Jon Sasaki: A Day Becomes a Sunrise

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Level 2.5 Vitrines

We exist in the age of Photoshop, image filters and deepfake videos. Yet, most photography is considered factual. Jon Sasaki reveals that editing photographs is almost as old as the medium itself.

During his research residency with The Rooms collections, Jon Sasaki examined photographs, lantern slides and glass plate negatives (an early format for capturing images) that commercial artists modified through painting, cutting and pasting. Their choices reflect how they believed this province’s landscape, people and wildlife should look.  By drawing attention to these changes, Sasaki shows that any image can be fabricated. 

Through this work, Sasaki interrogates the editorial decisions of artists such as the Group of Seven, who subtracted and embellished aspects of the landscape to suit an idealized version of nature. Sasaki examines how these fictions inform our contemporary relationship to the physical world and our constructions of national identity.

About the artist:

Jon Sasaki is a multidisciplinary artist who employs reason-based approaches reminiscent of conceptual art while investigating romantic subjects. He often creates humorous, self-exhaustive systems caught in cycles of trial and error. His work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea), the Canadian Embassy in Japan (Tokyo) and the Richmond Art Gallery (British Columbia). Sasaki was the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize (Dufftown, Scotland). Sasaki is based in Toronto, ON.


Images Credits:

Jon Sasaki. Examination of the image “Fleet bound north, June, Labrador.” 2019. 54.6 x 54.6 cm. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist.
Jon Sasaki. Examination of the image “An unusually tame harp seal and whitecoat.” 2019. 54.6 x 54.6 cm. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist.