MFA Students

Coming from a strong background in a single discipline or from a studio practice that fuses two or more disciplines, our MFA students all value and thrive in the stimulation of the unique interdisciplinary environment of the SCA, which also encourages them to develop the theoretical or scholarly contexts of their practice.

Jennifer Anderson

MFA Graduate Student

Areas: Music performance, instrument building, sound design, interactive new media.

Jennifer Anderson is an experimental musician and her passion is designing, creating, and building augmented and original instruments. While instrument design is her main focus, she is also interested in creating interactive experiences using new media. Jennifer has experience in various audio creation software, new media programming languages, and digital fabrication tools. These are her main tools for creating musical experiences and interactions. Jennifer is also a qualified audio engineer and sound designer, having ten plus years of experience in the field. She has worked concerts and theatre productions operating the soundboard, along with backstage experience. If there are saws, nails, and drills around, she will use them to build stuff.

jennifer-anderson.webflow.io

Rahul Bader

MFA Graduate Student

Rahul Bader is an interdisciplinary artist, community builder and music educator. He is a driven and passionate music instructor, who makes learning an energetic and fun experience. With a BFA in Music, and a BA in Cognitive Science his interest is in making music accessible by creating innovative teaching methods borrowing from the numerous traditions of world cultures.

He uses music as a way to unite and uplift and has facilitated drum workshops across Canada for people of all abilities including special needs populations, refugees and youth at risk. Rahul is one of Canada’s leading drum circle facilitators, and has hosted drumming workshops at festivals and community organizations all across the country. He is currently completing his Masters of Fine Arts Degree at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, where his research will focus on the intersection between neuroscience, dance and rhythm.

Specializing in World Music & Productionhis teaching repertoire includes: African drumming, Tabla, Beatbox, Handpan; Composition and Rhythm Notation; Recording and Production

Jean Brazeau

MFA Graduate Student

Jean Brazeau (b. 1992) is an electroacoustic composer and performer based in Vancouver, BC. Selected performances include Sky Island (Vancouver, BC), Dig Your Own Rave (Outer Heaven, Victoria, BC), and Luminocity hosted by the Kamloops Art Gallery. His commercial work has been featured on the record labels: Acting Press (DE), 1080p (CA), Pacific Rhythm (CA), and Isla Records (CA). Past commissions have included This Chime Has a Door (2018) for the Pollyanna 圖書館 Library at 221a, as well as Fraser (2019) for Liquid Landscapes at the Surrey UrbanScreen. As an extension of his artistic practice, Jean is a Director at Deep Blue, an experimental sound studio in Vancouver where he co-curates a program of sound based performances.

Hannah Campbell

MFA Graduate Student

Hannah Campbell is a photographer who focuses on themes of shared experience, collective memories and storytelling. Hannah is based in Vancouver/unceded Coast Salish Territories and holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and is currently completing an MFA at Simon Fraser University. She has received multiple awards for her work, including a Canon Photography Award. Hannah has been chosen to attend international artist in residencies including the Arctic Circle Residency. Hannah uses art as a medium to share stories and create collective experiences between strangers. Her recent work is an exploration of how imagery, storytelling and memories are connected. Through social engagement with the public, she seeks to create a narrative of untold stories of the everyday.

hannahcampbell.ca

Roxanne Charles

MFA Graduate Student

E: rcharles@sfu.ca

Areas: Visual art.

Roxanne Charles is a mixed media artist of Strait Salish and European decent. She is an active and proud member of Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey, BC where she promotes art, language, and culture.

Roxanne recently completed a double major from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, receiving a BA in general studies with a minor in anthropology and a BFA with a minor in art history. Roxanne also holds a certificate in northwest coast jewelry design from The Native Education College.

Her work often explores a variety of themes such as spirituality, environment, identity, hybridity, and various forms of violence. Roxanne likes to work with a wide range of media and really enjoys combining both traditional and contemporary practices. Roxanne is a historian, artist, and contemporary story teller whose goal is to touch, move, and inspire others through her work. She finds creative ways to engage her audience by employing methods of performance and focusing on providing a multisensory experience.

Charlie Cooper

MFA Graduate Student

Charlie Cooper is a composer and sound artist whose work examines the ecology of lived and imagined environments through sound. His practice is grounded in field recording, often in underwater environments. Through performance and installation, Charlie’s work encourages listening as a means of understanding and appreciating the world we live in.

www.charliecooper.co

Karla Desentis Rodríguez

MFA Graduate Student

Karla Desentis is a dancer, choreographer, designer, and musical theater actress. One of her strongest interest is to do art interventions, performances, video-dance, dance theatre, and physical theatre.

