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Pia Massie

Discipline: Film / Video, Interdisciplinary, Storytelling, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing
Homebase: Vancouver
Languages: English

Pia Massie is a teacher and multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited in festivals, museums and galleries throughout North America and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NYC and the grunt gallery in Vancouver, BC. She received a BA from Harvard and an MFA from RISD. She has taught at at the following institutions in Vancouver: Pull Focus, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Film School, Gulf Islands Film and Television School, ArtStarts, Pacific Cinematheque and Access to Media Education Society. She help start Parsons MFADT program in New York, where she was a professor for eight years.


To me, one of Pia's great strengths as an artist is her ability to 'essentialize' ideas. She has an extraordinarily nimble mind that attacks ideas and information, sifting through and distilling content into its most important component parts. Nzingha Clarke, Writer and Educator
Pia Massie's work involves telling anomalies. Her unexpected collisions often occur between the natural and the man-made, and stand for an ongoing duality between the tough and the tender. But her motivation is less the pleasure of plundering than a desire to make whole. By making an art of connections she practices a kind of healing and masters a world experienced in terms of disjunctions and dissociations. Individual pieces are rich in emotional associations, triggering ruminations on gender politics, history, time, memory and death. Katy Kline, Curator, The List Visual Art Centre
In November 2015, the Friends of Mukai (a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and restoring the historic Mukai House and Garden on Vashon, WA) sponsored a viewing of Just Beyond Hope. The event was sold out, standing room only. After the viewing, the audience engaged in a question and answer discussion that included several testimonials from people who had been directly affected by the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2. The viewing was educational, insightful and allowed the audience an opportunity to share their personal experiences. Ms Massie's work is compelling and of the highest professional quality. I recommend her with no reservations. Kathleen Vaught Farner, Chair, Program Committee, Friends of Mukai

Project Examples

Belonging to a Place: What is Home?

Weaving the environmental issues of today with the history of the bounty of this corner of the Pacific Northwest, this workshop questions the ideas of rights, responsibilities and sustainability of the land we all call home. Using film, contemporary online media and personal histories, the discussion seeks to have each student map their idea of home and belonging.

Beyond Us and Them

Massie's film Just Beyond Hope: Women's Internment Stories looks at a part of BC's history that many would rather forget. Recently mandated to be part of the province's social studies curriculum, the study of displacement and internment of Japanese Canadians during WW2 unfortunately finds numerous echoes in the contemporary global politics. Teacher resource guides and student activities, along with images of historical documents accompany the video. A Q&A with the filmmaker after viewing select 'chapters' of the film is what grounds the history in the personal, present, lived lives of today's students.

Dream Worlds

When people ask what it means to be an installation artist, I tell them it is like inviting an audience in to my dreams. Although my major installations have been in North American and Canadian museums and galleries, this project will focus on outdoor temporary site-specific installations using on-site materials. The work of Andy Goldsworthy will be shown and the film about him, Rivers and Tides, will act as a guide to the process. This is a (minimum) day-long workshop which involves working outdoors.

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