My name is Johnny Tai, I’m a totally blind, partially deaf martial-arts instructor living in Richmond, BC. I have recently concluded an Arts Residency with Vancouver’s Grunt Gallery (concluded April 15th, 2023), have recently participated in a “Disability Arts Market” at the BMO Theatre (February, 2023) and will be taking part in a group show on the theme of immigration entitled, “Neither Here Nor There” at the Outlet Gallery in Port Coquitlam (scheduled for September, 2023). Some of my work also appeared at an Immigrant Artists Event, hosted by Defyned.org (March 18th, 2023) at Century House in New Westminster, and at the Italian Cultural Center (Apr. 31 to July 31 2023) for the Emplified Voices show. I look forward to any opportunity that will aid in my development and maturation as an artist.
Raised etchings occupy an important space in the blind arts community, allowing non-visual patrons to feel shapes and designs (both abstract and representational) as well as serving as a guidepost for non-visual artists themselves — whose work on a canvas would be nearly impossible to complete without that tactile “etched” component.
My etches are created with accessibility in mind. Instead of employing colour as a means of delineating form, I use various textured lines and blocks to convey depth, materials and elements. The subject matter of the pieces themselves are rather eclectic in nature and range from everyday personal experiences, the natural realm and traditional Chinese folklore.