September 20—October 13, 2012
In her work, Vancouver-based artist Gwenessa Lam examines notions of memory and perception as both individual and collective processes of orientation. She refers to the role of objects and interior spaces in guiding these processes, often by obscuring or removing them from view, achieving a sense of dislocation through ambiguity. Her painstakingly rendered images express negative space and shadow materially, pointing to the conspicuously absent source object and effectively challenging her viewers’ expectations of visual representation. Lam hints at the presence of objects, but is ultimately more concerned with the physical, perceptual, and historical forces that constitute the object as a particular form of a particular time and space. Flash Burn seeks to locate the origins of these forces within the context of increasing globalization, cultural assimilation and historical effacement. Working from images and shapes cast from 11th – 18th century Chinese ceramics, Lam questions the institutional systems that determine the value and authenticity of such items.