Focal Points: 2023 EDAA Exhibition

Artwork: Driftnote, Monotypic, 2023

Focal Points: 2023 EDAA Exhibition

September 9 – October 6, 2023
Trinity Square Video, Toronto | Online at

With works by:
Bomi Yook, Jasmine Liaw, Melissa Johns, Santiago Tamayo Soler, and Sophia Oppel

Focal Points features the winning works by recipients of the 2023 Emerging Digital Artists Award. This year’s projects share a common pursuit in stretching the potential of digital media to spotlight untold stories and reconsider established frameworks. Bomi Yook’s work blends Korean cosmologies with procedurally-generated particle systems, inviting us to view the world through a lens of interrelation. Jasmine Liaw weaves an auto-ethnographic visual poem rooted in an experimental dance practice, celebrating her own diasporic identity and that of many others. Melissa Johns fills her virtual reality experience with the voices of multiple generations, creating a living archive of her French-Canadian and Kanien’keha:ka heritage that questions how we define “Canadian identity”. Santiago Tamayo Soler’s work unfolds like a vintage video game, documenting the repercussions of a global ecological catastrophe and presenting humans as the solution to world salvation. And finally, Sophia Oppel’s faux virtual assistant contemplates her own involvement in the surveillance systems and unequal distribution of feminized labor under a capitalist system, urging us to consider our role in AI-informed technology.

Image (clockwise from top left): Bomi Yook, K-COSMOSIS, 2023; Melissa Johns, Here I Stand, Still Guarded, 2022 Sophia Oppel, I’m sorry, I’m having trouble with the connection, 2023; Santiago Tamayo Soler, Retornar, 2021; Jasmine Liaw, xīn nī 廖芯妮, 2022

Artist Biographies:

Bomi Yook is a Korean-Canadian artist working in computer-generated immersive media, experimental animation, and video performance. Her practice deals with ideas of loss, longing, becoming and belonging within the Korean diaspora, while exploring the paradox of indigeneity and futurity at the heart of immigrant identity.

Jasmine Liaw is a queer, emerging Chinese-Canadian artist. Working in dance performance, new media, and experimental film, her practice explores her Hakka diaspora, queerness, and environmental anxiety. She is the Artistic Associate of Chimerik 似不像 Collective and a member of the research group, Dias:Stories.

Melissa Johns is a Toronto-born and –based visual artist and educator from a mixed Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk,Turtle Clan) and French-Canadian background. Specializing in virtual reality installations, digital painting, and video, Melissa’s work centers on investigating the narrative potential of these emergent channels to collect, preserve, and transform fragments of the stories around her.

Santiago Tamayo Soler is a Colombia-born, Montreal based multidisciplinary artist. Working in video with a background in performance art and film, Santiago is interested in world-building and juxtaposing digitally constructed locations with archival footage. His practice proposes an eco-political examination of Latin America from a diasporic perspective, giving home to immigrant and queer stories.

Sophia Oppel is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Toronto. She is interested in examining digital interfaces and physical architectures as parallel sites of power. Oppel uses transparent substrates–glass, mirror, and the screen–as a framework to consider the paradoxes of being human within surveillance capitalism.

About the EDAA:

The Emerging Digital Artists Award (EDAA) is Canada’s award for critical experimentation in digital media, proudly presented by EQ Bank and Trinity Square Video. Established in 2015, the annual prize celebrates the contributions of early-career artists working exclusively in virtual space. Each year, we seek artwork submissions from across the country that push us in new directions and challenge us to see the world through a different screen.

Focal Points is on view at Trinity Square Video (Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6pm) as well as online (24/7) from September 9-October 6, 2023.

Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond St W, #121, Toronto

Instagram: @edaa_eqb