She began her career in the performing arts at the age of five and concluded her studies as a dancer after 13 years of training in classical, contemporary, jazz and folklore technique at the Mexico City Ballet Academy. Her increasing interest in performing arts led her to study other disciplines like singing and acting at the CECAAP where she got a Musical Theatre diploma. Also, she studied set and costumes design at UNAM where she graduated from the Bachelor in Industrial Design, 2010, receiving an Academic Merit Diploma. Furthermore, she graduated from the Bachelor in Choreography at INBA, 2015, with an Honorable Mention in Excellence.

Within artistic residency programs, she has been benefited from the INBA Foundation for the summer program at the School of Toronto Dance Theater in 2012 and by The Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada, for the Indigenous Dance Residency program in 2016.

In the professional field, Karla has been in numerous dance productions as a dancer, as well as a director of her choreographic work. As a teacher she has worked for over ten years, being in charge of groups of all ages; being responsible for the choreographic assembly. Recently she has been teaching an interdisciplinary (dance and design) workshop for the Faculty of Arts and Design at UNAM.

Barry Despenza

MFA Graduate Student

bod1@sfu.ca

Barry Olusegun-Noble Despenza is a Sound and Video Artist from Chicago Illinois via SF and LA. Barry has sound designed numerous Stage-plays and Musicals across the Bay Area while self producing and splicing together found footage for exhibitions in Times Square, NY, Fringe Arts Bath and UMASS.

Sound and expanded cinema are a morphing experiment in which Barry uses language beyond the literal to the abstract. By making use of music’s ability to reach both the inner space (psychological) and outer space (acoustically) Barry collaborates across both mediums while mirroring each other in pursuit of installation and hopefully in more of a sculptural practice.

barryolusegun-nobledespenza.art | digitalcommons.brockport.edu/spectrum/vol3/iss1/9

Tin Gamboa

MFA Graduate Student

tgamboa@sfu.ca

Tin Gamboa is a dance artist who was born and raised on traditional land of Austronesian people, in a place commonly known as Manila, Philippines. She is currently living in the traditional land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-waututh first nations, now known as Vancouver, Canada. With her Filipino blood rumbling through her tapping toes and dancing body, Tin explore patterns, cycles, and stories within micro and macro levels, as “to enquire into the world of changing patterns and forces at play, is to enquire into the choreography of life” (Klien 2008). Through dance improvisation and composition, she creates safe spaces for focused reflection on ideas and patterns imprinted on the body, in relation to larger frameworks, whethe political, geographic, historical, cultural, or societal.  

tingamboa.com | Vimeo

Photo: Hannah Campbell

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani

MFA Graduate Student

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani is an Iranian-Canadian composer-violinist. He completed an Honours B. Mus. at Wilfrid Laurier University, and has presented at festivals and artist residencies across North America and internationally, including: The Brush Creek Arts Residency in Wyoming, USA, the Arteles International Creative Residency in Finland, and the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab. He is also currently a violinist with the SFU SCA Ensemble-in-Residence, working directly to support the undergraduate composition program, as well as developing the ensemble's own line of performances.

Various labels may describe Kourosh's work with some accuracy: neo-romantic, contemporary-classical, electro-acoustic, soundscape, chamber, interdisciplinary, and so on. He strives to inhabit the intersections between performance, composition and improvisation

Aakansha Ghosh

MFA Graduate Student

Aakansha Ghosh is a visual artist, whose research has been developing to deconstruct, decode and depict the role of architecture in context to the notion of memory and individuality, in and of places. She has lived in more than twenty houses across seven cities in India and now in Canada, this constant shift has shaped the context of her research surrounding spaces we call home and the individuality that resides within these places. Her practice incorporates painting, sculpture and installation making, using found objects and everyday material.

