Shellie Zhang (born 1991 in Beijing, China) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Ontario. By uniting both past and present iconography with the techniques of mass communication, language and sign, Zhang’s work deconstructs notions of tradition, gender, 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, how culture is learned, relearned and sustained, and how things are remembered and preserved. Zhang has exhibited at venues including WORKJAM (Beijing, CN), Asian Art Initiative (Philadelphia, PA) and Gallery 44 (Toronto, ON). She is a recipient of grants such as the Toronto Arts Council’s Visual Projects grant, the Ontario Arts Council’s Visual Artists Creation Grant and the Canada Council’s Project Grant to Visual Artists. In 2017, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her work has been published in Canadian Art, the Toronto Star, Blackflash Magazine, CBC Arts, and C Magazine, and she is a member of EMILIA-AMALIA, a feminist reading and writing group. The artist’s recent and upcoming projects include exhibitions at Artspace (Peterborough, ON), Patel Gallery (Toronto, ON), AKA Artist-Run (Saskatoon, SK) and the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK). Zhang’s To What Do We Owe This Honour?  enlarges a collection of miniature totemic objects against a backdrop of a sky to create a connection between the intimate setting of one’s home with the shared realm of public space. The project prompts reflection for the objects we surround ourselves with and the monuments we adorn our cities with, questioning, what symbols reflect our current collective values, whose legacies are granted permanence, and which histories are given a pedestal.  To What Do We Owe This Honour is mounted on the south facade of 118 James Street North at Vine.

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