AGO X RBC Artist-in-Residence: Shion Skye Carter

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Residency period: July 18 - October 25, 2022

Threading Echos is a performance and film that shares the history of “shifu” (fabric woven from washi paper thread called “kami-ito”) through contemporary dance, expressing from a Japanese Canadian perspective how we connect in the present day to this time-honoured, hands-on practice from 6th- century Japan . Created by Shion Skye Carter in collaboration with two Ontario-based artists, dance artist Mayumi Lashbrook (Toronto) and fibre artist Hitoko Okada (Hamilton), this work connects three artists despite being tangled by the pandemic and stretched by geography, to honour their Japanese ancestry through dance and storytelling. Conjuring ancestral presence through soft gestures, gestural tableau, shadows and text, the inspiration of cultural heritage craft on this embodied performance is a calming reminder to release our nervous systems from the consumption-driven world in which we are embedded.

Shion Skye Carter

Photo credit: Lula-Belle Jedynak

Shion Skye Carter (she/they) is a dance artist from Tajimi, Japan, who lives and dedicates time to her artistic practice in Vancouver, Canada as a guest on the unceded, ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples. Through choreography hybridized with heritage artforms that interact with digital and sculptural objects, Shion’s work looks inward to the facets of her intersectional identity as a lens to process the world around her. As co-founder of olive theory, an interdisciplinary duo with musician Stefan Nazarevich, she collaborates to experiment at the intersection between embodied performance, installation art, and live sound. Shion has performed across Canada, having worked with artists such as Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance), Wen Wei Dance, and Ziyian Kwan (Dumb Instrument Dance). She holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University, and is the 2021/2022 recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award.

Mayumi Lashbrook

Mayumi Lashbrook is a mixed-race Japanese-Canadian settler from Tkaronto who seeks to expose, challenge and rectify systems of oppression by creating innovative, introspective and inclusive dance theatre. Her primary practices span performance, choreography, education and Artistic Direction. She performs as a way to find connection, commonality and vulnerability in others. Mayumi graduated on the Dean’s list from the University X (previously known as Ryerson University) Theatre Performance Dance program. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Aeris Körper, a facilitator of Dreamwalker Dance’s Conscious Bodies methodology, an active member of Wind in the Leaves Collective and the Communications and Outreach Manager for the Canadian Dance Assembly. Most recently she received choreographic mentorship from Peggy Baker, was resident in the L’AiR Arts (Paris, France) intercultural artistic exchange, and a commissioned choreographer in CanAsian’s GRIT: Short Dances with dramaturgy from Nina Lee Aquino. She is currently studying Butoh and composition in a year-long mentorship with renowned Japanese-Canadian dance theatre artist Denise Fujiwara. Mayumi’s different roles are all encompassing and overlapping. This enables her to approach projects and communities with openness, curiosity, excellence, and with deep satisfaction.

Hitoko Okada

Photo credit: George Qua-Enoo @georgeq

Hitoko Okada is an interdisciplinary fibre artist, storyteller, community arts organizer and curator currently living in Hamilton, Ontario. Okada has publicly presented washi-based installation work, curatorial work, performed live stories and developed and delivered community-engaged programs for more than 20 years in Vancouver, Toronto, Burlington and Hamilton. She has continued to develop her textile craft practice through artist residencies and workshops at the Haystack School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine and the Kawashima School of Textiles in Kyoto, Japan. She is a recipient of the Hamilton City Arts Award for Established Artist in Craft; a core member of the Hamilton Seven Storytelling Collective, and a member of the Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild. She is currently developing a research-based body of work exploring the history and ancestral knowledge of cultural heritage crafts of Japanese indigo, kakishibu dye and shifu weaving, supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council of the Arts.


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