Artist Sangha takes over the Amelia Douglas Gallery
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Starting September 13, the first new Amelia Douglas Gallery exhibit of the semester will be available for students to experience. Curbside features the digital artworks of Ron Sangha, who puts an emphasis on photographing everyday situations, whether they’re in Vancouver or all the way over in India, and then applying digital visual techniques to the works.
“I use a digital pen and software to create and composite most of the visuals,” Sangha explains. “I started with a strong interest in painting, and then I went into a commercial career in photography [spanning] the last 22 years. I do a lot of travelling and a lot of corporate stuff for various companies, and in the last… maybe seven years, I’ve pursued the art in a personal way. In the last… two years, I’ve pursued it [personal reflection] in a more public way.”
While Curbside presents only a select two collections of Sangha’s works, his style remains true through his many pieces. Sangha will take photos of people in various situations, and then apply a unique blend of techniques to the image to create his work. The result oftentimes borders on psychedelic, as many aspects of the images become gently blurred or distorted, while the rest of the work remains largely bright and colourful, regardless of the time of day or setting. The works are capped off with Sangha’s use of compositing.
“Originally, I started working with [combining] photography and painting, and compositing was limited at that [time]… then it eventually became more composite-oriented. I pursued it [the works] documentary-style because [that was] my approach.”
Of Sangha’s many series, the two presented at the Amelia Douglas Gallery are “Curbside India” and “Curbside Vancouver.”
“The ‘Curbside India’ series will be displayed in the foyer outside the gallery,” Sangha explains, “and that’s more [about]… defocusing and removing excessive details, sort of like how the mind remembers an event, emphasizing certain aspects. Then in the ‘Curbside Vancouver,’ some of the work incorporates some compositing, for instance [the image “Detained”] on the [event] poster, I’ve composited parts of myself into some of the characters in the work, and some elements I’ve brought in from other images from similar perspectives. The Curbside series is work that’s usually from a street perspective.”
Sangha went on to elaborate on where his inspiration for the works often comes from. In a time now where not just travel but online media gives us all a glimpse into other parts of the world, other cultures, and how others live, Sangha is interested in the connection between all of us, and reflects this in his work by compositing pieces from other images seamlessly into final pieces.
“Recently I’ve been trying to explore myself, what are my biggest fears, and what are my biggest concerns,” Sangha continues. “What I was hoping for people to get out of [visiting the exhibit] is an awareness of the connectedness. One of the things I sort of enjoy is rediscovery, in a scientific way, [on] how we’re all connected as people, and [how we share] a greater compassion and connection with others. All the work comes from a sense of beauty or self-reflectance… that was the goal.”
Curbside opens Friday, September 13, with an Artist’s Talk with Sangha at 10 a.m. in the Amelia Douglas Gallery, followed later in the day by an opening reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.