Designing Connection in Friction


Designing Connection in Friction
The Main Gallery . September 20 – September 30, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, September 21 from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
Curator’s and Artist’s Talk at 7:30 pm
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 Street, Edmonton

Designing Connection in Friction presents recent research by artists who strive to create an artistic intervention in contact zones. Featuring three artists, Jesper Alvær (Oslo, Norway), Naureen Mumtaz (Edmonton, Alberta) and Bradley Necyk (St. Albert, Alberta), the exhibition aims to foster a connection between the sites of local and global contact zones and the viewers.

Curated by Vicki Sung-yeon Kwon and presented by the Art and Design Graduate Students’ Association (ADGSA) in conjunction with 2018 Design Week at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre.

About Artists:

Jesper Alvaer received his artistic training mainly in Prague, New York, and Kitakyushu. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic. During 2013–16 he was a Research Fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with the project Work, work: Staging Dislocation in Artistic and Non-Artistic Labour, ( In addition to showing his art at several of international exhibitions, Alvaer has also participated in numerous study, residence, and research programmes both in Norway and abroad. His most recent exhibitions include Immune Nations (UNAIDS, Geneva, 2017), Making Use: Life in Post-Artistic Times (Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2016), Mother, Dear Mother, (Kunstnernes Hus Oslo, 2014), Arbeidstid/WorkTime (Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, 2013) as well as in several exhibitions held in collaboration with Isabela Grosseova: Theatre of Static Objects (DiStO 02, PAF, Olomouc 2017), Competencies (Fotograf Gallery, Prague 2015), Activum (Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, 2013), Eventos Paralelos (Manifesta 8, Murcia, 2010/11), Figure and Ground (Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery, Krakow, 2007). 

Naureen Mumtaz is an academic researcher and a design educator. Her work involves teaching and learning in and through design education. She is completing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (Education and Design Studies) at the University of Alberta. In her dissertation, she explores design-based research for community responsive curricula and its relation to complex social issues of intercultural understanding for 21st-century communities and cultural pedagogies. Mumtaz collaborates with organizations working for ethnoculturally diverse community populations across the province to integrate design thinking and social design innovation in curricula to promote critical understanding and socially innovative practices. Before academia, she worked for a few years in multinational media agencies. Her transformative design work for the social well-being of individuals and systems has garnered academic and community recognition and awards.

Brad Necyk is a multimedia artist in Canada whose practice engages with issues of medicine, mental health, and precarious populations and subjects. His works include drawings and paintings, still and motion film, sculpture, 3D imaging and printing, virtual reality, and performance. He recently finished a residency with AHS Transplant Services in 2015-16, works as an artist/researcher in a project on Head and Neck Cancer, and is completing an arts-based, research-creation Ph.D. in Psychiatry. Currently, he is a visiting artist/researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and had a studio residency at Workman Arts, Toronto. His current work focuses on patient experience, auto-ethnography, psychiatry, pharmaceutics, and biopolitics. His artistic work was included in the 2015 Alberta Biennial, and has been shown internationally, most recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Chicago, IL; he has presented academic work at conferences in Canada and internationally, most recently at the 2017 SLSA conference in Phoenix, AZ, and the 2017 Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada in Quebec. Brad sits on the boards of several professional bodies, and is a Scholar at the Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta. He currently teaches senior level courses in Drawing and Intermedia at the University of Alberta and MacEwan University.

About Curator:

Vicki Sung-yeon Kwon is an art historian and curator. Currently, as a PhD candidate in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta, Kwon’s doctoral research explores socially engaged art and public participation in transnational global contact zones facilitated by artists from East Asia. Her dissertation is tentatively titled Connections in Friction: Participatory Art of East Asian Artists in Contact Zones. Prior to moving to Edmonton, Kwon completed her BA and MA in Art History at the University of Toronto and worked as an art administrator, curator, and researcher for non-profit art and cultural organizations in Toronto. Her recent exhibitions include Mass and Individual: The Guyanese Mass Games at Arko Art Center, Seoul (2016) and Immune Nationsat UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and Galleri KiT in Trondheim, Norway (2017). For more information, please see


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