Traces of Time

Date: May 3 - Aug 31, 1997
Artist: Emiko Nakano, Sharyn Yuen
Curated by: Jennifer Angus, Eva Ennist

From points of view that are distanced by culture, generation and an ocean, Japanese artist Emiko Nakano and Chinese-Canadian Sharyn Yuen note the passage of time and its effect upon the present and future. The ephemeral medium of paper enhances the notion of memory as fleeting. In contrast, it is also the material of official record. Combined, the result is a grey area – neither fact nor fiction – to be studied and interpreted depending on individual biases and backgrounds.

Emiko Nakano began to weave with her mother-in-law’s used calligraphy paper. By weaving this particular paper, Nakano marked a time and relationship between herself and her mother-in-law – its personal nature disguised as patterned cloth. While Nakano’s record of her life and times is strategically concealed, the work of Sharyn Yuen seeks to uncover the time past; time that has formed her identity. Yuen’s use of historical archival photographs in the absence of family snapshots is moving and vital to the understanding of the loss and sacrifice experienced by many immigrants and their descendants. Her search of government records for the key to her past is in sharp contrast to the confidence Emiko Nakano has in creating her own time capsule to preserve her memories and relationships in the structure of her woven cloth. 

As one woman weaves mysteries, the other seeks to unravel them.


Traces of Time, By Jennifer Angus and Eva Ennist, 1997