She has completed her Bachelors in Visual Arts (2018) with a major in painting and a minor in ceramics from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S University of Baroda, India. Her works have been part of shows across Vadodara, Goa and Delhi. They have also been published on artist-run websites.

www.through-mywindow.com

Alice Grassi

MFA Graduate Student

I am a multimedia artist interest in interdisciplinary and participative projects and I often work in collaboration with artists and collectives. My research is focused on the relationship between humans and territory; for this reason I often work on a site specific basis. I intend my practice as a Soft-Act that triggers a process of change and awareness.

www.alicegrassi.com | Youtube | Vimeo

Deborah Harman

MFA Graduate Student

dharman@sfu.ca

I am an Artist exploring experimental Documentary forms and their capacity to search for deeper more embodied human experiences. I am interested in Pyschogeography, Dance and embodiment of media used to explore land, the ocean and its stories.  My projects consider Space and Place theory, Art and Wellbeing and Transcendentalism.

debbieharman.com | docu-raw-deb.tumblr.com

Somayeh Khakshoor

MFA Graduate Student

Somayeh khakshoor is an independent artist, working mainly in the field of moving images. She received her M.A. in Animation from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, and she is now living in Iran.

somayehkhakshoor.wordpress.com

Homa Khosravi

MFA Graduate Student

hka146@sfu.ca

Painter from Iran, Tehran. Studied painting at Tehran University. My paintings are mostly about nature, plants, animals and human bodies, specifically the female body and human organs. I do photography and collages as well, about the same subjects.

Katie Kozak

MFA Graduate Student

I am an artist of Métis and Ukrainian descent. My Art Practice blends visual art, science, and wellness evolving from a longstanding interest in biology, alternative medicine and therapeutic rituals. While my practice has always encompassed a deep connectivity to land, I have only recently begun to understand it as a way to process both the loss of my father and the loss of a piece of my cultural identity. 

www.babashouse.ca/groundwatergallery

Casper Leerink

MFA Graduate Student

Casper Leerink (b. 1995) originally had two great affections: Music and Technology. Torn between the two, he chose to pursue a career in music. From 2013 until 2017, he studied Piano performance at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Zwolle, resulting in his graduation in July 2017. Because Casper’s interests grew bigger then the piano, he started a second major in music composition.

In his compositions, Casper is seizing the opportunity to integrate his two affections. Technology in his compositions has an important role: it is used to connect a variety of features with his Music, like Dance, Theater, Film, and even the Audience. With help of the new possibilities technology creates, these features aren’t a separate entity from the music, but are part of an interactive experience (they react to each other).

Using these technologies in his music, Casper tries to create an opportunity for technology to connect both people and technology.

Giselle Liu

MFA Graduate Student

Areas: Choreography and Movement Poetry

Giselle Liu received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. In Hong Kong, Liu worked as an artistic director of ‘City Dancing,’  co-choreographed for “an original creation and collaboration between ‘HKYAF’s director Lindsey McAlister and Cirque du Soleil composer duo Violaine Corradi and Rose Winebrenner,” and was principal choreographer for HKYAF’s musical production “Fame.” She’s worked in the commercial industry with artists such as canto-pop singer Fiona Sit and 2017 Miss Hong Kong, Juliette Louie. Liu’s work has also taken her to the UK, co-choreographing and co-mentoring for Punch Records: Gallery 37 project in Birmingham, and co-facilitating a ‘Threaded Heart Creations’ workshop in London. Threaded Heart Creations collaborated with spoken word artist Bhavini Raval and composer Max Carrey in their performance ‘Entangled’ for Kate Sparrow’s ‘I Am Woman’ solo exhibition at the Anita Chang Lai-ling gallery.  Liu’s movement aesthetic is enhanced by a distinct language of embodied poetry.  

Liu recently moved from Hong Kong to attend the MFA program at SFU to further her studies and has embarked on a collaborative journey with fellow cohort and designer Mansi Patel.  Her research and body of work study the human potential of the heart, body and mind in relations to perceptions of reality.

“Dance to live. Live to inspire.” – Giselle Liu

giselleliu.com

Xinyue Liu

MFA Graduate Student

Xinyue Liu works primarily with video, photography, text, and fabrics. By incorporating fragmented narratives and outdated visuals, Liu’s practice probes the manifestations of displacement, intimacy, and unfinished stories. She is fascinated by the renegotiations of past and present that unfold when she searches for and handles found objects, lost images and readymade knickknacks. Liu received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Television and Radio Production from Jilin University, China, before moving to Vancouver. The culmination of her upbringing and her new-found experiences has led her to a more filmic approach, which unravels through the study of expanded cinema and the politics of nostalgia.

