Image Credit: Kota Ezawa, Ilse Bing, 2015

Kota Ezawa

The SFU School for the Contemporary Arts is pleased to welcome Kota Ezawa as the 2023 Spring Audain Visual Artist in Residence.

Kota Ezawa produces animated videos, slide projections, lightboxes, collages, and prints that recreate images and events from recent history and popular culture. Through a labour-intensive process that involves the production of hundreds of drawings, Ezawa translates charged events, such as the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy, into simplified animations. In The Simpson Verdict (2002), he transforms the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial into a 3-minute-long cartoon version, playing on notions of image-saturation and the power of these references in the popular imagination. Speaking of the painterly quality of his work, Ezawa has said, “I feel that I’m in the business of making moving paintings more than making videos with a beginning and an end”.

During his time in Vancouver, Kota Ezawa will present a free public lecture on his work and meet with graduate students in their studios. Together with SCA faculty member Kathy Slade, Ezawa will also work closely with third-year visual art students towards conceptualizing and creating work for the BFA Project, an annual student exhibition in the Audain Gallery. I’ll be your mirror, this year’s BFA Project, explores the relationship between artistic practices and mirrors, doubles, remakes, and echoes.

Ezawa’s work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA; SITE Santa Fe, NM; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; and St. Louis Art Museum, MO; and group exhibitions at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; and Art Institute of Chicago, IL; among many others. He participated in the Whitney Biennial 2019 and the Shanghai Biennale 2004. Ezawa received a SECA Art Award from SFMOMA in 2006 and a Eureka Fellowship in 2010.


Artist talk

Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver
Co-presented by SFU Galleries

BFA Project 2023: I’ll be your mirror

March 30 – April 8, 2023
 | Audain Gallery
Opening reception: Wednesday, March 29 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

About the Audain Visual Artist in Residence

The Audain Visual Artist in Residence (AVAIR) program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. Past residences have included Irena Haiduk, Jackson Polys, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Heba Y. Amin, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Jeremy Deller, Sanja Iveković, Charles Gaines, Samson Young, Alejandro Cesarco, Raven Chacon, Sarah Pierce, Walid Raad, Jalal Toufic, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Hito Steyerl, and many others. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The cornerstone of the residency is the sharing of artistic research.

The AVAIR program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.