Desis in the Diaspora Opens at the Sikh Heritage Museum

The Sikh Heritage Museum, a National Historic Site and Gur Sikh Temple (est. 1911), opened its tenth official exhibit titled Desis in the DiasporaDesis in the Diaspora highlights South Asian Canadian youth artists who present their work across a broad spectrum of experiences and opinions. The question the exhibit poses is the meaning of the word desi. In particular, this exhibit encourages a questioning of the following:

  • What facets of society are integral to daily living and where are the intersections within multiple identities?
  • What are the conflicts around identity and how is it mediated?
  • How is personal acceptance often hindered by external forces of stereotypes and racism?

South Asian artists are thriving across Canada and beyond, and we are excited to highlight the work of Jagdeep Singh Raina (MFA).

Jagdeep Singh Raina (b.1991), is a Canadian artist from Guelph, Ontario. He holds an MFA degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and the Camden Arts Centre/Slade School of Fine Art in London, United Kingdom.

This exhibit also features four youth photographers whose work was selected as part of a nation-wide call for artists. Many thanks to Samaa Ahmad, Ishpreet Singh Anand, Nimra Bandukla, and Serisha Iyer for their engagement and artistic impressions.

The opening reception on June 10, 2018 featured an artist talk by Jagdeep Singh, as well as a keynote address by Buncy Pagely and the legacy of her father, the late Mahinder Singh Beadall. UFV Dean of Arts, Dr. Jacqueline Nolte closed the opening reception by connecting to the meaning and power of museums and in particular how Jagdeep’s work draws in people. Other dignitaries included MLA Mike De Jong, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, Abbotsford Councillors and a wonderful surprise visit by the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon.

The exhibit is available for viewing all year long until May, 2019.