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Rafael Y. Herman, Purpura Affectum, 2022, Inkjet print, 58” x 87”

The Things We Cannot See


Friday March 22nd, 2024 from 5:30 pm

at the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art

Free and without reservation

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Hua Jin


Rafael Y. Herman​​

22.03.2024 - 11.05.2024

Curated by Art/Around

About the curators

Behind the exhibition, The Things We Cannot See, are two wild women curators with a long-standing passion for the arts, the artists and their social engagement.


Concerned with global issues and social justice, the dynamic duo is committed to highlighting emerging talents from all over the world that are guided by a strong ethical component; visionaries that aspire to bring about positive change in society.


Complementing each other in interests and expertise, the curators have converged their energies and opted for anonymity so that artists can reclaim their agency and self representation as creators.

The SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce The Things We Cannot See, an exhibition curated by the collective Art/Around featuring works by Hua Jin and Rafael Y. Herman. Showing together for the first time, the two artists aim to convey the invisible. Both are entranced by the poetry of the intangible. In certain ways, their formal approach differs, yet they share a similar aesthetic sensibility, seeking to unveil the unseen - Jin finds the colors of polluted air, and Herman challenges the invasiveness of light on earth.  


Jin’s The Color of Air presents images sourced from articles on the internet about the impact of poor air quality in urban environments. She purifies them by painstakingly removing all features of human contamination. The result is an ethereal and sublime alternative dimension which is also reflected in her video, Turquoise


On the other hand, Herman wants to reveal the unseen elements veiled in nocturnal settings. He takes pictures in total darkness in areas that are still unpolluted by light. The titles of his large-scale photographs, Mare XII and Purpura Affectum, provide no hint as to their geographies. 


Both artists let us imagine a ‘non-place’ and condition our senses of vision, prompting us to question: what is the truth? What is it that we see?

À propos des artistes
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Hua Jin

Hua Jin is a visual artist born in China who lives and works in Montreal, Canada. Jin received her Master of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in Studio Arts (photography) in Montreal and her BFA (photography) at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver.

Jin’s mediums are video, photography, often large-scale installation, and drawing. She has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows throughout Canada, China, the United States, Mexico, Holland, and Iceland. One of her works is permanently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal, and her large-size photo works were exhibited in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in the Canadian Pavilion at International EXPO 2020. Jin has profited from several residencies, and she has received over 30 prestigious awards and grants, which include the first Cultural Diversity in Visual Arts Award given by the Conseil des arts de Montréal. Jin’s works are featured in numerous private and public collections.


As a Chinese-Canadian artist, Jin’s way of thinking is inherently rooted in Eastern culture and philosophy. Jin’s interests are nature and landscape. Like an ancient Taoist, Jin is dedicated to the contemplation of the “Way" of being. Jin observes nature with curiosity and is fascinated by the hidden systems propelling the rhythms in the circle of life. By visualizing the diversity of natural life, the rhythmic flow of occurrences, and the most recent happenings in the ecological world, Jin aims to render the hidden force and represent the invisible energy. Jin’s works contemplate the ideas of permanence and change, of passing time and the evanescent quality of existence. Her artistic practices focus on the spiritual, memorial, and meditative side of nature as well as its related histories of human stories.

Rafael Y. Herman

Rafael Yossef Herman's practice is characterized by a metaphysical curiosity and an investigation of light as a physical element and protagonist of space-time. By encapsulating the imperceivable and the imaginary, Herman’s recreated realities examine the limits of the surreal and transport us to a place that falls outside the range of everyday sight, engaging the viewer with that which he cannot see in night’s darkness, using absence as a visual vocabulary and recalling the environmental challenge of light pollution.


Herman grew up in Be'er Sheva studying classical music and the arts since the age of six. He graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Tel Aviv and studied painting and photography in Mexico and Chile while living across Latin America, before settling in Europe. While living in Italy, Herman became an artist invited by the Ville de Paris, where he currently lives.


Rafael Yossef Herman's works are in prominent international public and private collections including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Salsali Museum of Dubai and the MAXXI, and he has had solo exhibitions at the Palazzo Reale, Milan (2006), MACRO museum at the Testaccio pavilion, Rome (2017), Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2018) and in the summer of 2022, at the Fondazione Sant’Elia, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo.

01_Rafael Y. Herman by Zohar Shitrit _ Courtesy Herman studio.jpg
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