Current and Upcoming

Tong Lam: Moving Images, Moving People

Tong Lam: Moving Images, Moving People

May 10-June 8, 2019 at the Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space, 4th floor, 401 Richmond St. West. Open Monday–Friday, 11am–6pm, Saturday 1pm–5pm.

Presented in partnership with the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. Supported by the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Film is a form of mechanically reproduced art for creating shared experiences, and the arrival of digital technology has further standardized how the medium is delivered and screened globally. Yet, in China, where mobile cinema has re-emerged as a popular means for the government, big corporations, and even NGOs to cultivate new political subjects, consumers, and citizens, outdoor screening events remain highly unique, improvised, and in motion. Like consumer societies everywhere, contemporary China has a visual economy that creates highly diverse and fragmented audience experiences. Is mobile cinema still capable of moving people and organizing society like it once did? If so, in what terms?

Tong Lam’s series meticulously documents contemporary China’s outdoor film phenomena, where films are sometimes screened next to dancing people and even animals, and where propaganda films have to compete with images of conspicuous consumption. In addition to showing the diversity of people and places in a rapidly changing nation, Lam’s work also invites viewers to consider an increasingly complex global media environment overrun with commercials, misinformation, and media spectacle.

Curated by Tina Chen

Image: Tong Lam, Untitled, 2014. Lightbox, 24 x 36″. Courtesy of the artist.


Co-presented with

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

…being with Shelley Niro

…being with Shelley Niro

Special Presentation @Vtape

.…being with SHELLEY NIRO

A day with Shelley Niro and her video work offered some older titles and a brand new feature. Mid-day, Wanda Nanibush, Canadian and Indigenous Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario, was invited to engage Shelley in a conversation about her works, which range from documentary-style to experimental to narrative fiction. With time for viewing, reflection, discussion, lunch and a final wrap up, the day was filled with humour, emotion, and deep engagement.

Saturday, April 27, 2019 10am-5pm

10 am   coffee and croissants

10:30   welcome, land acknowledgement, and a beautifully written introduction delivered by Shelley herself, situating each of her works (some not being screened today) into the continuum of her work within her community where she continues to develop complex,  nuanced portraits of the Indigenous characters who appear on her screens and in her photographs.

11:00  screenings

Overweight With Crooked Teeth, 1997, 5:00

Tree, 2006, 5:00

The Shirt, 2003, 5:55

Hunger, 2008, 6:03

Sky Woman With Us, 2002, 6:09

Niagara, 2015, 5:44

rechargin’, 2007, 2:49

12:30   lunch

1:30  Shelly Niro in conversation with Wanda Nanibush (with audience q&a)

2:30 coffee and conversation

3:00 screening of The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, 2019, 72:00

4:30  Q and A

5:00 wrap up


Shelley Niro was born in Niagara Falls, NY. Currently she lives in Brantford Ontario. Niro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan.


She is a multi-media artist. Her work involves photography, painting, beadwork and film. Niro is conscious the impact post-colonial mediums have had on Indigenous people. Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relentlessly presenting people in realistic and explorative portrayals. Photo series such as Mohawks In Beehives, This Land Is Mime Land and M: Stories Of Women are a few of the genre of artwork. Films include: Honey Moccasin, It Starts With A Whisper, The Shirt, Kissed By Lightning and Robert’s Paintings. Shelley graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours and received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario.

Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012 and the Arts and Culture Award from the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. In 2017 Niro received the Governor General’s Award For Visual and Media Arts from the Canada Council, The Scotiabank Photography Award and the REVEAL Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.

Image: Shelley Niro @ Vtape, April 27, 2019