Three South Asian Canadian art innovators discuss the changing nature of Canadian art today

Adjacentlands: Conversation on Contemporary Art and Book Launch

April 25 | 6:30−9:30pm

SURREY, B.C. — Surrey Art Gallery is excited to present “Adjacentlands: Conversation on Contemporary Art and Book Launch” with three South Asian Canadian artists: Nep Sidhu, Sandeep Johal, and Manjot Bains on the occasion of Vaisakhi on April 25 from 6:30 to 9:30pm at Surrey Art Gallery. Sidhu and Johal (visual artists) and Bains (a writer) are among a new generation of South Asian Canadian artists shifting the conversation on the arts in Canada today. Their practices emphasize experimentation, collaboration, social justice, and innovative ways to engage new audiences. This event is co-presented with KVP Entertainers and Nanak Foods. Free admission.

“As a gallery committed to connecting people with current issues and ideas through art, this event is an occasion to celebrate artists and cultural producers in our community and to think critically about where change needs to take place,” says Curator Jordan Strom.

The panel will focus on some of the key developments in Canadian art from a South Asian perspective, including the importance of collaboration, the heightened awareness of social justice in art practices, and the role of new cultural organizations. The speakers will discuss their own work and how it intersects with other artists and communities. They will examine the significance of experimentation with applied design and fashion as a way to revitalize contemporary visual art today. The conversation will also explore the role of the internet and social media in bringing many new voices from the urban core and suburban peripheries to the world’s attention—and the potential implications this means for the type of art being made.

The title Adjacentlands refers to the parallel condition many artists find themselves in today—navigating the traditional art world while creating their own networks and platforms for artmaking.

The event also marks the official launch of the exhibition catalogue Nep Sidhu: Shadows in the Major Seventh, also available to read online. This book includes essays by Negarra A. Kudumu and Jordan Strom, along with an interview with the artist about his Paradise Sportif clothing line by Manjot Bains.

Vaisakhi marks the birth of the Khalsa and the start of the spring harvest. Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi Day Parade is the largest outside India and takes place April 21.

About the Artists

Nep Sidhu is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Toronto. His art practice highlights conceptual and technical components originating from antiquity with relevance for the present. His primary reference points are sound, language, architecture, and adornment. A member of the art collective Black Constellation, Sidhu has recently presented his art as part of Migrating from the Margins at the Art Gallery of York University and Here: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists at the Agha Khan Museum, Toronto. Sidhu’s art will be featured in the inaugural BELIEVE exhibition at the new Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. A new collaborative work with fellow Black Constellation collective member Nicholas Galanin will be featured in Dear Listener at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sandeep Johal is a Canadian-born South Asian illustrator, painter, and muralist living in Vancouver, BC. Her art practice is aesthetically and conceptually inspired by her South Asian heritage and is an expression of her social and cultural concerns, particularly gender justice. Sandeep’s work has been featured on Vancouver’s CTV Morning Live and in print publications such as Gray and This Magazine. Last year, she completed a Canada 150 banner design for the City of Surrey as well as a public art project design for the City of New Westminster and a mural for Vancouver Mural Festival.

Manjot Bains is a Vancouver-based writer and communications consultant. She is the Editorial Director and co-founder of Jugni, an online arts, culture, and style magazine. Her creative non-fiction and other commentary have been published in Geist and Huffington Post, and she currently produces the Jugni Style podcast that comments on pop culture, race, politics, and fashion with a South Asian focus. Her graduate research explored identity, public performance of culture and gender, and South Asian diasporas.

About Surrey Art Gallery

Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery is the second largest public art museum in Metro Vancouver. Founded in 1975, the Gallery presents contemporary art by local, national, and international artists, including digital and audio art. Its extensive public programs for children through to adults aim to engage the public in an ongoing conversation about issues and ideas that affect our communities and to provide opportunities to interact with artists and the artistic process. Admission is free.

Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the City of Surrey, Province of BC through BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Surrey Art Gallery Association.

Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750-88 Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada. 604-501-5566 |

HOURS: Tues-Thur 9am-9pm | Fri 9am-5pm | Sat 10am-5pm | Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mondays and holidays.