Photo: Wayne Hoerchel

Deborah Micho (DEBBY FRIDAY)

MFA Graduate Student

Born in Nigeria, raised in Montreal, and now based in Vancouver, DEBBY FRIDAY’s work spans the spectrum of the audio-visual, resisting categorizations of genre and artistic discipline. She is at once sound theorist and musician, performer and poet, video artist, film director, writer and PUNK GOD. In March 2018, she released her first self-produced EP, titled BITCHPUNK, to reverberating underground acclaim. Her sophomore effort, also self-engineered and produced, was released in August 2019 on independent label, DEATHBOMB ARC. Titled DEATH DRIVE, and accompanied by her first music video and directorial debut for the lead single FATAL, Friday has described the new EP as “hot noise: full of grief and full of relief. It is the painful and pleasurable next step, the sacrificial offering of my old life to the new.” She has been featured in several publications, including: Pitchfork, Bandcamp Daily, the FADER, Discorder Magazine and more.

debbyfriday.com | crackingcloser.com

Silas Ng

MFA Graduate Student

smn10@sfu.ca

Silas Ng is an emerging artist based on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. His photography and multi-disciplinary works explore his life experience and identities as Deaf Canadian-born Chinese to discover how his life was weaved by the three different worlds.  

instagram.com/silas5.ng

Mansi Patel

MFA Graduate Student

I am a designer from Vadodara, India and am currently pursuing an MFA at the School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.  

My practice lies in building spatial and experiential spaces. In 2015, I started working with an architectural firm, Studio 3O87 Vadodara, whose practice focused on interdisciplinary and experimental works. My work is influenced by my experience in interior design, collaboration and architecture.  

Currently, I am exploring our perception of space through light and movement. My research began as a way for me to harmonize embodied experiences of interior architectural spaces with perception, movement and light. My first year of the MFA program centered around collaborative work with choreographer Giselle Liu and other cohort members creating imagined, spatial and experiential art installations that integrated light, projections, sound, geometric and architectural forms.

withinandbeyond.net

Jami Reimer

MFA Graduate Student

jamir@sfu.ca

My practice explores musical sound, particularly as it relates to movement and the exploration of spaces. I am interested in composing with field recordings, electronic sounds, and voice. I hope to draw on a cross-disciplinary interest in dance and somatic studies in the creation of new musical work for stage and/or other place-based environments. 

jamireimer.weebly.com

Photo: Hannah Campbell

ilvs strauss

MFA Graduate Student

ilvs strauss is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist and theater technician living and making work in Seattle.

www.ilvsstrauss.com

Jennifer Tham

MFA Graduate Student

E: jennifer_tham@sfu.ca

Areas: Music, music for voice(s)

I love the human voice; deeply personal, unique, subjective. I love words; suggestive and significant, precise yet imprecise. I am driven by the countless possibilities a theatre of voices offers; a mobile troupe with the potential to surprise, engage and provoke in unexpected ways and places.  In Singapore, I conduct the SYC Ensemble Singers, new music adventure junkies for whom more than 40 works have been written, several of these involving elements of theatre and choreographed movement.

I’m fascinated by the dialogue  between sight and sound – experimental music tends to need “visual aids” – and am interested in new music for vocal ensemble that can be staged, with movement, in unconventional spaces or as site-specific installation. I guess this love of how all our senses can work together (or not) to create something meaningful (or not) was begotten in the BFA program up on the mountain, at SFU, between 1992 and 1995.

photo by rūta kuzmickas

matthew toffoletto

MFA Graduate Student

mpt6@sfu.ca

matthew toffoletto (he/him) is a composer, writer, theater creator, and sound artist from Houston, Texas. his work focuses on the sonification of language and poetry, in integration with musical materials and processes. he’s interested in medieval/renaissance music, instruments, and texts and process-based, polyphonic, and masse-form materials.

 

matthewtoffoletto.wordpress.com

Photo: Faune Ybarra

C. Olivia Valenza

MFA Graduate Student

C. Olivia Valenza is a composer, clarinetist/performer, and interdisciplinary collaborator from Milwaukee, WI. Her work includes live performance, installation, sound design for dance, and the development of electroacoustic and acoustic concert music. Her research and process is concerned with eliciting personal and intimate performances and investigating the development of scores that elicit those points of relationality. She often looks to methods of remediation, using found objects and imagery in her compositions and performances to parse familiar threads of association and weave new worlds. Her hope is that sound and meaning made through participatory practices can help to realize a pluralistic vision of our artistic communities and of society as a whole.

Valenza has developed scored and improvised performances for clarinet, turntable, electronics and various materials, including recently, leaf blowers, maps, and walkie-talkies. She has also developed site specific works for electric guitar, clarinet, cello, metal sculpture, and electronics. 

She holds a BFA in Composition and Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently expanding her research/practice as an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University. Currently, she is also an editor for the Comparative Media Arts Journal there.

