Memory in Suspension responds to the lack of archival records we have of the first Chinese-owned business in Toronto, Sam Ching & Co. Chinese laundry. The installation offers a new associative memory from fragments collected from archival documents and 3D scans.
What do we choose to remember? What keeps our memories alive? How are memories constructed out of fragments and voids of history? The installation looks at these questions through the struggles faced by early Chinese immigrants in Toronto, through the story of the first Chinese business owner, Sam Ching. In 1877, Sam established Sam Ching and Company Laundry located at 9 Adelaide Street East. As memories fade over time, and as the Chinese community continues to be displaced from place to place, very little information on these first businesses can still be traced. As an immersive art piece, this layered enclosure presents a fragmented history of the first Chinese businesses and the evolution of the spaces through time.
The exterior of the installation begins at present day, with each layer becoming more obscured as time begins to overwrite history. Voids on the textiles create a pattern taken from archival images and photographs from four moments in history. Each layer of hung fabric leads the viewer back in time to the very first Chinese business that has been reconstructed from a composite of records to rebuild a memory of a space that was previously remembered in fragments. This three-dimensional store is suspended at the heart of the space within a stretched cocoon of fabric, dangling as if it could be dropped at any moment, signifying the fragile nature of memory. As an immersive art installation, viewers are encouraged to enter, touch, and experience the space. With the installation based around fragmented memories and understanding, we hope that your own memories will be formed and simultaneously contribute and strengthen the work itself.
Jenna Buchwitz (she/her) is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She is interested in integrating art, design, and technology through her work inside school and beyond. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, she came to Toronto in 2016 to pursue interior design. Jenna was awarded the RSID Chair’s Citation for Creativity in 2017.
Soon Chul Park (he/his) is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design. He originally studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo but switched programs wanting to be in design related field. Born in South Korea, immigrated to Canada in 2003.
Sally Park (she/her) is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She’s a visual art and fashion enthusiast, her curiosity towards one of her elective courses she took during high school has brought her to this program and she wishes to continue with her studies as well as her career experience to specialize in exhibit and commercial design.
Duyen Nguyen (she/her) loves to design and always finds herself trying new processes of creating and fabricating, from embroidery to furniture to interiors. She is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design, however, will continue to be inspired by a wide array of different ways of working.
Linda Zhang (she/her) is an artist, a licensed architect, certified advanced operations drone pilot and educator. She is a principal at Studio Pararaum and an assistant professor at Ryerson SID. Her research areas include memory, cultural heritage, and identity as they are indexically embodied through emergent technologies, matter, and material processes.
IG: @lindayzhang @pararaum
我们选择要记住什么？什么使我们的记忆还活着？历史的碎片和空白是如何构成记忆的？装置通过早期多伦多中国移民面临的斗争，通过第一位中国企业主Sam Ching的故事来审视这些问题。1877年，Sam在Adelaide Street East 9号建立了Sam Ching and Company Laundry。随着时间的推移，记忆逐渐淡去，华人社区不断被从一个地方转移到另一个地方，关于这些最早的企业的信息仍然很少。作为沉浸式艺术品，这个分层的围场呈现了第一批中国企业的破碎历史和不断演变的空间。