Art Contraste

Support 23 Days at Sea

The 23 Days at Sea residency has been so successful in attracting artists and capturing the imagination of the public worldwide, that Contraste, Access Gallery and Burrard Arts Foundation would like to extend this project to an annual occurance in order to send out many more artists on this unparalleled journey.

Please support this one of a kind project by backing our kickstarter campaign, and bring home inspiring art collectibles.


23 Days at Sea residency artists selected

Receiving over 800 applications from artists around the world, the 23 Days at Sea residency, produced by Access Gallery and in collaboration with Art Contraste and Burrard Arts Foundation, has selected its finalists and voyages have begun. The finalists are Nour Bishouty based in Beirut; Christopher Boyne in Montreal; Elisa Ferrari in Vancouver; and Amaara Raheem based in Melbourne and London.

There are many ways to get involved with the residency as a supporter or collector. Please visit the residency's Facebook page to stay informed, and check back here for a fundraising campaign launching soon with many exciting collectibles and perks.


23 Days at Sea artist residency

Contraste Projects is proud to be a partner with Burrard Arts Foundation for Access Gallery's unique new arts residency for emerging artists. 23 Days at Sea will offer selected artists passage aboard a cargo ship sailing from Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai, China. Crossing the Pacific Ocean takes approximately twenty-three days, during which time the artist will be considered “in residence” aboard the vessel. Once in China, Art Contraste will guide the artists to make important new contacts and opportunities in China's artworld. The inaugural two residents will be sent to sea in August and September 2015, and the residency will be accompanied by publications by Access Gallery.

See full application requirements here.


National Conversation on Asia interviews Contraste

An initiative of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the National Conversation on Asia is a broad and inclusive initiative to get Canadians thinking and talking about what Asia means to Canada. Their team interviewed Contraste President Travis Joern about breaking into the cultural scene in China.

Learn more about why Contraste was formed, why reaching out to China is crucial for Canadian art and what upcoming projects we are producing by reading the full interview.


Artist selected for the first edition of the Contraste Art Residency in Beijing

Contraste is proud to announce the participation of emerging artist Joshua Schwebel to the new residency program organized in partnership with Where Where Art Space in Beijing. The selection committee consisted of Marie-Michèle Cron, Antoine Ertaskiran, Claude Gosselin, Marie-Josée Parent and Chih-Chien Wang.

Generously supported by the Power Corporation of Canada and Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), the residency program provides the artist with a studio in Beijing’s renowned 798 Art District.

The residency will be held from November 1 to 31, 2013, and will be preceded by a Cultural Delegation that will allow the artist and other participants to meet with Beijing and Shanghai’s art institutions stakeholders to and gain deeper awareness of the art scene in China.

View the detailed press release


Artist Residency in Beijing - Call for proposals

Contraste is proud to introduce, in partnership with the Where Where Art Space in Beijing,the first edition of its Residency Program for Quebec’s visual artists who are Canadian citizens or who have held a permanent resident status and lived in Quebec for at least one year.

Made possible through the financial support of our sponsors, namely Power Corporation of Canada and Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), Contraste's Residency Program gives the opportunity to a visual artist, aged between 18 and 35, to work out of a studio in Beijing's renowned 798 Art District, and build a network with the contemporary arts scene in China.

Constrastes is issuing a province-wide call for proposals for this opportunity, and all eligible professional artists are invited to apply by March 22, 2013.

Download the Call for Proposals and official guidelines.
Download the Jury's Code of Ethics (required reading).



Round Table Event

In partnership with the Institut d’études internationales de Montréal at UQAM, Art Contraste will be presenting a round table event on the subject of China and art in Quebec. Guest speakers will include curator Boris Chukhovich; artist, critic and professor Christine Paliméri; and artist Zhi-Min Hu. The event will take place Thursday October 4th, 2012, at 6 PM in room D-R200, 1430 St-Denis, UQAM, Berri UQAM metro. This round table will be taking place in French; more information is available here.


Book commemorating our China trip

Canadian photographer Bryan Davies, one of the artists included in the Canadian Cameras at Work exhibition, also participated in our trip to Beijing and created a book commemorating his  experience. It includes a wide array of beautiful photographs taken during our China trip as well as written accounts. The book "Visions of China: The Group of Four in Beijing" can be viewed or purchased online.


Documentary screening: The Lost Years

On February 9th, Contraste co-sponsored the Montreal premiere of "Lost Years: A People's Struggle for Justice" with the Asia Pacific Law Association of McGill. This epic documentary mini-series touches on the largest exodus in humankind, covering over 150 years of history of the Chinese in Canada and abroad.


Recap: Contraste trip to China!

Aliance Francaise Beijing Contraste Opening
Last fall, from September 5th to 19th 2011, the Contraste team brought four Canadian artists to China to attend the final opening of the ten-city tour of the Canadian Cameras at Work exhibition. The group included photographers Max Lapointe and Bryan Davies, video artist Erin Corbett, and mixed media artist Andrew George.

After attending the opening at the Alliance Française gallery in Beijing, Contraste Director Travis Joern traveled with the artists to explore the art scene in Beijing and Shanghai. Meetings with gallery directors, collectors, Chinese artists, and curators at the Canadian embassy provided a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on right now in the rising art world of China.

Highlights of the trip included a visit to the 3 Shadows Photography Center, where our first exhibition was held in 2009; helping Andrew George auction a sculpture, being VIP guests at the Beijing Fine Arts Fair, meeting with Beijing artist Lei Chakman, and visiting with the Shanghai International Cultural Association.

The connections we made during this trip planted the seeds of many projects to come: a response exhibition slated to open in Vancouver next fall, a public presentation for artists and businesses alike about Beijing’s hot cultural scene and its opportunities, an artist residency project, amongst many others. The trip also served as an immersive experience for all the artists, who left with a new perspective of their situation and practice within the international art scene, which has already begun to influence their studio work. It was an incredible journey, and we look forward to the next opportunity to bring more Canadian artists over to China.


China Trip

map of china
Our travel plans are made and luggage packed!
Travis Joern, Director General of Contraste, will accompany Canadian artists Bryan Davies (photography), Erin Corbett (video), Max Lapointe (photography) and Andrew George (mixed media) to the opening of the final exhibition of Canadian Cameras at Work in Beijing, China. Taking place at the Alliance Française Beijing galleries, the show will open on September 5th and our artists will have the chance to mingle with Chinese artists, curators, collectors and representants from the embassy. The trip will also be an opportunity to make new connections for Canada in what is rapidly becoming one of the most important cities for contemporary art, and to plan upcoming activities.

If you would like to sponsor or participate in this trip, please contact us at



Spring 2011 has been a busy time for the team at Art Contraste, as we celebrated our coming into being with a video art screening, information session and launch party at Studio XX Gallery in Montreal. We also hosted an in-depth grant writing workshop for the artists featured in our Canadian Cameras at Work exhibition, currently touring 10 cities in China. We are working hard to attend the final vernissage of the touring exhibition at the Alliance Française Gallery in Beijing this coming September with all the artists present. The trip will include studio visits with Chinese artists, meetings with curators, a presentation of artist talks by our Canadian artists, lots of relationship building and tons more.

Fundraising goal for the trip:  $30 000. It`s going to be a busy summer!

*We wish to thank Julian Gollner for graciously creating and hosting our site.

The Art Contraste launch and information session (Spring 2011)


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