Manchester has the second largest Chinese community in the UK, second only to London. That the city is home to Chinese Arts Centre, an international organisation devoted to the celebration and advancement of Chinese arts and culture, is testament to the achievements of the Chinese living in the city.
During his preliminary research into the history of the Chinese in Manchester and the UK, Pien was reminded of the similar hardships that Chinese immigrants faced as labourers when arriving in his native Canada at the turn of the century. Pien will use his residency to examine the history of the relationship between the inhabitants of the city and the new settlers by uncovering individual experiences of immigration and researching visual representations of the Chinese, particularly caricatures that appeared when the relationship was most volatile.
The extensive research will inform an installation work to be exhibited at the centre in 2009. The installation will combine drawing, sound, video, paper cutting and the play of light to create a walk through environment, inviting the viewer to physically engage with a work that explores the concept of normality, preconceived notions of difference and the ways in which these perceptions can shift.
Ed Pien received his BA in Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario and MA Fine Art from University of York. He has exhibited internationally including the Drawing Centre, New York; La Biennale de Montreal; Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City; and The Goethe Institute, Berlin. Before his residency at Chinese Arts Centre, Pien will complete the latter half of a two-part project in Sicily.
For further information on breathe artists, please contact Felicity Clarke or David Hancock at Chinese Arts Centre on 0161 832 7271