In response to new COVID-19 restrictions, the RIC is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Skip Navigation

From The Collection: Elaine Ling

January 20 – February 28, 2016
Great Hall, Ryerson Image Centre
Curators: Paul Roth and Natalie Spagnol

Toronto-based photographer Elaine Ling has documented ancient stone formations, fragmented statuary figures, giant trees surviving for millennia, abandoned architectural structures, and indigenous families and groups during her wide-ranging travels. Photographing primarily in the desert landscapes of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, she captures remnants of early cultures, some still vital and others only partially preserved, to convey a persistent spiritual dialogue between past and present.

The photographs on view originate from two acquisitions of work spanning the artist’s career, generously donated to the RIC in 2001 and 2014. Until it became unavailable, Ling often used Polaroid Type-55 film, featuring the instant film’s unique edges in her prints to convey the immediacy of her experience. These works exemplify the subject of the artist’s latest book, Talking Stones: A Photographic Sojourn (2015).    

From the Collection is a rotating display highlighting works from the Ryerson Image Centre’s permanent collection.




Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, January 20
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Book Signing
with Elaine Ling
Wednesday, February 10
6:00 PM

A rock formation shaped like a hand juts out of the ground
Fig. 1

Elaine Ling, Atacama Stones #1, 2001, gelatin silver print, selenium toned. Collection of the Ryerson Image Centre 

Statue of a face, encircled by tree roots
Fig. 2

Elaine Ling, Angkor #8, 1999, gelatin silver print, selenium toned. Collection of the Ryerson Image Centre

Tall thin sculpture surrounded by rocks in the middle of a desert
Fig. 3

Elaine Ling, Untitled, 2001, gelatin silver print, selenium toned. Collection of the Ryerson Image Centre

Rock sculpture of a man, cracked diagonally
Fig. 4

Elaine Ling, Untitled, 2001, gelatin silver print, selenium toned. Collection of the Ryerson Image Centre

Artist and Curator Bios

Elaine Ling
Artist

Born in Hong Kong, Elaine Ling has lived in Canada since the age of nine. Upon arrival in Canada, Elaine was exhilarated by the freedom of space and began her attraction to Stone and places of Nature. Since receiving her medical degree from the University of Toronto, she has practiced family medicine among various First Nations peoples in Canada’s North and Pacific Northwest as well as on the other side of the world, in Abu Dhabi and Nepal. 

Ling’s photographs, widely exhibited and published, are in the permanent collections of numerous museum and private collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Germany; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Porto, Portugal; Scavi Scaligeri International Centre of Photography, Verona, Italy; Fototeca de Cuba, Havana; Lishui Museum of Photography; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

In Canada, Ling is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ryerson University, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Her international publications include work in View Camera, Photo Technique International, The Polaroid Book, Italian Zoom Magazine, Orion Magazine, Viktor Magazine, BMJ and Aperture.

Installation Shots

Fig. 1

From the Collection: Elaine Ling (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Three photographs of rocks in white frames, text on the left reads "From the collection"
Fig. 2

From the Collection: Elaine Ling (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre

Wall text reads "From the Collection. Toronto-based photographer Elaine Ling has documented ancient stone formations, fragmented statuary figures, giant trees surviving for millennia, abandoned architectural structures, and indigenous familes and groups during her wide-ranging travels. Photographing primarily in the desert landscapes of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, she captures remnants of early cultures, some still vital and others only partially preserved, to convey a persistent spiritual dialogue between past and present.
The photographs on view originate from two acquisitions of work spanning the artist's career, generously donated to the RIC in 2001 and 2004. Until it became unavailable, Ling often used Polaroid Type-55 film, featuring the instant film's unique edges in her prints to convey the immediacy of her experience. These works exemplify the subject of the artist's new book, Talking Stones: A Photographic Sojourn (2015). 
Paul Roth, director, Natalie Spagnol, curatorial assistant."
Fig. 3

From the Collection: Elaine Ling (installation view), 2016 © Larissa Issler, Ryerson Image Centre