At its core, my work is playful and explorative, but also deeply influenced by science, philosophy, and critical theory. In particular, I have an immense interest in the science of vision, the psychology of perception, light, ontology and metaphysics. I deconstruct and analyze academic texts to connect these subjects to a central theme in my art practice, looking versus seeing. My approach takes aspects of the scientific method and applies it to art production creating photographic works. Along with representational image-making, I have been pursuing experimental approaches to darkroom methodologies; working with photographic paper, creating photograms or with camera-less works. Through chemical and physical interventions, the process yields an emphasis on the materiality of light and the photographic paper. This draws upon the rich history of photography especially the birth of photographic works and avant-garde photography in the early twentieth century.
For the Luminous Bodies residency I intend to research the geographic and historic site of Artscape Gibraltar Point and Toronto Island, and conduct a durational performance with the permission of the staff. Toronto Island was formed by the erosion of sand from the Scarborough Bluffs through natural causes and human interventions. For the performance I will sweep the sand that enters inside Artscape’s building, creating small sand piles, moving it throughout the site for the two weeks in residence. Through the performance, I am mimicking the original displacement of earth from bluffs to island. This sweeping action represents themes of labour, diaspora, gender and land. By forming a direct response to the recent floods that took place on the Island earlier this spring, I aim to call attention to natural disasters and its catalyst to migration.
Thi Ngoc Anh Dao is a Canadian visual artist currently based in Toronto. I grew up in Vancouver where I also did my BFA in Media Arts at Emily Carr University. I am a Integrated Media Technician at OCADU and before that I worked at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) as a technical administrator.