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Remai Modern to present Zadie Xa’s first solo museum project in Canada

For immediate release — October 28, 2020

This fall, Remai Modern presents a new body of work by Vancouver-born, London-based artist Zadie Xa. Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers in the museum’s Connect Gallery marks the artist’s first solo museum project in Canada. The exhibition is produced in partnership with Leeds Art Gallery, where it will travel in 2021.

Xa combines sculpture, painting, light and sound to create immersive multi-media experiences. Drawing from a range of fields including ecology, science fiction and ancient religions, she explores how beings imagine and inhabit their worlds. Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers tells the story of animal kinship as a survival strategy to save an ailing planet. The work is loosely based on the Korean shamanic tale of Princess Bari, who travels to the underworld in search of life-saving water to cure her dying parents.

In Xa’s installation, the audience acts as the protagonist, taken on a journey through multiple dimensions by five guides: Conch, Orca, Seagull, Cabbage and Fox. These creatures speak to the damages caused by humankind’s reckless behaviour, impacting the sea, air and land. They call on the audience to recognize the interconnectedness of every lifeform on Earth and to take healing actions, before it is too late.

“This exhibition represents a new level for Zadie Xa, in terms of how the experiential aspects of her practice are realized in an exhibition. Animating the sculptural installation with a three-dimensional soundscape and synchronized lighting, she creates a complete environment full of voices and presence,” said curator Rose Bouthillier. “Xa’s practice reflects to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art today. Her work engages with an expansive network of references and ideas from multiple cultural, theoretical and aesthetic sources.”

Xa’s practice is highly collaborative, and she has developed ongoing exchanges with dancers, musicians and actors. Since 2006, Xa has worked closely with artist Benito Mayor Vallejo. For this installation, Mayor Vallejo crafted five sculptures in dialogue with Xa’s textile pieces.

Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers is created with support from Remai Modern and Leeds Art Gallery. The exhibition is organized at Remai Modern by Rose Bouthillier, Curator (Exhibitions) and will be on view until Febuary 21, 2021. The exhibition is organized at Leeds Art Gallery by Holly Grange, Exhibitions Curator, and will be on view March 18–June 5, 2021.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a commissioned text by Sarah Shin, founder of New Suns, a curation and storytelling project from feminist perspectives and practices, and a co-founder of Silver Press and Ignota Books. The sound component of the exhibition was commissioned by Somerset House Studios for ASSEMBLY 2020 and can be experienced at www.assembly2020.co.

Remai Modern and the artist acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Leeds Art Gallery acknowledges the support of the Henry Moore Foundation.

The Connect Gallery is always free thanks to the generosity of TD. Remai Modern would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, SaskCulture through the Sask Lotteries Fund and the City of Saskatoon.


About Zadie Xa

Zadie Xa was born and raised in Vancouver on unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territory, and is now based in London, UK. Her work is informed by her experiences within the Korean diaspora, as well as the environmental and cultural context of the Pacific Northwest. Forces of distance and relation—familial, cultural, spiritual—shape her constantly evolving notions of self. Her work often features garments, including cloaks and masks, used for performance, protection or ceremony.

Xa’s recent projects include Child Of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, which originated as a performance and installation for London’s Art Night 2019, and travelled as an exhibition between co-commissioning venues Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan; Tramway, Glasgow; and De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill on Sea, UK. Her recent performances include participation in Frieze Live 2020: The Institute of Melodic Healing, curated by Victor Wang; Grandmother Mago, a performance for the 2019 Venice Biennial; Flooded with ICE/Hellfire Can’t Scorch Me, commissioned by Hayward Gallery, Southbank Center, 2018; Iridezcent Interludez for “Do Disturb 2018,” Palais de Tokyo, 2018; and Perfumed Purple Rice and Sateen Songs for Sadie, “Guest, Ghost, Host: Machine!” Serpentine Marathon, 2017. Xa was one of the recipients of the Sobey Art Award in 2020, which for the first time was awarded to all 25 nominees.


About Remai Modern

Remai Modern is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon. The museum is committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era.

Open since October 2017, Remai Modern is the largest contemporary art museum in western Canada and houses a collection of more than 8,000 works, including the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints.

Remai Modern would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture through the Sask Lotteries Fund and the City of Saskatoon.


For additional information contact:

Stephanie McKay, Communications Manager

306.975.2242

smckay@remaimodern.org