Libby Leshgold Gallery

In conjunction with the launch of Shaheer Zazai’s newly commissioned work for the Emily Carr University Urban Screen, we are pleased to present a conversation between Zazai and interdisciplinary artist and ECU faculty member Emily Hermant. is a digital work created specifically according to the parameters of the ECU Urban Screen, and incorporating data and metrics directly relating to the institution’s curriculum, student population and other statistical information. Stemming from Zazai’s long-standing interest in Microsoft Word as a creative medium, the work combines familiar word processing technologies with traditional Afghan carpet-making processes. Each ‘knot’ in his designs is created by a typed letter; through a painstaking process of formatting and re-formatting, Zazai’s characters become elaborate compositions that reference design and textile histories—and the diasporic experiences interwoven with them. is on view at the Wilson Arts Plaza at Emily Carr University from 8am - 9pm daily from March 1st through June 30th 2023.


Shaheer Zazai is an Afghan-Canadian artist with a current studio practice in painting and digital media. Zazai received a BFA from OCAD University in 2011 and was artist in residence at OCAD University as part of the Digital Painting Atelier in 2015. Zazai is a recipient of Ontario Arts Council grants and he was a finalist for EQ Bank’s Emerging Digital Artist Award in 2018. Zazai has exhibited at Capacity 3 Gallery, CAFKA Biennial 2019, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Double Happiness Projects and Patel Brown Gallery. Current and upcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, an off-site group exhibition curated by The Power Plant Contemporary and a solo exhibition at the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University.


Emily Hermant is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of communication, gendered labor, technology, and craft. She received her BFA from Concordia University, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited widely in Canada and the United States, and has been featured in LVL3 Media, ArtSlant, Espace Sculpture, The Washington Post, and TimeOut Chicago, among others. Hermant has been awarded grants from the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec, and residencies at the Burrard Arts Foundation, Haystack, ACRE, Ox-Bow School of Art, NKD Nordic Artists’ Centre, and the Vermont Studio Center. Hermant is an Associate Professor of Sculpture + Expanded Practices in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She is represented by Monte Clark Gallery.





Canada Council for the Arts


Shaheer Zazai, Still from (2022), Courtesy of the artist.