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Gardiner Museum



October 3, 2012


Brendan Tang wins RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award 

TORONTO (Wednesday October 3, 2012) – Taking home a prize of $10,000, Brendan Tang from British Columbia was elated to be announced as the winner of the 2nd Annual RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award at a public reception at the Gardiner Museum last night.

Besides Brendan Tang, the other four contending Canadian artists nominated were: Jason Holley, Newfoundland; Sarah Lawless, British Columbia; Janet Macpherson, Ontario; and Julie Moon, Ontario.

The RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award provides each nominated artist with an opportunity to showcase at the Gardiner Museum. The nominated artists’ work will be on view until October 7.

Each year the Gardiner Museum appoints a nominating committee comprised of five artists, educators, art critics, and/or curators from different regions across Canada and invites them to each nominate an artist.

“Thousands of people voted for the RBC Emerging Artists People’s Choice Award this year and many hundreds took the opportunity to comment on the artist of their choice on our web site. This award successfully stimulates discussion about contemporary ceramic art, and helps to raise the profile of the nominated artists. We congratulate all participating artists for being nominated and Brendan Tang on his success. We also thank RBC for their support of this important initiative – we simply could not present this exhibition and award without their leadership and support,” said Alexandra Montgomery, Executive Director of the Gardiner Museum.

This year’s nominees were chosen by the following panel: Dr. Sandra Alfoldy, Professor of Craft History at NSCAD University and Associate Curator of Fine Craft at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Canadian ceramic artist Rachelle Chinnery; Canadian ceramic artist Steven Heinemann; Jean-Pierre Larocque, Assistant Professor of Ceramics in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal; and Melanie Egan, Head of Crafts at Harbourfront Centre.

About Brendan Tang

Brendan Tang was born in Dublin, Ireland of Trinidadian parents and is a naturalized citizen of Canada. Tang’s professional practice has also taken him to India, Trinidad and Japan. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (Helena, MT) and participated in an international residency at the European Ceramic Work Centre ('s-Hertogenbosch, NL) in 2011. Tang’s work has been showcased at galleries and in printed and online media. He has exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (as a Sobey Finalist 2010), and Art Labor in Shanghai.

Artist Statement

Manga Ormolu enters the dialogue on contemporary culture, technology, and globalization through a fabricated relationship between ceramic tradition (using the form of Chinese Ming dynasty vessels) and techno-Pop Art. The futuristic update of the Ming vessels in this series recalls 18th century French gilded ormolu, where historic Chinese vessels were transformed into curiosity pieces for aristocrats. But here, robotic prosthetics inspired by anime (Japanese animation) and manga (the beloved comics and picture novels of Japan) subvert elitism with the accessibility of popular culture. Working with Asian cultural elements highlights the evolving Western experience of the “Orient.” This narrative is personal: the hybridization of cultures mirrors my identity as an ethnically-mixed Asian Canadian. My family history is one of successive generations shedding the markers of ethnic identity in order to succeed in an adopted country – within a few generations this cultural filtration has spanned China, India, Trinidad, Ireland and Canada.

About the Gardiner Museum

The Gardiner Museum connects people, art and ideas by offering an intimate look at one of the world’s oldest and most universal art forms - ceramics. The Museum’s collections span continents and time, giving a glimpse into the development of ceramic processes, decoration and form. Year-round, the Museum mounts special exhibitions, events, lectures and clay classes to complement its permanent collection.

The Museum also features a casual café that serves delicious fare prepared by Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, and the Gardiner Shop, which specializes in artist-designed, artist-made merchandise. More information about the museum and its exhibitions can be found online at www.gardinermuseum.com. Members of the media can register to access the Gardiner Museum’s online media room (http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/news-and-media) where they may download images and additional media materials.

For more information and complete artist bios, please contact:
Katherine Griggs
PUNCH Canada
416.360.6522 ex. 237

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