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L’automatisme with a cultural identity

A Solo Exhibition


Michael Kiré


Exhibition Dates

July 1 – July 31, 2024


Calgary Central Library

North End – Level 1 – Gallery Space

800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7


The Alberta Society of Artists is pleased to present the solo exhibition “L’automatisme with a cultural identity” featuring the work of Alberta artist Michael Kiré.

“The tradition of writing-in-painting is millennia old. Being an artist who also practices literary expression, I can see the potential of combining the drawn and the written.

Calligraphers use `The Eight Principles of Yong’ as a basis to practice their script writing. Would a page of lines revolving around these strokes provide an impression of the language? Calligraphers possessing the capability to master the scripts are many, but the intention to stretch their potential towards a new form of expression is rare.

I experimented with the idea by applying the strokes without a linguistic context. Following the flow of the ideograms, an alikeness to the Chinese kuangcao (wild cursive) script in calligraphy is achieved. It is often our first instinct to `read’ whenever we are presented with a piece of Calligraphy on sight before we appreciate the Art. By removing the linguistic aspect from its context, I challenge this norm in calligraphy. The appreciation of the shape of words precedes readability. Art is about sensing, the suggestions are subtle, but there is an assured communication beyond words.

Automatic writing when presented this way occupies a different place: being appreciative over expressive.”

About the Artist

Michael Kiré was born and grew up in colonial Hong Kong. In 1988, he completed his education at UVic where his Mentor professor, Pat Martin Bates, fortified his exploring nature. He was juried into the North Park Gallery upon graduation, but a twist of circumstances diverted him into an art education career for 20 years in Hong Kong. Impacted by exhaustion and realizing a personal mission, he returned to Canada in 2010 for good, focusing on his Art exploration in private in Edmonton. His works have been collected privately in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Hong Kong over the years.

About the Land

L’automatisme with a cultural identity is on display at the Central Public Library in Mohkinstsis (Calgary).

The Alberta Society of Artists (ASA) acknowledges that what we call Alberta, where our organization has found its’ home, is the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) Confederacy (Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika), the Nehiyawak (Cree), Dene Tha’ (Slavey), Dane-zaa (Beaver), Denesuliné (Chipewyan), Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Iyarhe Nakoda (Stoney) (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley), and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Six Regions of the Métis Nation of Alberta within the historical Northwest Metis Homeland.

The Calgary Public Libary with gratitude, mutual respect, and reciprocity, we acknowledge the ancestral home, culture, and oral teachings of the Treaty 7 signatories which includes; the Siksika (Six-ih-gah) Nation, Piikani (Be-gun-nee) Nation, Kainai (Gaa-nah) Nation, the Îethka Stoney Nakoda (Ee-iith-kah Stow-nee Nah-koh-duh) Nation, consisting of the Chiniki (Chin-ih-key), Bearspaw (Bears-paw), and Good Stoney (Good Stow-nee) Bands, and the people of the Tsuut’ina (Sue-tin-ah), Nation. We also recognize the Métis (May-tea) people of Alberta Region 3, who call Treaty 7 their home. See and hear the Library’s Land Acknowledgement on their website.

Are you interested in learning more about the First Peoples of Alberta?

native-land.ca has an interactive map showcasing many of the Territories, Languages, and Treaties that impact Alberta, Canada and other parts of the world.

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