Morris Lum Within
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Morris Lum is a first-generation Canadian artist working in photography. Within examines social spaces and the Chinese diaspora in the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area, in an attempt to better understand how class, identity, and belonging carve patterns and shape beliefs for Lum’s community. The work entails an immersive photographic installation with artifacts situated in a heritage house, speaking to the artist’s ongoing research with suburban architecture, diasporic spaces, and the immigrant voice.
Lum photographs sites devoid of the people who would normally occupy them. His current exploration involves the interiors of places of worship, documenting both commanding churches and makeshift spaces utilized for prayer and gatherings. The images reveal temporary decorations and objects; in some cases there are no clues indicating any particular religion or demographic. Although it may seem that photographing these empty spaces allows the artist to skirt the edges of social practice, he in fact creates relationships with the occupants that entail a complex permission process based upon trust and respect. Perhaps these spaces of belonging are the extremity of their function and they are, rather than hollow vessels, mirrors for the complexity and racialization of the suburban diaspora.
Curated by Stuart Keeler