Art Space 976 is pleased to present China Dolls by Canadian artist and photographer, Nathalie Daoust.

Daoust travelled to China in 2006 for an artist residency with the Red Gate Gallery and fell in love with the culture.  Since then, she has looked for any excuse to return to China and has spent many months exploring the country.

Over the years, Daoust has become more and more intrigued by the role that women play in Chinese society and how quickly this role is changing.  Daoust has explored how the one-child policy has impacted women, conditioning them to place value on male while rejecting female offspring.

Intrigued by this new generation of women and their struggle in the modern world, Daoust sought to photograph them individually, documenting their separate stories within an overcrowded society.   Using a specially constructed human-sized box, Daoust placed her female subjects in the dark, alone with their thoughts, while she photographed them with light painting.

The photographic installation comprises twenty-eight portraits of black-and-white and hand coloured prints.  In this collection, Daoust pays homage to the women that have long remained in the shadows.  Fleeting and delicate, the body of work serves as a perspective on the young women of China, struggling to find their identity in a rapidly changing country.  From one portrait to the next, we find dreamy, impressionistic, subtle and even melancholic images that serve to illustrate, from both an historical and contemporary perspective, the women who are now uprooting themselves from former constraints.

The artist will be present at the inauguration on June 12, 2018 at 6pm.

Samantha Small

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