aly de la cruz yip is a queer trans non-binary femme of mixed filipinx and chinese ancestry, the child of migrant and immigrant settlers, a guest born and raised on the stolen ancestral lands of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sʔəl̀ilwətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations. Their multidisciplinary art practice—framed and supported by their clown training and mindfulness practice—explores gender chaos, chronic illness, diasporic feels, and intergenerational joy and trauma. aly feels immensely privileged to be a part of this heart-centred project as an autonomous artist as well as a member of the WePress collective.
Ho Tam was born in Hong Kong, educated in Canada and the United States. Tam worked in advertising companies and community psychiatric facilities before turning to art. His artistic practice includes photography, video, painting and print media. Tam has produced over 20 experimental videos. His feature documentary film “Books of James” was awarded Outstanding Artistic Achievement (Outfest, LA) and Best Feature Documentary (Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival). He has also published several series of artist’s books and zines under Hotam Press. Tam is an alumni of the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program, and Bard College (MFA).
Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation and settler heritage, works within shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often with bodies of knowledge and skills that are linked to the intersections between Indigenous and other cultures. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012-2014), co-curated with Kathleen Ritter, Vancouver Art Gallery (touring). Current curatorial contributions include co-curating Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology for the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Sante Fe. In 2016, Willard received the Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, and a City of Vancouver Book Award for the exhibition catalogue Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Public art projects include Rule of the Trees (Vancouver), and If the Drumming Stops, with Peter Morin, on the lands of the Papaschase First Nation in Edmonton. Willard was recognized with the Shadbolt Foundation VIVA award for outstanding achievement and commitment in 2020. Her ongoing collaborative project BUSH gallery is a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges and relational art practices. Willard is an Assistant Professor at UBCO in Syilx territories (Kelowna); her current research intersects with language learning and land-based art practices.
Moniker Press is a risograph print and publishing studio that works collaboratively with artists and writers to produce small editions of books, zines and print ephemera. monikerpress.ca
– May Day – Mayday – Maydaze –
ALY DE LA CRUZ YIP, HO TAM, TANIA WILLARD
May 1–June 12, 2021
– May Day – Mayday – Maydaze – features three new print commissions by aly de la cruz yip, Ho Tam, and Tania Willard, organized by Artspeak and Moniker Press. With a focus on print and publishing methods designed to meet urgent needs and modes of distribution, we opted for the effectiveness of risograph printing. The risograph prints and wallpaper are displayed in the window space at Artspeak, while the gallery remains closed to the public. These prints are available for purchase via Artspeak and Moniker Press, with all proceeds going to the DTES Response Fund.
The artists included in this show are known for their consistent engagement with expanded printmaking and publishing techniques. We were drawn to the ways their artistic practices are informed by and firmly grounded in their commitment to organizing in their respective communities. aly de la cruz yip is a member of WePress collective: a group of artists and community organizers who work to promote self-expression by providing workshops on historic and contemporary methods of print and art making for the community of the Downtown Eastside. Ho Tam runs a press and bookshop/gallery, providing a space for artists and cultural producers whose practices frequently question and complicate the idea of the Nation State. Tania Willard runs the collaborative project BUSH Gallery; a conceptual, land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledge and relational art practices.
aly de la cruz yip’s work combines multiple mediums, gravitating towards analogue techniques such as letterpress, blockprinting and silkscreen. de la cruz yip’s work brings together sensory imagery familiar to the neighbourhoods of Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. Featuring ginkgo leaves, chrysanthemum buds, floating joss paper, and a reclamation of their bat relatives, find home in ritual is reminiscent of a stroll down East Pender Street in early spring.
Ho Tam’s The Greatest Stories Ever Told is an extension of an artist’s book series of the same title. So far, Tam has produced different variations of this book in 14 different languages. The collages therein utilizes images taken from banknotes. Removing these symbols of significance from their intended context as the design of national currencies, Tam brings into question ideological narratives of the Nation State. Which stories and historical figures are perpetuated, circulated and given value, and how can we reconfigure what constitutes value?
Tania Willard’s Memorandum of Understanding is a continuation of a query around land and value, from a series of work Snowbanks and other Investments(2020). Memorandum of Understanding pairs legalese with representations of land to consider the way bureaucratic processes and language assert land rights. The legalese of colonial institutions is a firm reminder of the different understandings underpinning our relationships to land.
An edition of 100, these prints are available for purchase via Artspeak and Moniker Press, with all proceeds going to the DTES Response Fund.
– Bopha Chhay and Erica Wilk
Artist: aly de la cruz yip, Ho Tam, Tania Willard
Publisher: Artspeak, Moniker Press
Printer: Erica Wilk, Moniker Press
Year published: 2021
Process: Risograph printed on 65# Natural Cover with medium blue, kelly green, yellow, bright red, green, purple, fluoro orange and pink rice bran inks
Dimensions: 279 x 431 mm
Weight: 4.5g each
Cost: $15 each; $40 for set of three
Proceeds to support a DTES-based charity
‘The Greatest Stories Ever Told’ is a collection of stories written in the style of poetry, a fable, or a nursery rhyme. The stories range from melodrama to political satire, and are inspired by collages made up of images found on international banknotes. This print designed for – May Day – is a selection of the images from these stories.
The images found on banknotes often depict important historical figures, symbols, landscape, architecture, fauna and flora as relating to the pride and legacy of the respective countries. By extracting these images I am interested in disrupting their original context. Placing them in the same space side by side, allows us to remove the material boundaries of the banknotes, and to examine the wider power structures around us, and to reconsider and question the ideological narratives of the Nation States.
HOTAM PRESS is a vanity press established by the artist Ho Tam. His self-important projects include three book series: THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD, POSER and HOTAM. Recently, Hotam Press has ambitiously opened its physical bookshop/gallery space in Vancouver, Canada where print-based and original artwork by artists are exhibited regularly. Other collaborative projects by Hotam Press with other artists include XXXZINES and 88BOOKS.
aly dela cruz yip
a moiré pattern to make bad energy and spirits dizzy,
maybe not the time
when hybridity doesn’t feel harmonious
it’s time to go
image description: unlit abstracted joss papers (no gold) cascade and circle through the air, five cartoonish bats soar towards an unknown common centre, a few from behind and in-between ginkgo leaves in the two bottom corners. there are a few chrysanthemum buds floating amongst the leaves, all before a backdrop of a chaotic grid referencing ilokano inabel.
‘Memorandum of understanding’ extends some of the thinking around land and value from a previous series of work, Snowbanks and other Investments (2020). This work considers bureaucratic processes and language in generative ways that pair legalese with representations of land.