Valenza has developed work for and performed with Present Music, Wild Space Dance Company, Hyperlocal MKE, FTAM Noise Knowledge Consortium, Sensoria: Experiments in Sound and Performance, and the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra (MiLO).

www.colivia-valenza.com

Tomoyo Yamada

MFA Graduate Student

Tomoyo Yamada is an interdisciplinary artist whose primary media are dance and choreography. Born in Japan and educated in the United States, she has spent most of her life traveling between North America and Japan, negotiating distinct cultural identities. Her practice is influenced by her ongoing research into identity politics and her self-reflexive interrogation of transnational cultural difference.

Upon receiving her bachelor’s in Health and Sports Science in 2016, Tomoyo has been presenting works both in North America and Japan, including Dancing on the Edge Festival (Vancouver, Canada), Vines Art Festival (Vancouver, Canada), Open Stage (Vancouver, Canada) REVERBdance Festival (New York, USA) and All Japan Dance Festival (Kobe, Japan). She also translates workshops and creations for dancers invited to Kyoto International Dance Festival (Kyoto, Japan) amongst many independent artists from around the globe in Japan.

Her works include “Emergency (2012)”, “kikoeteimasuka (2013)”, “Femme Façade (2014)”,  "shimai (2016)", "yane ura (2018)" and they have all been performed/recreated multiple times in Japan, Canada and the United States. She was selected as participant for the Winter Intensive at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Greensboro, USA) in 2016 and recreated “Femme Façade” with their students.

Currently a MFA student at the School of Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) in interdisciplinary art, she creates works shedding light on cultural and social issues around the globe.

www.tomoyoyamada.com

Ghinwa Yassine

MFA Graduate Student

[Lebanese, b. 1984, based in Vancouver, Canada]

Ghinwa Yassine views herself in constant negotiation having lived in transition between Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah, Utrecht, and Vancouver. Her work uses a variety of mediums including film, installation, performance, drawing and writing. Starting from autobiographical narratives her work expands to cultural and human concerns. For example, in her Inside the Coffee Cup she questions superstitions and rituals in the make-up of the Lebanese/Arabic society. Her Home Suspended installation deals with themes of displacement, having felt forced to leave her country fearing war and instability, and duality, living at the edge of two worlds, that of her religious family and kinship-driven country and that of her atheist nomadic life. 

She often uses familiar domestic objects as a starting point to a story. “I’m fascinated by how much we can project on the objects that we as humans have created, or how these objects become memory capsules. For example, I can imagine myself saying I feel like a chair with a broken leg.” In one of her short films she creates a metaphor between her yogamat and her mother’s Muslim prayer rug. The resulting work is often a juxtaposition of film and objects that at first glance seem unrelated, but after experiencing them as a whole, one feels he/she entered someone’s private world.

Faune Ybarra

MFA Graduate Student

Faune Ybarra is a time-based artist originally from Oaxaca and Mexico City, Mexico working with “portable formats” such as video, sound, performance, and photo-based practices. Due to the experiences of constantly moving and adapting Faune has conceived of her body as a site of translation from where she attempts to communicate with other people and the non-human. Focusing on questioning the understanding of communication beyond our human constructs of language, in her practice, Faune attempts to create spaces to facilitate conversations among the communities she is a part of. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland and she is currently expanding her research/practice on the interrelation of displacement and site-specificity at Simon Fraser University as part of the MFA cohort in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has performed, exhibited, and spoken about her practice at galleries, festivals, artist-run centres, and conferences such as PULP Gallery, Ambulante Film Festival, Eastern Edge Gallery, Grenfell Art Gallery, The Rooms, and SpokenWeb symposium.

faune-ybarra.online

Katayoon Yousefbigloo

MFA Graduate Student

Through video, music, writing and visual art I examine how media shapes our mythologies. Reverse engineering narratives, I use speculative fiction as a framework through which to imagine alternate realities and their commercial potentials. Unrelatedly, I am pursuing franchise opportunities for my musical project Puzzlehead.

katayoonyousefbigloo.com

Joey Zaurrini

MFA Graduate Student

Joey is a sound artist and music composer, as well as an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser University. Using sound to facilitate narratives in dance, theatre and film, as well as create stories of his own, he spends most of his days immersed in a laboratory of noise and electronics where every object is a potential instrument. His areas of interest include decoding the compositions of city soundscapes, playing with interactive technology, and merging socio-ecological concepts with his sound art. He can be found attending workshops and classes, in the middle of deep collaborations, or roaming streets and deserted hallways with a recorder in hand.

jzaurriniwalks.wordpress.com

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