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PUBLICATION: RECENTRE Futures and Today & Yesterday

RECENTRE Poster Launch
Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 6-9pm
Tea Base
Chinatown Centre Mall
222 Spadina Ave Chinatown Centre
Unit C15 (Basement)

Join us for tea, tea cocktails and local Chinatown snacks at the launch of Trinity Square Video’s latest publication. In the form of two posters, the publications include images by Skawennati and Morris Lum and texts that intersect art, gentrification, spatial justice and marginalization by Maize Longboat, Christopher Gilliard, Alvis Choi, Amy Lam, Sajdeep Soomal and Vincent Tao.

This is the final component of the RECENTRE project, that began in 2017, guest curated by Su-Ying Lee. The publications were motivated by Trinity Square Video’s proximity to Chinatown, Toronto’s escalating crisis of affordable living and studio spaces, and The Invitational art fair. In October 2018, The Invitational was organized by real estate developer Metropolitan Commercial along with David Moos Art Advisory, and through art-washing transformed an iconic, Chinatown building (346 Spadina Avenue) through an aspirational make-over. Chinatowns were created through early racial segregation and traditionally located in the geographic margins of cities in undesirable locations. In such unfavorable locations, relatively low property values allowed independent businesses and housing tailored to the local cultural community to establish and proliferate. Individuals and businesses seeking low cost space, including artists and art galleries, find homes in these conditions. As cities grew and shifted, the locations of Chinatowns became central urban areas, making them attractive to developers and vulnerable to gentrification.

With an image by Skawennati and texts by Maize Longboat and Christopher Gilliard the Futures poster approaches technologies and digital space as tools that can both reproduce historical inequities and offer new possibilities for Indigenous self-determination, and racial and spatial justice.

Morris Lum’s work is featured on the Today & Yesterday poster along with the writing of Alvis Choi, Amy Lam, Sajdeep Soomal and Vincent Tao who discuss acts of resistance and difficult relationships to place and identity through past and recent events.

The 20 x 15 inch posters will be available free of charge at the launch and will remain available at Tea Base and other locations.

RECENTRE has been a series of discursive programming presented by Trinity Square Video and guest curated by Su-Ying Lee that addresses structural racism by identifying bias and discrimination in modes of representation, like the language and imagery applied to people who are Black, Indigenous and of colour (BIPOC).

Tea Base is a cozy community arts space, tucked away in the heart of Chinatown. Driven by the need for accessible spaces for artists and young professionals, we are a place for sharing; all in-between sips of tea. We host cultural programming, workshops, and events; as well as teas curated by local sommeliers, and a collection of writing and art from the East and South-East Asian diaspora.