Last Thursday night, an opening reception at the Art Gallery of Mississauga premiered their newest fall exhibitions with Ed Pien’s Shadowed Land and Mary Ma’s Eclipse. Pien and Ma are both local artists, contributing to the growing art scene in Mississauga.

In Shadowed Land, Pien focuses his newest work on memory, particularly how the history of subjective memories shapes us. Sure, the idea itself may be a bit daunting; however, the images Pien creates resonates with anyone who’s ever felt the burden of remembrance or forgetting.

When I first entered the gallery, I couldn’t fathom how the beauty behind Pien’s work could reflect serious subjects of memories and trauma. Pien effortlessly portrays these in a creative way. His work encourages us to take a step forward and examine his ideas closely.

Similar to the realization that our memory must take time to heal, we must immerse ourselves deeper into Pien’s greater outlook of the human condition. In doing so, we become more in touch with our sensitivity towards trauma, and how these experiences filter through our memories.

His exhibit continues to the back of the gallery, where 20 turntables line the floor. Each play a different record, but all play a ghostly melody. The echoed, melancholic music reminds me of the nostalgia one feels after hearing a sad song from the past.

At the very back wall of the room, isolated from this portion of Pien’s exhibition, a quote reads, “This is a past that is still part of our present.” The words express the very essence of the records.

Though Pien’s exhibit comes to a close, the AGM isn’t finished with art-goers yet.

Mary Ma’s exhibition is small, but it has big ideas.

Located in a single room, Eclipse is dedicated to Ma’s idea of the moon and its potential to be perceived artistically. Giving off a celestial vibe, Eclipse features a high-quality video projection that lures viewers into her obsession with the natural occurrence of an eclipse. The idea behind this exhibition lies within the notion that the moon comments on its own appeal.

I leave the opening reception of these two exhibitions fascinated by the work of these two. Their insightful ideas resonate in my memories—I suppose Pien has taught me something.

Shadowed Land and Eclipse run from September 22 to January 1 at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.