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Staying in the Feeling

Julian Yi-Zhong Hou Staying in the Feeling

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Exhibition takes place in two locations: 1555 Duranleau St on Granville Island daily between 12pm to 5pm and in the street front windows at 1265 Howe St 24/7. Staying in the Feeling brings together the multiple iterations of Grass Drama by Julian Hou.

  • File number: EXHI1065

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Staying in the Feeling brings together the multiple iterations of Grass Drama by Vancouver-based artist Julian Hou. This exhibition considers the relationship between knowing and sensing the borders and boundaries of bodies, and the contours and shapes associated with comfort. Architectural structures that contain and protect, textiles that cover and conceal, and sounds that console and ease one into a state of contentment, are all aspects of the program.

A folded quilt awaits a body in need of warmth, sleep, retreat, rest, or recovery. Assembled with care, the surface the textile holds traces of past encounters. Dreams are caught in the cotton batting of the blanket. The residue of physical contact urges particular memories to percolate. A score of collected auras and sounds plays in the distance. The texture of the quilt represents an assemblage of experiences. Accumulations of stories about place and identity are captured through the gesture of making. As an object, the quilt has encountered an expanse of moments, reflecting the spaces in which it has been and is potentially going. The temporal discrepancies of each encounter stretch the parameters of how one might experience space and time. Every warp and weft, scrap and stitch, stain and wash, yields another moment.

Memories circle around. A selection of prints on the walls represent various forms of refection from different dates and speeds of time. Familiar architectures are remembered through patterns and impressions. Outlines of a lakeside view, haunted doorway, attic apartment, and backyard garden, appear in abstracted representations of moments past. The exteriority of relations is multiplied through the adjacency of text and image. Internal and external connections overlap and unfold between digital and analogue material form.

Over the course of the exhibition a number of events will occur. The Malaspina Printmakers gallery on Granville Island and exhibition windows on Howe Street will display artworks, objects, and ephemera of Grass Drama. A record will be released, drifting the multi-sensory project into being elsewhere. Merchandise from the program will be available for sale—t-shirts, to be taken from their conditions within the gallery, to be worn, washed, and outstretched on a laundry line; prints to be hung in the home; records to be played; Broadsheet poems to be read in solitary or recited amongst others. In the place of elsewhere, the signs and phenomena of Grass Drama will fluctuate with the currents around them. The circuitries of transaction will be dispersed into alternate narratives and trajectories. This mutable transformation upon Grass Drama will carry on beyond the exhibition with future iterations of the project—a limited edition of reality.

Julian Yi-Zhong Hou was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Treaty 6 territory, and currently lives in Vancouver, on the land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. He is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is centred on contemporary mystical narratives, mental health and consciousness, occult histories and divination practices. His work has been the focus of solo and group exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; 8eleven, Toronto; Artspeak, Vancouver; and the Vancouver Art Gallery. His most recent work, Grass Drama, has been shown in parts at Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto (2019); Unit 17, Vancouver (2018); and in Charcuterie 4 (2018). Hou holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Cultural Studies degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of British Columbia. He has held residencies at Triangle, Marseille; Western Front and 221A Vancouver, and in 2017 he won the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Award for Emerging Visual Artist. He is currently on the board of the Or Gallery and he is one of the founding members of the record label Second Spring.

Jenn Jackson is a curator, writer and researcher. She has held positions at a range of public and private organizations. Jackson has written on contemporary art for catalogues, books and journals, and is co-editor of Haunt. She is guest co-curator, with Phanuel Antwi, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Christian Vistan, and Grant Arnold of the next civic triennial at the Vancouver Art Gallery.