Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu's career, highlighting more than 120 full-color works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.
Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicolson, Richard Van Camp, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu's practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humor, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the contemporary art world.
Sonny Assu was raised in North Delta, BC, over 150 miles away from his ancestral home on Vancouver Island. At the age of eight, he discovered his Kwakwaka'wakw heritage, which would later become the conceptual focal point of his contemporary art practice. Assu graduated from Emily Carr University in 2002 and was the recipient of their distinguished alumni award in 2006. His work can be found in the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Burke Museum at the University of Washington, and various other public and private collections across Canada, the United States, and the UK. In 2016, Assu and his family moved "home" to unceded Ligwilda'xw territory (Campbell River, BC).