Stretching across the façade of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Michelle Bui’s Envelop #1-8 forms one half of the Montreal-based artist’s exhibition Mutable Materialism. As a photographer and a sculptor, Bui makes assemblages in her studio with the ephemera she encounters in the city during her daily life. Removed from their utilitarian contexts, the objects become malleable and amorphous, given new form in Bui’s studio through processes of merging, manipulating, resituating, and image-making.
In this suite of new photographs, Bui offers a series of abstractions rendered from flowers, plant matter and indiscernible objects, all sheathed in soft plastics. These works prompt reflection on the way objects and images are consumed, with their vertical format responding not just to the windows they cover, but to the devices that so often mediate our encounters with visual information. Indeed, the plastics that encase these compositions are both screen and skin, rendering the objects tactile and enigmatic, while nodding toward a desire to preserve or protect. The result is work with a distinctly haptic quality, one inviting encounters that are sensory, intimate and exploratory, engaging the embodied as readily as the visual and underscoring a friction between the consumption of images and their function as agents of connection.
Envelop #1-8 continues with Bui’s Mutable Materialism, presented at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.
Presented in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Canada Line Public Art Program — InTransit BC
Organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery and Capture Photography Festival and is co-curated by Julia Lamare, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art Gallery and Chelsea Yuill, Assistant Curator, Capture Photography Festival.