‘Zadie Xa’s reanimation of forgotten feminist myths’ – TANK Magazine.
Showcasing a major new multimedia project, Zadie Xa creates a sub-aquatic marine environment, inviting audiences to enter into an immersive world by way of atmospheric lighting, surround-sound, large-scale video projections, sculptures and costumes.
Xa brings together imagined and learned Korean folklore, transforming diasporic knowledge into new realities. Within her immersive world, she presents an origin story inspired by Korean creation myths, centred on the giant goddess Grandmother Mago (Magohalmi). Exploring the passing down of ancestral knowledge through the matrilineal social structures that are based on the separation of responsibilities between male and female deities in the creation of the universe, the work confronts the goddesses’ shift in cultural status over time, from central to marginal.
Throughout her practice, Xa uses water and marine ecologies as metaphors for exploring the unknown, whilst also alluding to abstract notions of homeland, having grown up on the west coast of Canada. Often creating fantastical underwater realms, the exhibition features a large-scale, surround-sound video projection of the ocean, and a pod of orcas – a theme which is then revisited in a series of sculptures. The final element of the exhibition is comprised of costumes and masks made in collaboration with Benito Mayor Vallejo, and originally used during performances at Art Night 2019 and the 58th Venice Biennale.
Read an interview with Zadie Xa in Ocula magazine.
Zadie Xa uses live performance, video, painting and textiles to question how cultures inform identities and notions of self. Her layered costume works are sites for exploring personal cultural histories that stitch together personally relevant imagery sourced from music, digital space, fashion and art history. Xa has developed a system of personalised symbols that propose entirely new images and objects, creating a personal visual language for articulating nuanced Asian identity narratives, which are frequently situated within fantastical or supernatural realms.
Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation is a co-commission with Art Night, London (22 June 2019), YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku (12 July – 29 September 2019), Tramway, Glasgow (26 October – 16 December 2019) and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill.
The story of Jaetu* is inspired by the real orca matriarch ‘Granny’ or ‘J2’ and her family ‘J pod’, one of the three pods belonging to the Southern Resident orcas. During the spring and summer months, these three pods inhabit the San Juan Islands and Southern Gulf Islands, lower Puget Sound and Georgia Strait in Pacific Northwest near British Columbia. J pod are at breaking point with their numbers at an all-time low of 72, their lowest population in 30 years. Just 20 years ago there were around 100 orcas in J pod. Due to the increase of negative human activity such as environmental desecration, noise pollution and the destructive impact commercial fishing and water dams have had on the Chinook Salmon population, the main source of sustenance for these orcas, J pod are starving. It is feared that this current generation of orca will be the last.
For more information about the Southern Resident Orcas and ways in which you can help their survival please go to www.whalereserach.com
*Jaetu: is a Korean way of punctuating J2
Zadie Xa (b. 1983, Vancouver) currently lives and works in London. She received an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2014 and her BFA at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include Soju Sipping on a Sojourn to Saturn, Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Mexico (2018), HOMEBOY 3030: Return the Tiger 2 the Mountain, Union Pacific, London (2018), and The Conch, Sea Urchin and Brass Bell, Pump House Gallery, curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst, London (2017). Selected group shows include Body Armor, curated by Jocelyn Miller, MoMA PS1, New York (2018). She has also staged performances at international galleries and festivals including Palais de Tokyo, Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Block Universe and the Korean Cultural Centre UK.
- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.
Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
- A low counter at the Box Office and Information Desk
- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
- Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
- Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.