Joni Cheung alias Snack Witch at the Atelier Circulaire, February 2024


Country: Canada

Residency period: February 2 – March 2, 2024

Public presentation: March 1st, members gallery, space 105

Residency project: With the support of a residency and the technical expertise of the Atelier Circulaire team, I aim to investigate how printed menus serve as platforms for the dissemination of sociocultural knowledge. In today’s world, ordering food from various cuisines for home delivery is incredibly convenient, facilitated by direct restaurant calls or food delivery apps. Many eateries distribute takeout menus as a form of advertising, often containing exclusive discounts or deals. Employing screen-printing techniques, I will delve into the materiality of these menus, collecting flyers from Chinese restaurants in Montréal to understand their visual and linguistic elements. From this research, I’ll create brochures exploring how these texts function as cultural archives. By challenging the perception of menus as cheaply produced items for mass circulation, my experiments will craft throwaways through a meticulous hand-printing and folding process. Despite their small size, these brochures will scrutinize the significance of these paper artifacts as reflections of temporal and geographical cultural trends.

Bio: Snack Witch Joni Cheung  is a grateful, uninvited guest born—and knows she wants to die — on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, Stó:lō, and Səl ̓ílwətaʔ Selilwitulh peoples. They are a Certified Sculpture Witch with an MFA from Concordia University (2023). She holds a BFA with Distinction in Visual Art (2018) from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. As a wicked #magicalgirl who eats art and makes snacks, she has exhibited and curated shows, off- and online, across Turtle Island. Currently, they are based on the stolen lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka peoples. They are a recipient of numerous awards, including the Research and Creation Grant: Canada Council for the Arts and the Dale and Nick Tedeschi Studio Arts Fellowship. She was waitlisted for the SSHRC – Joseph-Armand Bombardier: Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship. Aside from art-making, Joni likes wandering down grocery store aisles and drinking bubble tea.

Statement: Through an interdisciplinary artistic practice, I investigate the interdependent relationship between objects, place, and identity. As a Canadian-born Hong Kong-Chinese queer, anglophone woman, I use this lens to navigate discourses of transnationalism, migration, and diasporas. Growing up tirelessly grasping at my language ∴ culture, I soothed my hunger for connection via online communication/sharing platforms and by eating. These ingredients helped a hopeful pessimist calm rolling waves of loneliness and learn about their heritage and ancestry. Sifting through family memories of displacement—usually in-between conversations held over food-covered tables—and prickly experiences of trying to blend in until smooth, nourish points of interest to reflect and respond to global contexts and (hi)stories. Conducting research is a ritual that molds the way I work. Chewing on the spectrum of transparency ↔ opacity and translation of forms (physical ↔ digital) and stories, I collect and layer still and moving images from archives and contemporary media, words, sound (scapes), objects, and places. This research simmers into installations conjured up with sculptures, performances, texts, audio explorations, photographs, and videos—marinating and transforming accumulated ephemera often overlooked by those outside of my communities. As of late, I have been using food and humour to draw people in with the familiar, to confront the uncomfortable histories embedded in the everyday.

crédit 2e photo: Kyle Thyhorn 2023 Neon sign, handwritten text with neon chalk marker, embroider patch, resin magnet Kit Kats with pearlescent powder finish

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