Contemporary Art | Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Valentina 2013
Valentino 2013

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Valentina (Coppers from the Hood Series)

Technique: mixed media on car hood

Dimensions: 40x51.5 in.

Price: $18,000 Cdn.

About the Artist

Michael Yahgulanaas was born in Prince Rupert in 1954 and raised in Delkatla, on Haida Gwaii. He has exhibited work around the world and currently has collections at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, as well as at the Kawasaki City Manga Museum in Japan.

Michael Yahgulanaas is the father of Haida Manga, which re-frames traditional Haida images by adapting them into Japanese manga-styled stories. His style denotes his propensity to "play the edge between the neighborhoods, a talent he learned growing up as a light-haired, green-eyed kid in a Haida community. True to that duality, his work expresses his social and environmental concerns with a "trickster-like sense of humour".

Yahgulanaas recently spoke at the MOMA on his melding of art, tradition and politics. He is also known for his numerous published works including A Lousy Tale, an adaptation of the Haida narrative, Raven Who Kept Walking, as well as A Tale of Two Shamans (Theytus Books), The Last Voyage of the Black Ship (Tales of Raven and Western Canadian Wilderness Committee), RED (Douglas &McIntyre) and Flight of the Hummingbird (Greystone).

His work has been most notably been featured in Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast an exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection curated by Ian M. Thom. He is also featured in a corresponding Douglas & McIntyre publication of the same title. Michael will also be featured in a solo show at the Glenbow opening October 17, 2009.

The publication RED was named the number one best selling comic in Canada on March 13, 2010. RED has been nominated for the Doug Wright Best Book award and the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award in 2010.


Article: Artist's 'Haida Manga' Depicts Inner Struggles of a People's Triumph: What do you get when you combine the aesthetic of a Japanese comicbook with traditional motifs and techniques of Northwest Coast Art? by Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun

First nations artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has a term for it: Haida manga.

Yahgulanaas has explored the intersection between the two apparently disparate artforms for more than 30 years. A new exhibition of his work, opening this weekend at the grunt gallery, charts the evolution of this distinctive cultural and artistic hybrid.

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Article: Mixing Cultures for Meaning by Steve Kidd,

Though there is no doubt that he is a proud member of the Haida nation, artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas isn’t all that comfortable being slotted in as a Haida artist.

“I like to wonder about the distinction between Haida and other,” he said, talking about the stereotypes people and societies construct about each other. “It needs us to pay attention.”

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