Richard Fung: Chinese Characters

shirtless man wearing hat
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 11:00am to Monday, April 30, 2018 - 6:00pm

Explore the many themes and movements that have shaped Canada’s visual arts landscape since 1968.

Continuing the storylines from the new Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, this special exhibition invites visitors to experience more than 150 works in all media, including sculpture, painting, video art, installation, drawing and photography. From the feminist art movement of the 1970s to present-day Inuit art, the richness of the national Canadian and Indigenous contemporary art collections is on full display. Highlights include Shary Boyle’s work on paper Untitled (the Porcelain Fantasy series), Joyce Wieland’s O Canada, and Brian Jungen’s impressive sculptures inspired by whale skeletons: Shapeshifter and Vienna.

Venue & Address: 
National Gallery of Canada, Contemporary Galleries B101 to B109, B201 to B205 380 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON


The Cave Painter, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Jessica Bradley Gallery. Photo by Rafael Goldchain

Music for Silence, a multimedia installation by Shary Boyle (AOCA, Experimental Arts, 1994), one of Canada’s most acclaimed artists, is Canada’s official entry in the Venice Biennale 2013. The National Gallery of Canada curated the installation and helped raised some of the funds needed to bring it to Venice.

Boyle, who spent long hours working on the installation seven days a week to prepare for the fair, is enjoying an enthusiastic reception to her work. The Canada Pavilion is reporting long queues. The art fair, which features work from over 90 countries and is considered the world’s largest and most influential, runs from June 1 to November 24, 2013.

Boyle’s installation is intended to get people to slow down and experience silence, and as a result, she worked to create an intimate, darkened space for the exhibition. It includes colourful projections ceramic figures, record players, 16-mm film, and images in sign language. At the centre is a three-metre sea deity in an all-white cave.

Boyle is well-known for her bold, fantastical explorations of imaginary narratives featuring a cast of marginal characters. Her work is multidisciplinary, combining craft, a high degree of detail, porcelain figurines, animist mythologies and arcane techniques to create a symbolic language uniquely her own.

Learn more:

Canadian Art profile

CBC profile