Longing Belonging, 100 Years 100 Stories

Longing Belonging, 100 Years 100 Stories

May 13 to September 4, 2023
Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The project is curated by Long Time No See and coordinated by Brenda Joy Lem and Anik Glaude.

Longing Belonging, 100 Years 100 Stories, a community engagement project and exhibition curated by the collective Long Time No See (LTNS), tackles Canada‚Äôs troubled colonialist history by marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. LTNS members engaged with local Markham communities, interviewing and photographing people in spaces that elicited sentiments of belonging, gathering images and stories to be presented in the gallery. It is important to note that 2023 is also the centenary of the signing of The Williams Treaties‚ÄĒbureaucratic legislation signed by the Government of Canada and seven First Nations resulting in the surrender of the final portion of southern Ontario territory to the Canadian Government, including the land that the Varley Art Gallery sits on today.

With this project, LTNS asks us all to reflect on the questions: What is our place on this land? What is remembered? What is forgotten? What is our role in reconciliation? How do we all belong

About Long Time No See

Long Time No See, a collective of friends, artists and educators, is very interested in the untold stories of identity, place, traditions and people in community. Central to our work is the notion of Belonging. Centered in Toronto, we strive to honour our ancestors by sharing and teaching the stories of how Chinatown came to be, the histories that have been erased, and our responsibilities to act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples.

Associated Programs

Opening Reception
Saturday, May 13, 2023 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Registration is not required but welcome

Come and celebrate the opening of Long Time No See’s exhibition Longing Belonging, 100 Years 100 Stories. This free public event will feature a ceremonial lion dance performance, artist tours, refreshments, and more.

Film Screening: In the Shadow of Gold Mountain
Saturday, June 17, 2023, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Registration is required

This free, in-person public event will screen filmmaker Karen Cho’s 2004 documentary In the Shadow of Gold Mountain. This NFB production uncovers the legacies of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. A workshop featuring author Arlene Chan, and designer and urbanist Howard Tam will follow to engage with the Markham community.

Longing Belonging in Motion
Saturday, July 15, 2023, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
All are welcome! Free event and admission. Registration is not required.

Indigenous hip-hop and grass dancer Tristan Blackbird Martell aka Bboy Tanmantiou (Cree from Waterhen Lake First Nation/Cambodian) and members from the Toronto Chinese Orchestra will perform at the Gallery, celebrating the exhibition with music and dance.

Varley Bus Tour: A trip to Toronto’s Chinatown
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Registration is required as space is limited

This free bus tour will travel between Markham and Toronto’s downtown Chinatown, making space for Long Time No See collective members and community members from Markham to connect and share stories. Pick-up and drop-off will take place at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.

About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. A municipal gallery, we create critical conversations about Canadian art and society. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs relevant to the communities we serve. We support artists from York region and seek to broaden access to the arts for diverse artists and cultural groups. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven. The Varley Art Gallery is situated on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. We are committed to reconciliation, partnership and enhanced understanding.

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville, Markham, ON, L3R 2H1
905.477.7000 ext. 3261 | varley@markham.ca

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Monday in July and August (12 PM to 4 PM), Tuesday to Friday, and Sunday (12 PM to 4 PM) and Saturday (10 AM to 5 PM)

Admission is free. Our venue is accessible, with automatic door openers to enter the building and exhibition spaces. One accessible washroom is available.

For more information or questions, please contact:
Anik Glaude, Curator

Image credits: [1] Long Time No See, composite from the installation, Finding Beauty Among Ashes of Ancestors’ Pain and Sorrow. Courtesy of the artists. [2] From left to right: Long Time No See, Dorothy Zambora, 2023. Photo: Kwoi Gin. Long Time No See, Pong Chen, 2023 Photo: Maylynn Quan. Long Time No See, Jaclyn Wong, 2022. Photo: Morris Lum