The new work featured in Helena Hsieh’s exhibition Pacific Northwest acts as a visual love letter to the misty and atmospheric light that permeates Vancouver during the autumn and winter. Hsieh, a visiting artist at Emily Carr University, has come to Vancouver from the sunnier climes of California, via graduate studies in Boston. Her work takes particular care with light, using it to depict the specificities of site, architectural forms, and emotion. It is perhaps her skill in capturing light that takes the viewer to a mysterious elsewhere- to other places, other times, other moments. Her works are ambiguous, mysterious even with their veiled subjects captured in the mundane moments that so often pass us by. Tying a bow. Eating noodles. Walking on the beach.
These moments are not spectacular, but the care Hsieh takes in capturing their light moves them from the quotidian to the extraordinary, a shift that reminds us that these are the quiet and intimate moments that accumulate to make up a life.