Huang Duwei (1918-2004), View of a Lake After Rainfall
From the Collection of Joe Der, Toronto/Montreal.
Joe Der was an early immigrant to Canada after the government's repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947. In the 1980s, Der began visiting China once more, where he actively contacted contemporary artists and collected art and antiques. He eventually established Toronto's first gallery for contemporary Chinese art, named the Yangtze Art Gallery, operating from 1985 to 1990, and was located across from the Art Gallery of Ontario. Along with building friendships and acquiring works by artists such as Zhou Sicong, Chen Qidao, Shi Lu, and Shang Tao, he devoted great energy into promoting Chinese art in Canada, even hosting Shi Hu to work and stay in his home for six months. Der also arranged an artist-in-residence fellowship for Gu Wenda in Toronto, which culminated in exhibitions at York University and Yangtze Art Gallery in 1987.