Caught in the Middle

Paintings, drawings, photographs and poems by Yoriko Gillard, 1 pm to 4:30 pm daily

This exhibition reflects the artist’s intercultural experiences between Canada and Japan. Yoriko Gillard was born in Japan and is currently a student taking courses at UBC. This is her first solo show, and she sees this experience as the beginnning of a long-lasting artistic trip across the oceans for years to come.

“I was extremely shy when I was a child and as a result it was often uncomfortable for me to speak up in front of people who I was unfamiliar with. I found it difficult to articulate myself with words but discovered that I could express my feelings through my paintings and drawings. Art became an outlet for communicating my thoughts and emotions, and my artwork itself a reflection of my inner self. My dream was to become a professional artist however my introversion combined with a complex about my appearance inhibited me from pursuing my passion fully. Even today this complex remains in my mind, and I still can become very shy when faced with challenges such as speaking English in public.

I am not shy with people I am comfortable with, and I continuously find myself getting better at acting the same way as I would act in Japan while using my first language.

I feel like I am caught in the middle of my life because I wanted to become an artist in Japan but instead gave up my dream in exchange for my obligation (earning money). After I came to Canada to study English I realized just how important it is for me to become an artist so that I can be more comfortable with who I am. It is ironic because even though my English is not perfect; I am now more comfortable pursuing my dream in Canada rather than Japan”.

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