• Illuminating Peace

Illuminating Peace

Amy Loewan

June 9 to September 1, 2012

Amy Loewan’s artistic practice centres on creating work as a vehicle for personal transformation and promoting human understanding. She is dedicated to peace building and her career as a visual artist provides her with an avenue to carry out that task.

Born in Hong Kong when peace was declared at the end of the Second World War she was named Wai-PingWai in Chinese meaning gift, and Ping, meaning peace. Childhood memories include her parents caring for orphan cousins and relatives fleeing from worn-torn China to British Hong Kong. She immigrated to Canada after having lived in Hong Kong, the United States, and Australia.

For the past ten years she has been focusing on exploring site specific installation work, aimed at integrating Western and Eastern sensibilities. “I reached into the roots of my Chinese heritage, studied ancient symbols and eastern philosophies. I experimented and challenged the innovative use of Chinese traditional art material of rice paper and ink. The result of this exploration is the creation of this large scale rice paper weaving installation Illuminating Peace.”

The centre of Illuminating Peace is Lantern (2009) an octagonal structure resembling a gigantic lantern, which is lit from within and hangs above a field of wheat. The eight panels of A Peace Project (2001) hang horizontally above a band of Jasmine rice. Long Scroll (2005) hangs vertically and occupies the height of the gallery.

Amy begins her work with the tactile process of transforming sheets of traditional rice paper into long weaving strips. They are then delicately woven into an integrated whole. Hand written calligraphy and computer-generated typography are used to weave together eastern and western languages, to intertwine world cultures and religions, in a universal vision for human relations. When viewers are close enough to read this work, they are presented with eight values vital in human relationships: compassion, kindness, respect, understanding, patience, tolerance, gentleness, and forgiveness. More than thirty-five world languages are interwoven into this work. This exhibit will also contain an interactive element for viewer participation.

Gallery 2 would like to thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for loaning A Peace Project from their collection.