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Christian Vistan

from—about

extended until 19 February 2023

from–about presents paintings and poems by Christian Vistan. Working with tempera cakes, a material activated by water, the forms we see in their paintings are the residue of a transfer: water stains, then evaporates, leaving pigment to settle until another wash occurs. They think about the experience of weather, of weathering. Patterns over time provide context to understand the specificities of these processes to material, people, and place. Similarly, the works in from—about reveal a gradual accumulation—of minerals, liquids, folds, marks, textures, actions, and feelings—that negotiate various thresholds of wear.

 

A textile mended by Christian’s grandma meets viewers at the entrance to the gallery. Her patchwork brings together excerpts from discarded fabrics to graft over tears and where material has grown thin. Keeping becomes a practical and sentimental decision. Christian pays homage to their grandma’s repairs by translating her collection of swatches into painting. Patch (Baby Blue) (2022) references a particular alteration that uses a square of fabric hatched with marks that recall glinting water. This texture is emulated with a “spit” pencil, a tool used by tailors to leave temporary notes on garments. In our correspondence, Christian and I talked about laundry—how cycles of washing and drying accentuate the temporality of wetness. They explained how painting water extends this ephemeral wet time, offering a way to visualize liminality and articulate intangible distances.

 

Opposing shores emerge where forms gravitate to the edge. In Clouds (2022), brackish shapes roll and grow in front of each other, framing what is in between. Water, paint, and a third material made from mixing the two, overlap to describe this hybrid space. Consequently, the surface puckers, warps, and rips, transforming beneath layers of saturation. These outcomes of gestures and desires—the cumulative process of painting—form a lineage. A place where weathers meet.

 

- Kiel Torres

Vistan is an artist and curator originally from the peninsula now known as Bataan, Philippines, living and working on Musqueam, Squamish, Tsawwassen and Tsleil-Waututh territories, colonially known as Vancouver and Delta, British Columbia. In their artworks, they translate experiences of distance and diaspora into hybrid forms that fold together various elements, including memory, place, poetry, and abstraction among others. They are particularly interested in thinking about and working with water as a material in painting and in personal, familial and migrant histories. They make paintings, texts, and exhibitions, and often collaborate with other artists, writers, and curators. Their artworks and curatorial projects have been presented in Canada, US and the Philippines. They run and co-curate dreams comma delta, a room for artist projects and exhibitions located inside their family home in Delta, BC with Aubin Soo K. They received their BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2017.

Torres is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work considers friendship, reading, embodiment, outfits, and fandom as methods to navigate social and emotional worlds. She received her BA in art history from the University of British Columbia in 2020.

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installation view

Moon moon moon moon moon moon, 2022, charcoal, ink, tempera & gouache on cotton, 149.9 x 88.9cm

Moon moon moon moon moon moon, 2022 (detail)

Patch (Paruparo), 2022, watercolour & charcoal on muslin, 30.5 x 22.9cm

Patch (Paruparo), 2022 (detail)

Clouds, 2022, ink, tempera & graphite on manila paper, 121.9 x 91.4cm

Unfold, 2022, tempera on manila paper, 91.4 x 121.9cm

Unfold, 2022 (detail)

Volcano, 2022, spit pencil, graphite & watercolour on linen, 26 x 34.9cm

Volcano, 2022 (detail)

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White, 2022, tempera & gesso on manila paper, 91.4 x 121.9cm

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White, 2022 (detail)

Patch (Baby Blue), 2022, spit pencil & tempera on muslin, 30.5 x 22.9cm

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Patchwork made by my maternal grandmother, Inang Pitang, Perfecta Colorado, 113 x 68.6cm

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Patchwork made by my maternal grandmother, Inang Pitang, Perfecta Colorado, 113 x 68.6cm

Patchwork made by my maternal grandmother, Inang Pitang, Perfecta Colorado (detail)

Patchwork made by my maternal grandmother, Inang Pitang, Perfecta Colorado (detail)

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installation view

installation view

installation view

installation view

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installation view

installation view

installation view

from, 2022 –

about, 2022 –

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