Cheryl Sim

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Cheryl Sim



Cheryl Sim is an artist, curator, researcher and singer/composer/musician based in Montreal.

Her research interests include the diaspora and the post-colonial condition, spirituality and the nature of work, as well as conceptual art practices of the past, present and future. During the day she is Managing Director and Curator at PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art (formerly named DHC/ART).

She began her professional life at Studio D of the National Film Board of Canada, which led her to video art and an involvement with artist run culture. As an artist, her work in video and installation, presented in North America and Europe has persistently dealt with questions of identity formation, women’s labour and relations of power. The most installation is Un Jour/One Day, a three-channel video installation based on the theme song for Expo 67. This work was commissioned by the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal for the group exhibition In Search of Expo 67, curated by Lesley Johnstone and Monika Kin Gagnon.

Her work as Managing Director and Curator at PHI Foundation for contemporary art has been greatly informed by the artist-run ethos and learning from the interstices. Recent exhibitions include UNION by Lee Bae and RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting.

Like in her art, Cheryl exercises the power of hybridity in her music. She started in church choirs, played piano and clarinet in the school band, sang with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra chorus and joined her first "rock" band in 1996. Finally getting "off the page" she worked with two brothers from her home town in the trio Tulip and continued to forge ahead, singing on the streets of Miami and Montreal as part of a lounge duo called Olive which later evolved into the Montreal electronic lounge band named Gazelle. With Gazelle, she opened for the likes of Jay-Jay Johannson and Goldfrapp, and performed at the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2000 and 2003.

As a solo artist, Cheryl launched Recline in 2002, a collection of treasured jazz standards, Heavy Petal, original songs tinged with soul and electronica, and finally Unsung, more stripped down, soul baring songs released in fall of 2011. www.

She has a PhD in the études et pratiques des arts program at UQÀM which allowed her to explore ethnic clothing and its importance to diaspora identity. Her book Wearing the Cheongsam: Dress and Culture in a Chinese Diaspora was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2019.