Ed Pien: Revel

Ed Pien: Revel
May 18, 2017 to July 1, 2017

May 18 – July 1

Artist's reception and talk June 22 at 7pm.


Revel is like a dream. Upon entering the gallery you become immersed in that dream. Projected light fills the space through a large transparent spiral structure and within the light you catch glimpses of a figure in silhouette. The figure is the shadow of a young woman who gently attends to floating objects that resemble tiny houses and buildings, all within a cloud of organic forms and all appearing upon the gallery wall. As you move deeper into the space you literally become part of the scene as your shadow starts interacting with the shadow of the figure before you. If there is no-one else in the gallery with you it is a little unnerving to be shadow dancing with a ghost.

Ed Pien has been drawing for almost three decades. In that time his mark-making has been created with many different media and upon many different surfaces and supports. What once manifested itself on paper with pencil, pastel and paint has evolved into intricate cut-out works on paper, metal and other materials often turned into installations that fill entire rooms. For Revel, Pien has created an eight-foot high, clear Mylar, spiraling screen that has been meticulously cut into a jungle of branches and organic forms. Several 3D sculptural forms are nested within a web of lines that are suspended from the ceiling at the center of the screen, casting their own shadows.  The entire tableau is then illuminated by a video projection which plays out on the walls of the gallery.

Pien’s multi layered installation, is a meditation on the way the past can haunt our present. It is a response to his experience of working with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers overseas. The shadow of the young woman handles the house forms as though she might be playing with them, perhaps remembering her childhood home far away in time and in distance. But she is also considering the structures carefully as though she is thinking about her future and the new home she will create. 

Ed Pien is a Canadian artist based in Toronto. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, he immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of eleven. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from York University in Toronto and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario. Pien has exhibited nationally and internationally including the Drawing Centre, New York; La Biennale de Montreal 2000 and 2002; W139, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, the UK; Centro Nacional e las Artes, Mexico City; The Contemporary Art Museum in Monterrey, Mexico; the Goethe Institute, Berlin; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; as well as the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Ed Pien would like to acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council for their financial support in the making of this work. As well he’d like to acknowledge Johannes Zits, Jenny Pham, Phil Baljeu, Polina Teif and Kaj Marshall for their support.

Revel is generously sponsored by Stouffville Toyota.