Jenny Yujia Shi: The End of a Line
Jenny Yujia Shi 施雨迦 spent her childhood in the heart of Beijing 北京 before relocating to K’jipuktuk (Halifax, NS) at age 18. Her artistic practice is rooted in two pivotal moments: her childhood displacement from downtown Beijing due to urban development, and navigating a prolonged period of immigration limbo in early adulthood. These experiences have fueled Shi's profound interest in exploring the impact of displacement and dislocation on individuals across generations and within communities.
“The End of a Line” is an autobiographical exhibition. With a body of work spanning the last decade, it offers a poignant glimpse into Shi’s migration experience, culminating in her successful attainment of Canadian citizenship earlier this year. The exhibition reflects Shi's coming to terms with her new home country and ongoing efforts to position herself—as a newcomer—within Canada’s complex and contested history.
About the Curator
Tak Pham (he/him) is a Vietnamese contemporary art curator and writer. He is currently the Curator of the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 territory. He was formerly the Associate Curator at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory.
Pham holds a M.F.A in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University and a B.A. Hons. from Carleton University. He has curated exhibitions and organized curatorial projects for the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Contemporary Calgary, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Varley Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Nuit Blanche Toronto, among others. His writings and reviews have appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, ESPACE art actuel, esse arts + opinions, GalleriesWest, Studio Magazine, ArtAsiaPacific and Hyperallergic. In 2023, Pham was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation-Fogo Island Arts Young Curator Residency.
About the Artist
Jenny Yujia Shi 施雨迦 is a visual artist and community arts worker residing in Mi'kma'ki (Nova Scotia). Shi grew up in a Hutong 胡同 in Beijing 北京, China where her entire neighbourhood was uprooted as a result of urban development. Shi spent a decade on various temporary visas in K'jipuktuk (Halifax) as an art student and community arts coordinator before receiving Canadian Permanent Resident status in 2019. Shi explores themes of displacement and belonging in everyday moments through mixed media work, site-specific installation and animation. Shi has a deep interest in socially engaged art, community-based research, and arts governance.
To learn more: https://www.jennyshiyujia.com/
Image: Jenny Yujia Shi. “Portraits of Those in Limbo (Paper Forms)” 2022, Acrylic and ink on xuan paper, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of The Blue Building Gallery. Photo: Ryan Josey.