Kevin Ei-Ichi DeForest
Opening Reception: Thursday September 26, 7:30PM
Okasan & Papi: Remixing Hybridity is a series of projects that continue the artist’s investigation into the representation of his mixed race Eurasian identity. A series of easel paintings pay homage to the memory of the artist’s late father, a Swiss-Canadian, and honour the influence of his Japanese mother who immigrated to Canada in the 1950s. Other projects make reference to the representation of Asian and mixed identities through the lens of popular music. The Record Shop is an ongoing series of mixed media works that repurposes vinyl album covers—these modified record jackets use a range of stylistic approaches and reference popular culture in relation to the artist’s hybrid identity. Singing Love, Noise, Racism presents the lyrics of popular songs as they would be seen on a karaoke monitor to observe the complexity of meaning through pop music. Okasan & Papi looks critically at the multifaceted aspects of what constitutes one’s identity. And in deForest’s case, music, family and culture intersect to shape his view of the world and the differences within it.
Kevin Ei-ichi DeForest is a visual and multimedia artist. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Japanese and Swiss parents. He studied architecture (Bachelor of Environmental Studies, 1983) and fine art (BFA, 1986) at the University of Manitoba before completing an MFA from Concordia University in 1994. He was also a Monbusho (Japan Ministry of Education) scholarship recipient, studying at Kyoto Seika University between 1997 and 1999. Deforest has exhibited nationally and internationally in the United States and Europe. He is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual and Aboriginal Art at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba.