Pandas is an odd name for anything, and more than a little disconcerting if you’re a fan of large, bamboo-eating quadripeds who don’t like to breed.
Luckily for pandas and those who love them, the No Pandas gallery isn’t a radical anti-panda group dedicated to the final destruction of that most endangered of species. It’s an art show at Xpace, dedicated to exposing North Americans to China’s up-and-coming young artists.
Curator Siya Chen, who is a North American correspondent for several Chinese youth magazines, says the show is about giving North American audience a chance to see China’s hot artists under thirty. She also wants the show to help break stereotypes about Chinese art and culture, particularly among Chinese-Canadian youth.
“That’s why I chose the name “No Pandas,” because pandas are one of the most commonly thought of symbols of China,” she said.
The show will feature works by artists as varied as Birdhead, a two man duo who use traditional prints to show China’s changing urban landscape, to 223, who uses digital photography to capture what Chen calls “awkward moments of sexual tension.” With the exception of the Chinese-Chinese-American husband-wife photography duo My Little Dead Dick, none of the artists have been shown in North America before.
No Pandas will also feature Chinese pop culture magazines and concert videos from China’s burgeoning underground music scene.
No Pandas Gallery runs at Xpace (58 Ossington Avenue), from July 20–29. Admission is free. Opening night celebrations run from 8 p.m.–midnight on July 20. Photo courtesy Siya Chen from the No Pandas MySpace.