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Chun Hua Catherine Dong

To Rebel is Justified
February 14-March 21, 2015

At the MAI (Montréal arts interculturels)
3680 Jeanne-Mance St., # 103, Montréal

© Qu Chang

Influenced by the avant-garde feminist movement, performance artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong uses her artwork to activate social commentary on immigration, race and gender. Returning to the city after wowing audiences in Dublin and New York, this visual and performance artist offers us not one but two new works.

“Body is political. Life is a performance”
Chun Hua Catherine Dong

To Rebel is Justified
“To Rebel is Justified” is the slogan used by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. In the name of the Revolution, these young rebel revolutionaries committed terrible excesses: public humiliations and intellectuals executions.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong puts herself on stage and personifies an imaginary Red Guard. Dressed in a military uniform, the anti-revolutionary of the 21st century explores human vulnerability in the context of ritual humiliation. Reversing meaning and symbols, Dong’s “Red Guard” welcomes Mao Tse-tung to a pigsty rather than Tiananmen Square. Both tied to a classroom chair and kneeling in a bathroom, the performer plays with erotic submission.

With To Rebel is Justified, the artist revisits this dark period of Chinese history in a performative context. The show brings together a collection of 12 large format photographs captured in China in 2013. The exhibition also features a video from the performance of The Yellow Umbrella – An Unfinished Conversation.

© Qu Chang

Chun Hua Catherine Dong and the corruption of meaning
Chun Hua Catherine Dong is an artist working with performance art, photography, and video. She is interested in blurring boundaries between personal and political, private and public, performance and everyday practice.

Dong, who is of Chinese origin, regularly uses the nude body, her own, in her performative practices. In occupying the private and public realms, she explores various cultural phenomena to understand the social life of humans. This iconoclastic artist, now based in Montreal, has performed in Asia, North America and Europe, in particular at New York’s Ulster Performing Arts Center, at the Infr’Action Venezia Performance Festival in Venice, and at the Internationales Festival für Performance in Cologne.

Among her notable works, Pregnancy was presented last year in Ireland. Dong, invited to perform for an Abortion Rights Campaign during the Dublin Live Art Festival, “transforms” into a pregnant woman and confines herself in a dog cage for six hours. Another example, entitled The Double (2014), a remarkable creation that explores vulnerability and shame, was among the works presented at the 9th Kaunas Biennial and the M.K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Lithuania, as well as at Nuit blanche in Montreal. This performance involved 16 women dressed in white towels and wearing oversize plastic red lips (mouthpieces) that prevent them from speaking and expressing themselves. It is a clever play on words, since “mouthpiece” can refer to a part of a musical instrument, a spokesperson or a breathing apparatus!

Among many other awards, she is the recipient of the Franklin Furnace Award for avant-garde art in New York in 2014. Her performance is listed amongst the ‘‘top nine political art projects of 2010’’ by Art and Threat Canadian magazine, alongside internationally-renowned artists such as Rebecca Belmore and Wafaa Bilal.

She received a B.F.A from Emily Carr University Art & Design and a M.F.A. from Concordia University. She has been invited to perform in multiple international and national performance art festivals and venues. She has more than 50 works to her credit, including performances, exhibitions and videos.

To Rebel is Justified

February 14-March 21, 2015
Opening: February 14, 2015, 3 pm

MAI Gallery

(514) 982-3386

Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Saturday
12AM – 6PM

3680 Jeanne-Mance St., Montreal

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For images and more information, contact:
Christine Roy, 514-982-1812, ext. 227,





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