Since the 1970s, Jamelie Hassan’s work has been concerned with global histories, cultural politics, and how these affect one at a local and on personal level. When Hassan was growing up in southwestern Ontario, her father often repeated a saying of the Prophet Muhammad: Seek knowledge even unto China. It promoted the importance of study, travel, and first hand experience in understanding the world from different perspectives.
As Dot Tuer writes in the exhibition catalogue, “This saying is the textual anchor of [Hassan’s] written wall-text work … in which she translates [the] saying into Mandarin and Arabic to read, ‘seek knowledge even onto China.’ This semantic play between ‘unto’ and ‘onto’ conjures a spatial configuration of knowledge and language that maps the place one speaks from onto the place one travels to and learns from.”
Jamelie Hassan’s work is represented in major collections across Canada. She has received numerous awards including the Governor General Award in the Visual and Media Arts in 2001.
This installation is a collaboration of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Walter C. Koerner Library at The University of British Columbia. It is made possible by the generous support of the Audain Foundation. Art in the Library aims to open possibilities for interpretation and new perspectives on contemporary art by presenting art that challenges and questions our current perceptions.
More work by this artist is presented in the exhibition, Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery until August 22, 2010.
For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689