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In Dimension: Personal and Collective Narratives

Opening Reception + CONTACT Festival Launch: May 3, 2024, 7–10 pm
Exhibition on view: 
May 4–August 3, 2024
The Great Hall

Guest Curator: Bryce Julien

In Dimension: Personal and Collective Narratives is a group exhibition bringing together works by emerging artists who participated in The Image Centre’s Poy Family Youth in Focus Program. This program provides free, customized workshops for community organizations and youth in the Toronto area, offering hands-on photography-based activities that encourage critical thinking about the IMC’s exhibitions and promote explorations of image-making and storytelling processes.

This exhibition is supported through the generosity of The Poy Family.

Logo for the CONTACT Photography Festival
Fig. 1

Alishah Ahmad, Puzzle of Sentiments (detail), 2023, collage. Courtesy of the artist

Fig. 2

Anne Balneg, Contemplating Everything (detail), 2023, collage. Courtesy of the artist

Fig. 3

Siena-heesoo Jang, The Inbetween (reimagining my gender) (detail), 2023, collage. Courtesy of the artist

Fig. 4

Kardell McAfee, Everyday Devices (detail), 2023, collage. Courtesy of the artist

Fig. 5

Emiliya Volchenko, Beyond the Pages (detail), 2023, collage. Courtesy of the artist

Artist + Curator Bios

Alishah Ahmad (Artist)

Alishah Ahmad passionately explores the realm of creativity with a keen eye for visual expression. Inspired by a childhood filled with a love of drawing, painting, and hands-on craftsmanship, Alishah’s artistic journey has seamlessly transitioned into high school, where she actively engages in art classes to refine her skills. As an artist, she finds it important to immerse herself in the beauty of nature and allow it to guide her in the creative process.

Anne Balneg (Artist)

Anne Balneg is a Filipino immigrant finding her pathway through a new life in Canada as she enters adulthood. Discovering new responsibilities and losing sight of hopes and dreams, her practice is one of self-discovery, with underlying themes of Filipino culture, immigration, and considerations about the influence of social media on self-perception. In her process, Anne often draws inspiration from widespread social issues, using personal trinkets and souvenirs alongside photography and mixed-media techniques to represent her connection to them. Having previously participated in community arts programs and worked at a commercial studio, Anne has honed her photographic skills, developing a deeper appreciation for the art form. She continues to explore the expressive form of photography with an interest in editorial image-making.

Siena-heesoo Jang (Artist)

Siena-heesoo Jang (she/they) is an enigmatic multidisciplinary artist. Her work draws from their multi-hyphenated identities and their inquiries through this world. Born in Korea, she grew up in the Philippines and is now a new Canadian citizen. Inspired by the mistakes that shape us, her work reflects her experiences with failure and the evolution of her psyche, gender identity, and spirituality. Her artistic journey stems from navigating both the mental health system and higher education, discovering value in authenticity of voice. Siena considers their creative practice one of play, and continues her storytelling journey through experimenting in theatre, film, photography, DJing, and the visual arts. 

Kardell McAfee (Artist)

Kardell McAfee is an interdisciplinary artist who creates self-reflective stories that promote awareness of personal consciousness. His interest in the arts began at age twelve, when he began photographing his twin sister with his phone. He considers being an artist a continual process of redefining himself, expressing stories of who he is for others to read. He recently participated in a photography exhibition at Nia Centre for the Arts, Toronto, exploring the interconnectedness and beauty of all things found in nature. Through the expression of his experiences, stories, and ideas, he can identify his sense of self. Kardell aspires to exhibit layered stories and thrives in the creative process.

Emiliya Volchenko (Artist) 

Emiliya Volchenko is an OCAD University student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a minor in photography. Having recently completed a program at the New York Academy of Art that emphasized classical teachings, her practice encompasses a broad exploration of diverse media, including drawing, painting, and photography. As a means of storytelling and emotional expression, Emiliya’s work is guided by an exploratory approach, engaging at the intersection of digital design and traditional media.

Bryce Julien (Curator)

Bryce Julien is a Toronto-based artist, and community facilitator at The Image Centre at Toronto Metropolitan University. He is a graduate of the School of Image Arts Photography Studies. Central to his practice is the positioning of the photographic object as a tool for critical thinking and intrapersonal development. His work focuses on exploring the collaborative implications of the subject to photographer relationship. In recent practice, he looks to the materiality of photographic processes, operating in analog and alternative mediums to consider the role of somatics in artistic production.

In Dimension: Personal and Collective Narratives