Kai Chan, Aurora (detail), 1975,Cotton, nylon and wood, Collection of the artist Photo: Cheryl O'Brien.

Kai Chan: A Spider’s Logic


January 27 to March 18, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, January 27 at 8 p.m.

Artist & Curators’ Talk/Tour: Friday, Janaury 27 at 7 p.m.

A Spider’s Logic brings together more than a dozen major works by Chinese-Canadian artist Kai Chan. Spanning 35 years, these works reveal the artist’s extraordinary conceptual and formal range, and illuminate his very personal manner of observing nature and the built environment.

Using everyday materials such as branches, thread, string, toothpicks, buttons and recycled plastic objects, and applying mixed-media techniques, he mixes, heaps, wraps, weaves, braids, layers, fastens, rolls, twists and stretches them to create fascinating and ingenious installations and sculptures.

Though Kai Chan’s oeuvre is primarily associated with textile arts, it touches upon different creative practices, from jewelery making and basket weaving to the fine arts.
Chan’s expressive and imaginative pieces are characterized by a minimalist use of unexpected materials. He celebrates the ordinary by melding tradition and modernity.

Born in China in 1940, Chan has lived and worked in Toronto since 1966. His work is internationally recognized for its experimental approach to textile arts, and it has been shown in Canada, Germany, Australia, Austria, Spain, the USA, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Holland, Poland, the UK and Sweden. Chan’s work is critically acclaimed within the disciplines of textiles and the visual arts. Among Chan’s honours are the Jean A. Chalmers National Crafts Award (1998) and the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts (2002).

Curator Sarah Quinton selected work from the permanent collections of the Mendel Art Gallery, Cambridge Galleries, Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the artist’s studio. A Spider’s Logic is organized and toured by the Textile Museum of Canada and the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.