MFA Thesis 2020: Kayla Witt | Brubey Hu
Presented by University of Waterloo Fine Arts and UWAG
In response to the to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the unfortunate cancellation of the second round of MFA thesis exhibitions scheduled May 7-23, the Department of Fine Arts and University of Waterloo Art Gallery invites you to explore the work of MFA candidates Kayla Witt and Brubey Hu online or via downloadable PDF:
Condemned to a Perpetual Jacuzzi… With Millions of Your Best Friends
Condemned to a Perpetual Jacuzzi… With Millions of Your Best Friends is a multi-media body of work that investigates the personal, the socio-political, and the cultural notions of home. The mind’s vision of home is most often held as an idealized place—the location where meanings and attachments are personal and symbolically intense. Forms of utopian thinking are embedded as the very cornerstone of what the home represents, especially in contemporary media iterations. My work grapples with the lived experience and materiality of the home by redrafting the imagery presented in Interior Design and Architectural magazines. Through collage, painting, performance and video, I subvert the structured and predictable media’s language of desire. At first glance, my work appears “homey”, as the magazine source material is evident, but as details register and accumulate, it becomes apparent that there is a tension between comfort and discomfort in the images. There is disruption and unpredictability in these inaccessible, aspirational spaces. You wouldn’t actually want to live there even though it feels like you might.
Kayla Witt is a MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo, and received a Bachelor of Fine Art from OCAD University. She has exhibited at The Gladstone Hotel, Struts Gallery and Faucet New Media Centre, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, The White House Studio Project, YYZ Artist’s Outlet, Bunker 2, among others. She was awarded the Shantz International Research Scholarship through the University of Waterloo, and worked with Tony Berlant in Los Angeles in summer of 2019. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Sylvia Knight Award in Fine Arts.
I Have No Home But Me
I Have No Home But Me explores themes of home and duality through personal narratives embedded in my paintings and artists’ books. A duality that exists within a body does not necessarily exist as a pair of oppositions. The pair can also be complementary to each other, or live at the same time as coexistence. Employing geometric shapes painted over two panels using masking tape, this visual duality is constructed within diptychs that juxtapose opacity and reflection. The paintings are my attempt to discuss the notions of consensus and reconciliation. The used tapes are collected to serve as the memory of how the paintings are made. In addition, a book of poetry collects my writings expanding the themes of memory, identity, and translation. The combination of paintings and books investigates the evaporation of information and emotion, through the process of translation that I frequently experience as a bilingual woman living in-between places—a bridge between worlds.
Brubey (Wanzhi) Hu is an MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo, and received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. She has exhibited at Art Mur in Montreal, Canada; Hui Yuan in Hefei, China; and Florida International University in Miami, US. In 2018, Brubey participated in BAiR Emerging Visual and Digital Arts Residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She was awarded a Shantz International Research Scholarship through the University of Waterloo, and worked with Agnes Barley in New York City in the summer of 2019.
Please join us in celebrating our MFA candidates during this difficult time of transition.
Ivan Jurakic, Director / Curator
Gallery remains closed until further notice
University of Waterloo Art Gallery
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1