Translations: The Art and Life Of Elizabeth Yeend Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉

January 12 – April 6, 2019

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lkwungen Territory

Translations showcases the movement of ideas, aesthetics, politics, and people between England, Japan, and Victoria, Canada, by looking at the life and work of Anglo-Japanese artist Elizabeth Yeend Duer (1889–1951). Born a British citizen in Nagasaki to an Englishman and a Japanese woman, Duer studied Nihonga, a traditional Japanese-style painting, with the renowned painter and teacher Atomi Gyokushi 跡見 玉枝. Duer took on the artistic identity of Gyokushō 玉蕉. She immigrated to Victoria in 1940 and is among the remarkably few people of Japanese heritage who were not interned during World War II. Instead, she Japanized her new environment by producing Nihonga-style paintings of local indigenous wildflowers while her own identity was being anglicized.

Co-curators: Carolyn Butler Palmer, Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest, Art History & Visual Studies, University of Victoria; Mikiko Hirayama Associate Professor of Asian Art History and Director of Asian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati; and Janice Okada, B.A., M.M.St.

A project of the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest.

Image: Kamass Camassia quamash; Camas, Elizabeth Yeend Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉, 1941.


Curators Tour

Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 2PM

Join Williams Legacy Chair Carolyn Butler Palmer (Associate Professor, UVic Art History and Visual Studies) and exhibition co-curator Janice Okada (B.A., M.M.St) to learn more about the exhibition and Elizabeth Duer’s fascinating story.

This event is happening during UVic’s Alumni Week! Check out other Alumni Week events.

Research Symposium

Saturday, January 19, 2019 | 9AM – 5PM

Facebook event

This symposium examines intersections between Victoria, England and Japan from the late nineteenth century to the 1950s on a range of topics including Japan’s influence in England, the history of Japanese Gardens in Victoria, artist travellers to Japan, Japanese-Canadians and internment in British Columbia, interracial families in Japan, and Duer’s life, wildflower paintings, and ethnobotany.

View the symposium schedule on Eventbrite (archived).

Artist in Gallery: Cindy Mochizuki 

Other Faces of Nihonga

Friday, March 8 4 – 8pm | Saturday, March 9, 11am – 3pm

Facebook event

We are excited to welcome Vancouver-based artist Cindy Mochizuki to the Legacy Gallery this March! Join Mochizuki in a collective embroidery and listening experience focusing on the historical and contemporary racialized experiences of women of Japanese Canadian and Japanese descent in British Columbia. Mochizuki’s project responds to the Legacy Gallery’s current exhibition Translations: The Art and Life of Elizabeth Yeend Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉.

Image: 105 Chrysanthemums, as part of 13 Ways to Summon Ghosts at the Gordon Smith Gallery North Vancouver, photo credit: SITE photography, 2017.

Ikebana Workshop with Amanda Gaunt

Sunday, March 17 | 1 – 3PM

Facebook event

Join us at the Legacy Downtown for a beginner ikebana workshop and learn the Basic Upright Style Moribana, one of two styles that are the foundation for all Japanese flower arranging. The workshop will take place amid the beautiful watercolour paintings of Victoria wildflowers by Elizabeth Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉.

Container, kenzan and plant materials will be provided so you can continue to create beautiful arrangements at home. Please bring a pair of clippers and a bag to carry the container and kenzan.

Amanda Gaunt is a teacher in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. She studied in Japan for more than 12 years.