Show dates: October 12-28, 2018
Artist Opening: Friday, October 12, 6-8pm
WALL SPACE GALLERY + FRAMING is proud to announce the co-solo exhibitions of Toronto's Manny Trinh and Ottawa's own Olivia Johnston. In their respective SAIGONIA and TREASURES, each artist examines the colourful, contradicting, and often ephemeral nature of the items and buildings we associate with meanings of "home".
The architectural abstractions of Toronto painter Manny Trinh set out to represent the chaotic yet thriving order of his hometown Saigon City, Vietnam. Through precise lines and sweeping, inky colours, Trinh combines the multi-faceted components of what builds homes, communities, and families.
The lens based work of Ottawa artist Olivia Johnston speaks to the cathartic and enduring effects collecting has had on her personal and artistic psyche, expressing her layered relationship with kept objects through physical collage that she has then captured through the use of a scanner.
MANNY TRINH was born in Saigon City, Vietnam and is now based in Toronto, Ontario Canada. He works out of his studio in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto.
His vivid memories of the human landscape of his homeland — dense yet sprawling, chaotic with an underlying order, decaying but full of life and growth — have become major influences on his work. After immigrating to Canada he became passionate about skateboarding, which provided another important influence. The culture of skateboarding was more than an outlet for physical creativity. Being outdoors allowed Manny to interact with human structures and inspired a fascination with the textures of different surfaces that permeates his work.
Manny's art has expanded to focus on the entanglement of fantasy and reality by encapsulating a recognizable human core within surreal technology and splintered mechanical landscapes.
OLIVIA JOHNSTON is an artist based in Ottawa, Canada; she is the Photographic History Instructor at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa. She was shortlisted for the inaugural New Generation Photography Award in 2018, and was a finalist for the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2017. Her work in lens-based media includes photographic and multimedia work; Johnston makes use of numerous genres, including studio portraiture, self-portraiture, landscape, and still life, to explore and question gender, the body, beauty, vulnerability, memory, art history, and the photographic image itself.
Her work has been displayed nationally, including in the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto as part of a two-person Featured Exhibition; within the Ottawa Art Gallery; and as a part of the City of Ottawa’s collection. She has also shown her work internationally, in New York, NY; Portland, OR; Saint-Louis, Senegal; and London, England. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and books, and is held in national and international private and public collections.
Olivia says of this collection, “Using the scanner as my photographic tool, I create paradoxical representations of my collectibles: the objects I present become two-dimensional, yet appear hyper-realistic, echoing the falsehoods inherent in memory itself. The objects used in these works may have deep personal significance for me; they may also be ‘found objects’ that are not personally significant. For my viewers, meaning thus emerges from the way in which they personally understand and relate to the objects, images, and texts in these works.”