The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land?

Collaborators of Japanese and Indigenous Ancestry
Examine Experiences of ‘Place’ through Innovative Performance Art

The Vancouver Art Gallery announces a new exhibition bridging the experiences of artists with diverse ancestries in dialogue, Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land? on view July 14 to October 28, 2018. Long-time collaborators and friends, Goto and Morin have created a performance art practice informed by their perspectives as a Japanese diasporic woman and Tahltan First Nations man. Together, Goto and Morin investigate their distinctive relationships to place in this presentation of new installations and reassembled documentation from their individual and collaborative performances over the past six years.

Ayumi Goto is a performance artist based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Born in Canada, she explores her Japanese heritage to question and confront notions of nation-building, cultural belonging, and structural racism. Peter Morin is a Sobey Award-nominated Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer whose work focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and the disruption of Western settler colonialism. His art serves as a record of his ongoing process of understanding and practicing his culture and language. The artists first began their creative partnership with this is what happens when we perform the memory of the land during the 2013 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Quebec National Event in Montreal. Incorporating video and performance, the work considered Indigenous and settler structures of witnessing beyond the Indigenous-to-state framework of the TRC.

The pair have since joined forces for multiple projects and, in the process, have developed a unique methodology of collaboration centered on the interaction of bodies in space, witnessing and connections to land. Their practice often involves drums, rattles, masks and other such cultural objects that document history and have the potential to be re-activated in new contexts and in continuity with the past, thus transcending a Western concept of linear time. Merging with the Japanese/Taoist notion of 陰陽 (inyō) that conceptualizes the universe as a circle, the artists’ multi-dimensional approach to spacetime allows them to share their works as an enfolding of many simultaneous moments from which new meanings emerge.

Goto and Morin’s work is also notably created with the intention of making inclusive spaces welcoming of their mothers, ancestors, and a multiplicity of voices, particularly of the marginalized. In this spirit, they have commissioned works by several other artists for this exhibition: Corey Bulpitt, Roxanne Charles, Navarana Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Haruko Okano and Juliane Okot Bitek.

“The Gallery is proud to present two artists fostering important dialogue between Indigenous, racialized and diasporic communities in Canada,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin compel us to think about how we relate to the land through the scope of our cultural experiences. Their work brings awareness and respect to Indigenous sovereignty while encouraging greater inclusivity.”

This exhibition is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Tarah Hogue, Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art.

Generously supported by:
Gary R. Bell

Public Programs for Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land?

Artists Talk: Resonant Presence and Refusals with Jeneen Frei Njootli, Ayumi Goto, Peter Morin and Olivia Whetung on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00pm at the Contemporary Art Gallery (555 Nelson Street). This panel discussion between four artists who will reflect together on the shared concerns of their practices is presented in collaboration between the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Admission is free of charge. Space is limited. Please RSVP by calling 604-681-2700.

Roving Gallery Performance: this is not us featuring artists Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin alongside Tarah Hogue, Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art on Saturday, July 21 at 2:00pm on the third floor of the Gallery. The performers will activate three portrait masks carved by Haida artist Corey Bulpitt. Free for members or with Gallery Admission.

For more up-to-date information on Public Programs, visit

Also opening in July at the Vancouver Art Gallery:
Kevin Schmidt: We Are the Robots (July 14 to October 28, 2018)
For more information, visit

Peter Morin with Ayumi Goto, this is what happens when we perform the memory of the land, 2013. Documentation of performance. Photo: Ashok Mathur. Courtesy of the artists.

About the Vancouver Art Gallery
Founded in 1931, the Vancouver Art Gallery is recognized as one of North America’s most respected and innovative visual arts institutions. The Gallery’s ground-breaking exhibitions, extensive public programs, and emphasis on advancing scholarship all focus on historical and contemporary art from British Columbia and around the world. Special attention is paid to the accomplishments of Indigenous artists, as well as to the arts of the Asia Pacific region—through the Institute of Asian Art that the Gallery founded in 2014. The Gallery’s programs also explore the impacts of images in the larger sphere of visual culture, design and architecture. The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is situated within the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh) peoples, and sits at the center of the many gathering places and villages of these strong and vibrant Nations. Respect for this land inspires the Gallery to celebrate the richness of Coast Salish history, knowledge and culture, and informs the work of the Gallery.

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