2023 Middlebrook Prize Awarded to Holly Chang

2023 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators awarded to Holly Chang

The Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) is pleased to announce that Holly Chang has been awarded the 2023 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. Her proposed exhibition, Outside In Inside Out, has been selected as the winning submission and will be presented at the Art Gallery of Guelph from September 14 – December 29, 2023. This year’s Middlebrook Prize jury was composed of Musha Neluheni (Artist and Independent Curator), Tamara Toledo (Director/Curator, Sur Gallery), and Allison Yearwood (Executive Director, Plug In ICA).

Created in 2012, the annual prize is awarded to a Canadian curator or curatorial team under 30 with the goal to support a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive arts sector in Canada. “The Middlebrook Prize is an excellent opportunity for emerging curatorial voices to produce a valuable show that will undoubtedly become a notable accomplishment in their future and a platform nationally to engage with broader audiences. A pleasure to review such dynamic and thoughtful applications,” notes 2023 panelist Allison Yearwood.

The Middlebrook Prize also builds awareness of the vital role of artistic expression in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, political, environmental, and social upheaval. “Holly Chang presents an intriguing, nuanced approach from a young curator that seeks to engage with the community through not only the exhibition, but inventive public programming,” notes juror Musha Neluheni. “With the strengths of maintaining focus on accessibility and a socially driven narrative, Chang’s exhibition gives insight into the Asian diaspora within the Canadian cultural context.” Juror Tamara Toledo echoes, “Her curatorial premise of radically rethinking how to reconceptualize power dynamics pushes boundaries and critically frames new ways of thinking about racialized hyphenated bodies.”

Chang’s exhibition Outside In Inside Out brings together the work of artists Yan Wen Chang, Joy Wong and Lan “Florence” Yee, exploring the ways in which art can resist positions of power while producing new modes of thinking through hybrid conditions – conditions in flux – departing from the idea of art and identity as fixed entities. Referencing the writing of Trinh T. Minh-ha, the exhibition will explore “the ways in which multi-hyphenated subjects can be used to disrupt existing ideologies and how artists of colour approach critical art making.” Chang notes, “Hyphenation explores the bridging between realities, the in-between realm of what it means to create while existing as being Asian and producing work in Canada. This exhibition further explores the ideologies of Trinh by presenting a series of installations that approach a diasporic Asian identity in Canada through material investigations, language and transformation.”

Joy Wong, a fervid surfacing (installation view), 2021, dried kombucha SCOBYs, oil paint, wood, oxidized and hammered copper, plastic netting, plastic tubing, plastic baskets, beeswax, scavenged wooden structures, canvas, bamboo, fabric, plexiglass, glass jars, cheesecloth, tea, kombucha, bamboo baskets, dimensions variable. Installation view at Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Photo credit: Darren Rigo.

Curator Biography

Holly Chang is an artist and curator based in Toronto/Tkaronto who has recently completed her MA in Communication and Culture at TMU/York University. Chang – as a second-generation Chinese Canadian – maintains cultural ties with her cross-cultural identity and draws on her hybrid background for inspiration. Chang makes use of a variety of media including textiles, photography and natural dyeing. She recently exhibited her work in her first solo show with Gallery 44 in April 2022 and participated in the Banff Artist in Residence program in Spring 2022.

Holly Chang. Photo credit: Sarah Bauman.

About the Middlebrook Prize

Founded in 2012, the Middlebrook Prize is a national prize awarded annually to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada while encouraging creative inquiry and public engagement. Selected by a jury of arts professionals, each winner is a curator or curatorial team under 30 who receives an honorarium as well as curatorial mentorship in the development of an exhibition. The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, the Guelph Community Foundation Musagetes Fund, and through private donations. For more information about the Middlebrook Prize and the cohort of past winners, please visit middlebrookprize.ca.

Media contact
Nicole Neufeld, Community Engagement Coordinator
nneufeld@artgalleryofguelph.ca | 519-837-0010 x 2

Art Gallery of Guelph
358 Gordon Street, Guelph, ON N1G 1Y1
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