Shellie Zhang with Maria Patricia Abuel: Abundance


Curated by Tiffany Schofield

March 6 – April 18, 2020

Public Opening
Friday, March 6, 2020

Artist & Curator Talk
Saturday March 7, 2020

378 Aylmer Street
Peterborough, ON

Please join Artspace on Friday March 6, 2020 from 6-9pm for the opening of Abundance, an exhibition of work by Shellie Zhang with Maria Patricia Abuel and curated by Tiffany Schofield. The night will also coincide with the launch of a companion publication of the same name featuring transcripts of a conversation between Zhang, Abuel, Schofield, as well as Basil AlZeri and Eve Tagny.

Abundance is a new project by Shellie Zhang featuring sculptural, photographic and installation-based works. The exhibition combines visual cues from imagery of plentiful fruit in produce advertisements and cultural rituals as a metaphor for the dreams and labour that extends across oceans and generations. Abundance is a cyclical reflection on two actions: The artist’s relatives bringing her pieces of cut fruit in her youth, and her leaving fruit offerings at their graves.

The project is accompanied by Bulaklak, a performance for the camera by Maria Patricia Abuel. Abuel enacts a ritual of preparing and devouring 100 mango flowers, a fruit which grounds her in familial and cultural histories. A personal meditation on matriarchal roles and sacrifices, the artist honours and reclaims the traditions she’s inherited.

Shellie Zhang (b. 1991, Beijing, China) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada. By uniting both past and present iconography with the techniques of mass communication, language and sign, Zhang’s work deconstructs notions of tradition, gender, identity, the diaspora, and popular culture while calling attention to these subjects in the context and construction of a multicultural society. She is interested in exploring how integration, diversity and assimilation is implemented and negotiated, how this relates to lived experiences, and how culture is learned, relearned and sustained.

Maria Patricia Abuel is a Toronto born and raised Filipina multidisciplinary artist. Her practice questions issues of hybrid identity, femininity, and conservative expectations. She challenges traditional frameworks within cultures and artistic practices with a playful irony, with a focus on family history, pop culture, and the body.

Tiffany Schofield is a Canadian artist and curator. She is a founding member of the Scarborough-based collective Y+, whose collaborative artistic and curatorial work is centred on community-building with a focus on emerging practices and suburban spaces.

Shellie Zhang would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Artspace’s main gallery is physically accessible.

If you have any questions please contact:

Jon Lockyer
Director + Curator