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Group Exhibition / “The Hybrid Machine”

May 10 @ 12:00 pm June 9 @ 5:00 pm PDT

May 10 – June 09, Massy Arts will host The Hybrid Machine, a group show celebrating works by artists Nicholas Tay, Alisha Sian, Pippa Cherniavksy, and Dennis Humphrey.

This selection of figurative experiments on photography, drawing, and painting invites viewers to address and discuss the human bodily experience as both an instrument of social reality and a product of multiple narratives.

As the introduction of Donna Haraway’s text A Cyborg Manifesto (1985) attests, the body can be understood as “a cybernetic organism, a hybrid machine”.

Haraway suggests that the cyborg is the human ontology, it establishes the basis for politics to emerge from the physical experience of this world. The feminist and postmodern theorist would also suggest that our time creates more than humans: chimeras fabricated between the fictional (cultural) and the real (biological) world.

The works from The Hybrid Machine present a visual bridge to understand the “condensed images that form both our imaginations and material realities” (Haraway), offering mind and matter inseparable. Whether questioning its stability or physicality, what’s debated is the appropriation of the natural body as a resource for the production of art and, therefore, culture.

Through imaginative lenses that look beyond the vessel and the carcass, these pieces provoke the viewer to search for the traces that shape us — questioning: what lies beneath and beyond the flesh in every one of these enigmatic suggestions?

The Massy Arts Gallery is located at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 5pm.
Entrance is free, and masks are mandatory.

To contact the gallery, send an email to: info@massyarts.com.

Click here to register for the opening reception

Click here to read Massy Arts’ interview with the artists

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With Imperfect Offerings, visual artist Nicholas Tay tells the stories that are written on the body: scars, muscles, bones, and fat acting as the connective tissue of the physical offerings we give to one another. The series of paintings explores the toll taken on the body for the contributions we make to each other’s lives.

As the title of her collection may suggest, Alisha Sian’s Break and Bloom chronicles the process of holding ourselves together while at other times falling apart completely. For her series of drawings, the artist used her ever-growing fascination with faces and gestures to stage a representation about how life’s changes can translate to an artistic process.

Pippa Cherniavksy’s Unravelling, a series of drawings made over twenty years ago, is an attempt to articulate emotions and energy as experienced through the physical form. With each drawing, Cherniavksy drew intuitively, asking herself: “What does each part of my body need me to know, need me to see, need me to feel, need me to own?”.

In spaces in between, a series of digital prints inspired by an intergalactic tale of androgyne aliens, interdisciplinary artist and bookmaker Dennis Humphrey aims to evoke and engage the viewer through exploring the interplay of both gender fluidity + gender extremity.

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Artist’s Bios

Nicholas Tay likens his arrival and upbringing in the Pacific Northwest from the age five to falling in love. Exploring multi-cultured identity is at the core of Tay’s artistic practice, wherein vastly divergent ideas can be represented with emotional honesty. “I used to feel that being Chinese Canadian was akin to being lost between houses of separated parents, or being an alien guest of a gracious host. Through the exploration of my art, I have found that both cultures are truly at home in me and in my work,” he says.

Alisha Sian creates contemplative and captivating visual representations of her lived experience. A fascination with sharp line work and a surrealistic exploration of human forms have drawn her towards a growing repertoire of mediums, such as graphite, ink, conté, and watercolour. As a brown girl with traditional career paths projected onto her since early in life, Sian shatters cultural expectations by exhibiting her work in galleries, being featured in literary magazines, and running a burgeoning tattoo studio in her private Surrey apartment.

Pippa Cherniavksy began studying art at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design between 1984-1986, and completed her studies in experimental art at the Ontario College of Art in 1989. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, including at Gallery 76 and the York University Art Gallery. In the late 1990s, she created a series of 40 drawings and showcased her works at alternative galleries in Calgary (The New Gallery), Saskatoon (AKA Gallery), St John’s (Eastern Edge Gallery), Vancouver (Community Arts Center), and Toronto (The Core).

Dennis Humphrey is a gay, retired artist who makes images, poems, and books. He mainly works with digital photography, historical photographic processes and contemporary mixed media processes on paper, exploring the materiality of the photo, from integral film to alternative process prints, including the supports these are printed on. Interested in poetry and the book arts, he has written and illustrated, designed and printed, handmade and print-on-demand books that feature art and poetry.

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