Life of a Craphead: Entertaining Every Second

Co-curated with cheyanne turions
AKA Artist Run, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 2019 January 17-February 16 

Entertaining Every Second is a body of performance and sculptural work by Life of a Craphead that engages with experiences and representations of western imperialism in Asia. The title of the exhibition comes from a Nam June Paik quote: “I am a poor [wo]man from a poor country, so I have to be entertaining every second.”

Life of a Craphead created a site-specific work for the exhibition, a contract between Jin Jin Dumpling House and AKA Artist Run. For as long as both exist, Jin Jin Dumpling House will cater AKA’s exhibition openings. This work creates a reciprocal relationship between the next door neighbours and acknowledges the location’s history as Saskatoon’s Chinatown.

Related events: Two dinners at Jin Jin. One with exhibition responses by artist Julie Oh and Jin Jin Cuisine owner Yin Shi with Mandarin translation provided by Qiming Sun.

Top row left to right: Amy Lam, cheyanne turions, Jon Pham McCurley, Su-Ying Lee in front of Jin Jin Dumpling House; installation views of selected works (photos by Derek Sandbeck)
Bottom row left to right: Dinner at Jin Jin with owner Yin Shi at head of table; exhibition opening images and Amy Lam discussing the work with Yin Shi

Life of a Craphead is the collaboration of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley. Their work spans performance art, film, and curation.  Their work investigates, through the central principle of humour, the different ways in which power and authority are deployed. Projects include King Edward Equestrian Statue Floating Down the Don (2017), a public art project where they floated a replica of a colonial statue down a river in Toronto; Bugs (2016), a feature-length film about a bug society; and The Life of a Craphead Fifty-Year Retrospective, 2006-2056, a fake museum exhibition of all of the work they will ever make (2013). They also organized and hosted the performance art show Doored from 2012-2017. Life of a Craphead has exhibited across Canada and the U.S. and has been featured in Art in America, Canadian Art, Washington Post, CBC, VICE, and others. Amy is Chinese and Jon is Vietnamese-Irish, and they live and work in Toronto, Canada.

cheyanne turions is a writer and curator concerned with art’s capacity to provoke otherwise possibilities. She is the Curator at SFU Galleries and sits on the board of directors for 221A.