Xiao Han & Kelsie Balehowsky
January 7 – February 18, 2017
In a two person exhibition both use themselves as the cast of characters in psychologically thorny but witty scenarios dealing with contemporary cultural constructs. In The One emerging Saskatoon artist Han examines the gendered effects of China’s one child policy and Kelowna artist Balehowsky’s Collective Isolation constructs situations wherein the cast are alone/together through the ubiquity of technological interfaces. Xiao Han and Kelsie Balehowsky approach their large-scale photographic practice by performing all the characters in psychologically-loaded modern-day tableaus of social, familial and friendship relationships. Where Han’s photographs in The One show at least one character confronting the gaze of the camera/viewer, drawing the viewer into a conversation about the plight of her/women in a One Child policy system, Balehowsky’s characters in Collective Isolation seem oblivious to the camera and to each other, choosing (if it is a choice) to interact with their technological devices instead no matter the context. Together they examine the effects of contemporary practices on one’s experience of belonging.
Listen to the spoken essay below.