Less than two weeks to see Greater Toronto Art 2024! Exhibition Closes July 28.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Red: A Haida Manga, 2009. Water-colour and ink on paper. Red: A Haida Manga published by Douglas and McIntyre. © Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Diaries After a Flood

September 8, 2024
— January 26, 2025

Suspended and spinning in the Price Family Community Gallery on the ground floor are newly commissioned works by Vancouver-based artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who created and popularized the graphic style of Haida-manga, a mixture of North Pacific Indigenous narratives and frame lines and Japanese cartooning. As well as working in visual art, Yahgulanaas has produced literature, illustration, libretto, costume, and set design. 

Yahgulanaas’s site-specific Daalkaatlii Diaries is composed of 26 vibrant paintings that adjoin to form the literary and physical structure of an accordion sketchbook. Yahgulanaas’s extraordinary painterly gesture can be interpreted as a part mural, part book, part screen. Welcoming audiences into the space are Flesh Tones, a pair of new large experimental kinetic sculptures that expand Yahgulanaas’s presentation and deepen his practice as a storyteller.

Centered in the North End Gallery is Red (2008), a multi-panel Haida-manga tragedy about a sibling duo. This epic creation is Yahgulanaas’s earliest work to function as both a mural and a book. Daalkaatlii Diaries and Red invite viewers to explore new ways of reading and experiencing the artist’s innovations in storytelling across time.

Also on display are Yahgulanaas’s wall sculptures created from the hoods of cars. These symbols of privilege in contemporary North American society are treated with copper leaf, referencing a sign of wealth among the Haida and other Pacific societies

About the Artist

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an award-winning visual contemporary artist, author, and creative spark plug. His visual practice encompasses a variety of different art forms, including large-scale public art projects, mixed media sculptures, painting, ink drawings, ceramics, and illustrated publications. Exploring themes of cultural identity, ecology, and the barriers and openings in the human condition, he uses art and speaking opportunities to communicate a world view that while particular to Haida Gwaii – his ancestral North Pacific archipelago – is also relevant to a contemporary and internationally-engaged audience. Influenced by both the tradition of Haida iconography and contemporary Asian visual culture, Yahgulanaas has created a practice that is celebrated for its vitality, relevancy, and originality.

Yahgulanaas’ work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Humboldt Forum (Berlin), British Museum (London), Seattle Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery among several others.

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