Working with curator Liz Park, Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas presents a selection of his published works alongside previously unseen drawings and sketches from his thirty plus years of graphic art production. Yahgulanaas’ work combines traditional Haida form-line with the conventions of Asian graphic novels known as “manga” in a distinct style he calls “Haida Manga”. This exhibition is coordinated with the release of Yahgulanaas’ latest publication, a retrospective collection of his graphic work, produced in conjunction with grunt gallery.
This exhibition at grunt will feature a reading room/ lounge where Yahgulanaas’ previous publications can be reviewed in comfort. Selections of drawings and notes from his archive will be available for viewing and reproduced in large format on the walls of the gallery. Yahgulanaas’ interest in manga and its importance in East Asian culture creates unique cross- cultural dialogue and exchange. The reading room and its contents will open up discussions around indigeneity, issues of accessibility and non-oppositional strategies of engagement.
The Old Growth project comes out of the artist’s and curator’s histories of politically engaged work within a broader cross cultural context. Manga is an important and popular cultural force globally, and provides a specific cultural backdrop to Yahgulanaas’ practice. He works out of a Haida tradition of adaptation, pushing the capacities of Haida formline design further through the use of new materials and ideas. Yahgulanaas’ visual storytelling methods expand and cross the boundaries of different artistic disciplines, cultures and sub-cultures, and challenge conventions around exhibiting the Art of Indigenous Peoples.
The publication was produced in conjunction with grunt gallery. This project has been made possible through contributions from the Vancouver Foundation and the Hamber Founda- tion. The publication was published in conjunction with Simply Read Editions and Raincoast Books.
Watch the artist and curator interview here: