The Reach Gallery Museum recently opened two significant exhibitions for their summer season that are thematically linked by artists exploring personal, cultural and historical connections between Canada, India and Pakistan.
Duje Pase ton (From the Other Side): Arts Across the Border, From the Two Punjabs is a groundbreaking international group exhibition featuring works by 22 artists. They were brought together to participate in a series of artist residencies that occurred on both the Indian and Pakistani sides of the Punjab border.
The artists were invited to create new artworks that reflect on the impact and experience of Partition, and encourage reflection on our understanding and experiences of borders, migration, and identity more generally.
Once a united linguistic/cultural region, Punjab was divided into Pakistani and Indian regions when those two countries became independent in 1947.
The massive violence associated with Partition, and the geographic displacements it entailed, continue to reverberate in the lives of Punjabis around the world.
This is particularly true in the Fraser Valley, which has the largest per-capita population of Punjabi-Canadians in the country. The exhibition encourages critical consideration of this moment in global history and its current and local resonances.
The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Adrienne Fast, curator of art and visual culture at The Reach; Dr. Anne Murphy, associate professor of Punjabi studies at the UBC; and Indian-Canadian artist Raghavendra Rao K.V.
It features works of art by Taha Ahmad and Kanza Fatima, Sayera Anwar, Jason Baerg, Manvi Bajaj, Rachita Burjupati, Nina Celada, Hifsa Farooq, Jawad Hussain, Sana Iqbal, Atul Jith, Rohma Khan and Shabnam Khan, Krishna Luchoomun, Shashank Peshawaria, Jagdeep Raina, Raghavendra Rao K.V., Ratika Singh, Samia Singh, Sreshta Suresh, Risham Syed, and Gavati Wad.
A panel discussion with several of the exhibiting artists will air online on June 25. Visit thereach.ca for more details.
The summer season of exhibitions at The Reach also features Roshni Key Teh Mein (In the Fold of Light), a solo exhibition by artist Sara Khan.
Born in England, raised in Pakistan, and now based in Vancouver, Khan is known for her elaborate, lush watercolour paintings.
In this recent body of work, the artist explores the tensions between absence and presence, attraction and repulsion, beauty and peculiarity. Through elaborate patterns, autobiographical references, and uncanny figures, Khan expresses her connection to landscapes, histories, and people from whom she is physically removed, yet emotively linked.
The Reach and the UFV School of Creative Arts will co-host an online artist talk with Sara Khan on June 10 at 1 p.m. Those interested in attending can register at no cost by searching “Sara Khan” on eventbrite.ca