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Unearthly Waters – Maja Ngom & Tommy Ting

Opening Reception – part of SWARM event: September 12, 7-11PM

Exhibition Dates: September 13 – 17, 2013 by appointment
Yactac Gallery

Unearthly Waters is a collaborative project conceived by Tommy Ting and Maja Ngom shortly after graduating in 2012. Both without any immediate plans they felt fragile and exhausted, uncertain of their future journeys as artists. Although separated by the geographical location (Ting living in Canada and Ngom in the UK) they situated Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” as their common horizon. Deciding to work independently but in dialogue with each other, they shared their research, ideas and processes on a blog. The immense remoteness and inability to meet in person often caused frustration and longing, which began to steep into their collaboration. It was only towards realizing the project that they recognized this distance as their shared space and the setting for their work.

Drawing upon themes from Conrad’s novel, the artists created echoes and webs of metaphors that were born out of their relationship to the writer and his work, investigating the idea of desire and its entanglement to the colonial discourse. Unearthly Waters touches upon moment of encounter with the other and the unknown; an encounter in which was imagined and projected long before it befell. The title alludes to an imaginary place that has no specific geographic location, a place both of our world and out of this world.

Tommy Ting (b.1989, Canada) and Maja Ngom (b.1980, Poland) both studied BA Photography at the London College of Communication from 2009 to 2012. Ting is one of the associates at Open School East in London, UK, an alternative art school and communal space based in East London launching in September 2013. Ngom is studying MA Photography at the Royal College of Arts in London, UK.

Unearthly Waters is part of SWARM 2013, a 2-night event that marks the launch of Vancouver’s artist-run centre programming season with exhibition openings, performances, screenings and special events.

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