W–Su: 10 am–4 pm; M&Tu: closed
Dundee is a rural township located in the southwestern corner of the Montérégie region of Quebec. Scots settlers arrived and settled in this region in about 1800, giving this place a name from their homeland: Dundee. This project focuses on the evolution of Dundee, Quebec, in relation to the stories of Scottish migrations.
Montreal-based artist Hua Jin documented Dundee in photographs, capturing its landscapes, residents, and their living conditions, with an emphasis on historical and cultural connections with Scottish migrations. The research component focuses on historical archives and found objects from both culture and nature, including family albums, letters, notes, drawings, and maps as well as rocks and wood. Juxtaposing photographs with research materials and found objects, Jin has assembled a range of media from different historical periods with the aim of bridging the past with the present and creating montages about Dundee in order to represent stories of Scottish immigration.
This first stage of the project triggered a great interest in the “original” Dundee in Scotland. So, in 2017 and 2018, Jin and Dr. William Fraser visited Scotland with the purpose of tracing Fraser’s family roots. During these trips, they discovered the ruins of the traditional stone dwelling where Fraser’s great-great-grandmother was born in 1806 and the churchyard where his great-great-grandfather is buried. The significance of returning to the origin and its accompanying emotions have profoundly enhanced this project. The juxtaposition of Jin’s photographs and found objects from various places in these two Dundees deepens this project into multiple layers.
The spans of time and geographic distances traversed by the project provide insights about what has changed and what remains the same within Scottish culture. Jin’s Dundee addresses questions regarding how the history of migration shapes our culture, identity, and way of living.
This project was generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ).