The Making of an Archive

June 21, 2018
Book/Publication Launch, Workshop, Artist Talk, Books/Publications, Community Project

About the Program

The Making of an Archive (2014–ongoing) is a project initiated by Canadian artist Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn. The project composed of digitizing workshops, which aims to record the everyday life and civic engagements by immigrants and amateur photographers. The photographs are digitized and their accompanying narratives are recorded, thereby preserving records of personal histories in order to address the absent representation of multiculturalism in official archives. Focusing on digitizing printed matter, e.g. 35mm or 120mm photographs, slides or Polaroids, Nguyễn believes that immigrants who documented their daily life when they came to their new country are in danger of becoming forgotten or lost, thus losing complex and complicated histories of migration. By building this alternative structure of personal images, the artist aims to create a new archive that seeks to represent the fractured ideology of multiculturalism from the bottom up where forms of civic engagement within a structure of kinship or even in solidarity with other communities can be observed. The Making of an Archive questions existing frameworks for archival history-making, and chooses instead a trajectory of collective exploration. Drawing again from the artists’ reference to ‘space fiction’, speculation here leads to a kind of cultural star-gazing: seeing fragments of this nascent archive reminds us of vast possibilities—reflections of lives already lived, and new frameworks for a future we have yet to see. Priority is given to histories of migration from people who identify as people of colour.

June 21, 2018: The Making of an Archive book launch at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, in conjunction with the opening reception for Beginning with the Seventies: Radial Change


2018.0621 THE


Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
University of British Columbia
1825 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z2
Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations
​​In copyright. For uses beyond Fair Dealing, research requests, corrections, takedown requests, or other inquiries, please contact grunt gallery:

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