Ed Pien in Conversation

two photos of a woman, on the left she is holding a tabby cat to her face while taking drag on a cigarette, with a nature motif mural on the wall behind her, on the right she is wearing a deep pink tank top, standing in a square at night, looking at the camera in  three quarter profil

Ed Pien. Dionne Clementina Anyo Reyes, 2019. Diptych: two colour digital prints on rag-cotton paper, 53.3 × 78.7 cm each print. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Claudio Pelaez Sordo.

Tickets are not currently available.


Ed Pien in Conversation

Saturday, June 3, 2 pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

Join Toronto artist Ed Pien, AGO Associate Curator, Canadian Art, Renée van der Avoird and guest curator Catherine Sicot for a discussion about the exhibition Present: Past/Future and the unique and ongoing collaboration Ed Pien has had with a group of elders in San Agustin, a suburban neighborhood of Havana, Cuba. Pien and Sicot will be joined onstage by Cuban-Canadian artist Omar Estrada, who is based in Toronto and Havana who has been contributing to the project, and by Magda González-Mora, a Cuban-Canadian independent curator based in Toronto. 

Following the talk, Chapter 2 Presente: Pasado/Futuro, an ongoing publication in Spanish, English and French that develops alongside Ed Pien's project in Cuba, will be available for sale. Chapter 2 of Presente: Pasado/Futuro, includes essays by and interviews with The Elders from San Agustin, Ed Pien, Renée Van der Avoird, Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda and Catherine Sicot; photos by  Ed Pien, Claudio Pelaez Sordo, Kevin Niu and the AGO, and is co-published by Le Centre SAGAMIE and Elegoa Cultural Productions with the support of the AGO, Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Robert Birch Contemporary and Carlos Yep. Designed by Mathilde Martel-Coutu, translated and edited by Luis Prieto, Eric Bertrand, Dominique Denis and Alexander Morales Carvajal. Copies of Chapter 2 Presente: Pasado/Futuro are $40 and all proceeds will go to support the elders participating in the project in Cuba and to cover publication costs. 

Ed Pien is a Taiwanese-born Canadian artist who received an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western University and an MFA from York University. He has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including at the Drawing Centre, NYC; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Canadian Culture Centre in Paris; The Goethe Institute in Berlin; The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; The Art Gallery of Ontario; Musée des beaux arts, Montreal; Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal; Songzhuang Art Centre, Beijing; the National Art Gallery of Canada; as well as Oboro. He has participated in the 2000 and 2002 Montreal Biennales; the 18th Edition of the Sydney Biennale, “Oh Canada”, at MASS MoCA. Pien also presented work at the 5th Edition of the Moscow Biennale, and the Beijing International Art Biennale. His work explores the notion of time, the sentience of nature, as well as the representation of trauma, resilience, and empathy.

Omar Estrada is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist born in Cuba. Estrada has exhibited for over thirty years in various international events, such as the Havana Biennial (2006 and 2015), the Absolute L.A. Biennial, USA (2003), the Caribbean Triennial in Santo Domingo, D.R (2010), the Asuncion Biennial, Paraguay (2015, 2019) and the Curitiba Biennial, Brazil (2017). In his interdisciplinary practice, Estrada’s installation work uses sound, video, interactivity, found objects, participatory performance and narrative text. He explores the transversal tensions between art, science, history and politics by questioning the validity and disputing the authority of political, cultural and scientific approaches established as “absolutes.” Estrada is a co-founder and curator of Unpack Studio Art Projects & Residency in Havana.

Magda Gonzalez-Mora is an Independent Curator, Art Critic and Consultant based in Toronto, Canada. She co-founded the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre in 1984 and was part of the curatorial team of the Havana Biennale for 16 years. She co-curated the 1st Johannesburg Biennale in 1998 and the Dakar Biennale in 1992. From 2007 to 2014, she co-curated the Sherritt International Collection of Contemporary Cuban Art for the Art Gallery of Ontario, AGO. She curated exhibitions at artistic institutions worldwide, including Mattress Factory, Art Yard, and Pulse, USA; Arco and Loop, Spain; Luminato, and Nuit Blanche, Canada. Extensively published, she is a member of IKT and AICA. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Havana.

Catherine Sicot, is an independent French-Canadian curator and cultural producer, founder of Elegoa Cultural Productions. Based first in Rennes and then in Paris, Toronto, Havana (on a regular basis from 2011 to 2017), she recently moved to Montreal. Sicot brings together artists in various places and countries around issues of interculturality and decolonization. Working in a partnership framework, she commissions and co-produces visual and media artworks and promotes their diffusion through curating exhibitions, artists residencies and directing publications.

For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


Friday May 31, 7pm
Friday, June 7, 4 pm
Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.