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The Art of Photography at the Esplanade: Three Exhibitions for Alberta’s Exposure Photography Festival

Post Date:01/31/2019 12:00 PM

MEDICINE HAT, AB – Announcing the new exhibitions in the Art Gallery of the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre: Changing Places: the Medicine Hat Photography Club and Southern Exposure Photography Club; Jinyoung Kim: Jugong Apartment Series and Survival 101: In Case of Complete Disappearance; and Orest Semchishen: A Vision Grounded in Place.  Public Reception Friday February 8, 7PM with the artists, music by The Cat, The Hat and The Alley.

Changing Places: New Work by the Medicine Hat Photography Club and Southern Exposure Photography Club
February 2 – March 23, 2019
In creating new works for this exhibition, members of both photography clubs in Medicine Hat responded, each in their own unique way, to themes of identity and place, belonging and loss. Sensitive, striking and set in locations close to home and around the world, these new works amply illustrate the Southern Exposure Club’s mandate to help realize its members’ photographic visions, and the Medicine Hat Photography Club’s deep commitment to image making.  

Jinyoung Kim: Jugong Apartment Series and Survival 101: In Case of Complete Disappearance
February 2 – March 23, 2019
Emerging Quebec artist Jinyoung Kim melds fiction and documentary in photography, video and performance to explore identity and place, belonging and loss. In the ongoing photography series, Jugong Apartment, Kim poetically evokes changing ways of life, both her own and others. Kim explains that she returned to her former home to document the emptying and destruction of the neighbourhoods where she grew up. “These are the last days of what are called “Jugong” Apartments in South Korea. As time passes, the previous dream of a common person owning a unit in the Jugong Apartments (largely a legacy of 70’s urban planning) is rapidly being replaced.” (Artist statement). While Jinyoung Kim’s photographs are both poignant and sculptural, her video, Survival 101: In Case of Complete Disappearance, carries a sense of whimsical and yet foreboding mystery as a family discusses an imaginary scenario of surviving an apocalypse and then encountering an unknown being.   

Jinyoung Kim received an MFA from Concordia University and a BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design, and has exhibited her work in Quebec, Ontario and India. She has received support for her practice from the Canada Council for the Arts and Concordia University (Roloff Beny Travel Grant). She lives and works in Montreal, Quebec, where she teaches at Concordia University and John Abbot College.  

Orest Semchishen: a vision grounded in place
February 2 – March 6
Orest Semchishen began his photographic career in the early 1970s recording the Byzantine (Ukrainian Eastern Rite) churches of rural Alberta. This first series, undertaken while he was working as a radiologist, was grounded in his own family history - his maternal grandparents were Ukrainian settlers in the late 1890s; he himself was born in Mundare, 80 km east of Edmonton, in 1932. From an initial impulse to record this history through its architecture, Semchishen expanded his practice to photographing people and communities of Alberta, as well as rural towns and surrounding prairie. No matter what the subject, Semchishen’s works have a quiet serenity, an exquisite attention to detail, a clarity of light and focus, and an ability to depict a site which ranges from a play with spatial abstraction to evoking a felt sense of a very particular place.  

In 1994 Orest Semchishen received national recognition with an exhibition of his work by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the publication of the accompanying catalogue In Plain View. Many of the photographs in that exhibition - and all in this one - are now in the Esplanade Permanent Collection of Fine Art, thanks to a generous donation of over 100 prints by Orest Semchishen in 2002.  

All three exhibitions are part of the Alberta-wide Exposure Photography Festival (      


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For further information, interviews or images please contact:  

Joanne Marion
Director/Curator, Exhibitions & Collections
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre



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