Li Chai, M Body Watch series (2003), Jacquard weaving, installation view

Li Chai, M Body Watch series (2003), Jacquard weaving, installation view

Shaping the Orbit

Li Chai, Ying-Yueh Chuang, Karen Tam

A Space Main Gallery

June 16 – July 22, 2006

Opening June 16, 2006, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Curated by: Doris Sung

Artist talks June 16th 7PM

Traditionally, craft has been a social practice, in which women negotiate their relationship in the familial and social spheres. Following this tradition, the artists in Shaping the Orbit use ceramic, textile, paper cutting and assemblages to articulate the transient nature of their own experience of cultural crossing and displacement as Chinese-Canadian women.

Notions of passages are seen in the computerized weaving of Li Chai which detail her own experiences of both childbirth and migration. The ceramic pieces of Ying-Yueh Chuang create an artificial ideal of a paradise, in which memories are emerging and submerging.

Karen Tam’s paper cutting and fabricated artifacts of North American Chinese restaurants interrogate the notion of hybridity in the orbit of postmodern life. Through their works, the artists shape the orbits of their lives with hands that elicit crossings of time, place, culture, and personal memory.

Ying-Yueh Chuang, It blooms on the day...(2004), ceramics, acrylic rods

Karen Tam, MSG and Buddha Health Food & Vegetarian Delight, from Chef Lee’s First Wok ’n’ Roll Garden series (2004-present), paper cutting


Li Chai was born in Inner Mongolia, China. She completed a MFA program in textiles at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2003. Chai recently held a solo exhibition of her work at the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax and currently lives in Toronto.

Ying-Yueh Chuang received a diploma in fine arts from Langara College in 1997, a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1999, and a master’s degree with a major in ceramics from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2001. She has exhibited in Taiwan, Canada, the U.S., Korea, Hungary, and Australia and her work is found in public and private collections including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the WOCEK Icheon World Ceramic Centre in Korea. She is currently working as a studio ceramist in Toronto.

Montréal-based artist Karen Tam holds a MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Concordia University. She has participated in exhibitions and artist residencies across Canada, in Ireland, and in the United States.

Doris Sung is a Toronto-based visual artist and curator. Sung graduated with a MFA in 2004 and is currently a PhD candidate in the Social and Political Thought program at York University. Her research focuses on contemporary Chinese visual culture and her artwork investigates the relationship between Daoism and visuality.