interested in the generational impact of the transnational experience. Okada looks to the artists she works with to inform her own inquiries: If subsequent generations become disconnected to ancestral homeland, how do second and third generation Canadians negotiate their own sense of hyphenated identities? How do Canadian born, non indigenous, racialized minorities re-imagine home and belonging if perceived as “outsiders” within their country of origin?  

Visualizing the text-hyphen that connects and separates two places, Centre [3] and Workers Arts and Heritage Centre has collaborated with first generation Canadian artists and a second generation Canadian curator from diverse cultural backgrounds to demonstrate shared concerns around perception, place, identity, belonging, and claiming new spaces as their own. 

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Outdoor Exhibitons

 

DUCK!

Road Signs Project curated by Ingrid Mayrhofer at Centre[3]

Kaomoji is a Japanese emoticon meaning face marks or face characters. It reads horizontally, and is creatively created by punctuations, option keys, and other language characters as well. To address the void of emotional or humourous context in text messaging, kaomoji emerged at the inception of texting in Japan and quickly grew in popular use in youth culture.

The caution sign with a duck kaomoji, makes a humourous sign for oncoming hazards when City and corporation keep passing the response- ability for failing infrastructure and public safety. DUCK! is a public warning sign for failed accountability leading to hazards like falling glass from poorly constructed Toronto high rise condos; falling bricks from Hamilton’s deteriorating neglected heritage buildings or when driving under the crumbling Gardiner Expressway.

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