Staying in the Feeling, 2020


Malaspina Printmakers Society, Curated by Jenn Jackson. 
Photo credit: Blaine Campbell

Staying in the Feeling brings together the multiple iterations of Grass Drama by Vancouver-based artist Julian Hou. This exhibition considers the relationship between knowing and sensing the borders and boundaries of bodies, and the contours and shapes associated with comfort. Architectural structures that contain and protect, textiles that cover and conceal, and sounds that console and ease one into a state of contentment, are all aspects of the program.

A folded quilt awaits a body in need of warmth, sleep, retreat, rest, or recovery. Assembled with care, the surface the textile holds traces of past encounters. Dreams are caught in the cotton batting of the blanket. The residue of physical contact urges particular memories to percolate. A score of collected auras and sounds plays in the distance. The texture of the quilt represents an assemblage of experiences. Accumulations of stories about place and identity are captured through the gesture of making. As an object, the quilt has encountered an expanse of moments, reflecting the spaces in which it has been and is potentially going. The temporal discrepancies of each encounter stretch the parameters of how one might experience space and time. Every warp and weft, scrap and stitch, stain and wash, yields another moment.

Memories circle around. A selection of prints on the walls represent various forms of refection from different dates and speeds of time. Familiar architectures are remembered through patterns and impressions. Outlines of a lakeside view, haunted doorway, attic apartment, and backyard garden, appear in abstracted representations of moments past. The exteriority of relations is multiplied through the adjacency of text and image. Internal and external connections overlap and unfold between digital and analogue material form.

Over the course of the exhibition a number of events will occur. The Malaspina Printmakers gallery on Granville Island and exhibition windows on Howe Street will display artworks, objects, and ephemera of Grass Drama. A record will be released, drifting the multi-sensory project into being elsewhere. Merchandise from the program will be available for sale—t-shirts, to be taken from their conditions within the gallery, to be worn, washed, and outstretched on a laundry line; prints to be hung in the home; records to be played; Broadsheet poems to be read in solitary or recited amongst others. In the place of elsewhere, the signs and phenomena of Grass Drama will fluctuate with the currents around them. The circuitries of transaction will be dispersed into alternate narratives and trajectories. This mutable transformation upon Grass Drama will carry on beyond the exhibition with future iterations of the project—a limited edition of reality.

-Jenn Jackson


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Howe St. windows, 2020


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Howe St. windows, 2020


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Howe St. windows, 2020


Queen of cups, detail, water fountain made of poplar and bamboo, acrylic paint, 2020


Untitled (reading), Grass Drama playing cards, handsewn quilt and scarf, 2020


Untitled (reading), detail, Grass Drama playing cards, handsewn quilt and scarf, 2020


Staying in the feeling, wallpaper detail, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Howe St. windows, 2020


Ketamine and Grounding Crystals is Spiritual Speedballin’, inkjet print on japanese paper, 2020


Say what you mean and mean what you say & Do what you feel if you feel what you do, inkjet print on japanese paper, 2020


Untitled (fences), garden dyed cotton, dyed douglas fir and bamboo, 2019. 


Chance table (Unbroken), stained glass spiral on a shifty base, tourmaline bracelet broken from accumulated stress, scattered and sublimated into the card table it was intended to be, carnelian gemstone gifted from a friend, 2020 


Chance table (Unbroken), detail, stained glass spiral on a shifty base, tourmaline bracelet broken from accumulated stress, scattered and sublimated into the card table it was intended to be, carnelian gemstone gifted from a friend, 2020


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Granville island, 2020


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Granville island, 2020


Grass Drama T-shirts, editioned silkscreened t-shirts for sale during the exhibition, 2020


Grass Drama & Selected works, double LP gatefold vinyl record, 2020


Grass Drama & Selected works, double LP gatefold vinyl record, 2020


Grass Drama Wallpapers, editioned digital wallpaper prints for sale during the exhibition, 2020


Grass Drama Wallpapers, editioned digital wallpaper prints for sale during the exhibition, 2020


Grass Drama Wallpapers, editioned digital wallpaper prints for sale during the exhibition, 2020


Staying in the feeling, Installation view, Malaspina Printmakers Society, Granville island, 2020