Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance

5 Sept 2015 - 3 Jan 2016
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery 72 Queen Street, Civic Centre (Oshawa)

In partnership with The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

The exhibition brings together the works of five contemporary South Asian artists as they examine the voids and brims of living in a diaspora. Curated by Ambereen Siddiqui, Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance brings together Tazeen Qayyum, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Asma Sultana, Surendra Lawoti and Meera Margaret Singh to critically dissect cultural duality and the resulting hybrid identities. They share accounts that add to an overarching collective narrative that has come to describe an in-between space. Hovering between recollection, narration and reflection their works record acts of searching for the familiar in the foreign, of repurposing the past in the present and of locating oneself within displacement. Working with performance and installation, photography and sculpture, writing and sewing and moving image and text, their multidisciplinary practices echo the diversity of their layered experiences.

Emanating from personal narratives, the works carry a deliberate autobiographical significance as each artist dissects the fissures and dislocations caused by distance. Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, England, Australia, Brazil, America, and Canada provide the spaces and intertwining histories for these accounts shaped by movement. The exhibition collocates these works to further understand, as well as complicate, ideas of familiarity and strangeness, nostalgia and paranoia, and community and the individual.

RMG Fridays
Friday 11 September: Back to School

Celebrate the openings of Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance and Moving Image with the sweet melodies of The Birdloft, Roberta Quilico and a stunning performance and short film by the Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Symposium – Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance
Saturday 12 September, from 11am – 3pm

This afternoon symposium will provide an opportunity for discussions of and around the works shown as part of the exhibition, Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance. The artworks, emanating from experiences of having lived in more than one place, delve into the sociopolitical, geographic and very personal histories of migration and movement.

The symposium, at the RMG will include a tour of the exhibition with guest curator, Ambereen Siddiqui followed by a panel discussion with the participating artists; Surendra Lawoti,Tazeen Qayyum,Meera Margaret Singh, Asma Sultana and Sydney based Abdullah M.I. Syed. This will be an occasion for viewers to ask questions about the process and multidisciplinary practices of each artist, as well as an opportunity for the artists to expand upon the layered and subtle meanings within the artworks.

This is a free event and advanced online registration is required! A complimentary shuttle bus will depart from 401 Richmond St W in Toronto at 10am and return following the event. A complimentary light lunch will be included. Due to limited seating at the RMG, registration is required by Thursday 3 September.

Miniature Painting with artist Tazeen Qayyum
Sunday, 15 November, 11am – 3:30pm

An introductory workshop to Miniature Painting of Persian and South Asian tradition, outlining the different traditional styles and schools, and contextualizing contemporary practices. The workshop includes an illustrated lecture, demonstrations of various techniques, including the making of qalam (brush). Participants work through a drawing assignment to reinforce a number of different techniques, including Siyah Qalam (drawing with a brush), the charba method of drawing (image transferring), creating a jidwal (traditional border), and preparing and adding rung (colour). All materials provided, but please bring your own lunch.

Space is limited and registration is required. Supported by the Aked Endowment.
$20 Members / $30 Non-Members

Exhibition Catalogue

Shellie Zhang, “Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance.” Art Asia Pacific January 2016: Web review

Opening Reception

Friday, September 11th
7 -10pm

Saturday, September 12th
11am – 3pm
Free (return trip included)



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401 Richmond St. W.
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