2023 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators Awarded to Holly Chang

The 11th annual prize has been awarded to emerging curator Holly Chang. Her proposed exhibition, Outside In Inside Out, has been selected as the winning submission and will be presented at Art Gallery of Guelph from September to December 2023. The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the Soho House in Toronto on April 12, 2023.

Created in 2012, the prestigious prize is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator. By supporting and mobilizing Canadian creative talent, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, environmental, and cultural challenges. Holly joins a growing cohort of leaders in Canadian visual arts now numbering 10 Middlebrook Prize winners.

Jury Response

This year’s Jury comprises:

  • Musha Neluheni (Artist & Independent Curator),
  • Tamara Toledo (Diretor/Curator, Sur Gallery)., and
  • Allison Yearwood (Executive Diretor, Plug In ICA).

“Holly Chang presents an intriguing, nuanced approach from a young curator that seeks to engage with the community through not only the exhibition, but inventive public programming. With the strengths of maintaining focus on accessibility and a socially driven narrative, Chang’s exhibition gives insight into the Asian diaspora within the Canadian cultural context.” — Musha Neluheni, Juror, Artist & Independent Curatort

“Her curatorial premise of radically rethinking how to reconceptualize power dynamics pushes boundaries and critically frames new ways of thinking about racialized hyphenated bodies.” — Tamara Toledo,Juror, Director/Curator Sur Gallery

Chang’s exhibition The Third Scenario brings together the work of artists Yan Wen Chang, Joy Wong and Lan “Florence” Yee, exploring the ways in which art can resist positions of power while producing new modes of thinking through hybrid conditions – conditions in flux – departing from the idea of art and identity as fixed entities. Referencing the writing of Trinh T. Minh-ha, the exhibition will explore “the ways in which multi-hyphenated subjects can be used to disrupt existing ideologies and how artists of colour approach critical art making.” Chang notes, “Hyphenation explores the bridging between realities, the in-between realm of what it means to create while existing as being Asian and producing work in Canada. This exhibition further explores the ideologies of Trinh by presenting a series of installations that approach a diasporic Asian identity in Canada through material investigations, language and transformation.”

Curator’s Biography

Holly Chang is an artist based in Toronto/Tkaronto who has recently completed her MA in Communication and Culture at TMU/York University. Chang – as a second-generation Chinese Canadian – maintains cultural ties with her cross-cultural identity and draws on her hybrid background for inspiration. Chang makes use of a variety of media including textiles, photography and natural dyeing. She recently exhibited her work in her first solo show with Gallery 44 in April 2022 and participated in the Banff Artist in Residence program in Spring 2022.

Thank You

Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund at Centre Wellington Community Foundation, Musagetes Fund at Guelph Community Foundation, and private donations.