Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas in Print

Haida Gwaii artist gets international attention with works at Met and British Museum

CBC, August 12, 2017

An artist from Haida Gwaii is getting high-profile international attention with works on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the British Museum in London. While being featured in those institutions is a major accomplishment for any artist, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas says it signifies that First Nations art is increasingly entering the mainstream art world. Read more...


Canadian Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas finds a home at the Met

The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2017

A work by a Canadian Haida artist has been installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in a location where contemporary art borders Indigenous art, and the curator who orchestrated its installation is thrilled about it. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas's Yelthadaas, recently acquired by the Met, hangs in Gallery 399, at the intersection of two worlds. Read more...


Metropolitan Museum of Art displays work by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

The Georgia Straight, August 9, 2017

Visitors to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art can now expect to spot a work by B.C.'s own Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas in Gallery 399. The museum announced today that the Haida artist's piece "Yelthadaas" is on display in the museum's permanent collection.
Yelthadaas is a part of Yahgulanaas's series titled "Coppers from the Hood," named in honour of the shield-like coppers exchanged by Haida chiefs during traditional potlatches. In a press release from the artist, the curator of the museum said he believes Yahgulanaas is the only living Canadian indigenous artist with work currently on display. Read more...


150 Indigenous Artists Receive $1.5 Million in Awards

Canadian Art, April 12, 2017

It’s a set of awards quite unlike any seen before in Canada, both in scale and scope. The winners of the REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards have been announced, with 150 artists each receiving $10,000—for a total of $1.5 million in cash awards disbursed. The aim of this one-time-only REVEAL prize? To “fuel Indigenous arts practice for the next 150 years,” says the Hnatyshyn Foundation. Practitioners in a wide range of art forms are being honoured, including visual artists, media artists, craftspeople, musicians, writers, storytellers, dancers and actors. Read more...


Art Seen: Being serious about play is no joke for Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

The Vancouver Sun, April 29, 2016

Being an effective trickster takes more than irreverence to pull off. To do it well enough so you're not simply offending people, it means knowing and respecting the tradition you're working in. The trickster artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas works in old Haida visual and narrative traditions that he reframes in a contemporary way. Read more...


Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s imagery speaks across cultures

The Georgia Straight, April 27, 2016

At the recent opening of his exhibition The Seriousness of Play, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas spoke eloquently to a packed room. Surrounded by his paintings, prints, and sculptures, he talked about the spaces that exist within and between art forms—and within and between cultures. He also touched on a contemporary problem for artists of indigenous descent: is this work art or ethnicity? The question, he said, had originally been posed to him by Bill Reid, who shared with Yahgulanaas mixed Haida and European heritage, but whose acclaim was focused entirely on his Haida-identified art-making. Read more...


The Seriousness of Play by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas at the Bill Reid Gallery

Hello Vancity, April 24, 2016

We were invited to view the latest exhibit and works by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas at the Bill Reid Gallery in Downtown Vancouver. I was especially curious to see how Michael created pieces that fused influences of Japanese manga and anime with Haida, Aboriginal art. We learned many of MNY's work has not been seen in Vancouver before. There were many eye-catching pieces, and here are two pieces that stood out to us during our visit. Read more...


Best of 2015: West Coast artists continue to sparkle

The Vancouver Sun, December 31, 2015

SEI is an equally stunning stainless steel sculpture that recalls the arc of a jumping salmon in the nearby McArthur Glen Designer Outlet. YVR's public collection of art - which includes Bill Reid's The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe - is one of the reasons it consistently ranks among the top airports in the world. Read more...


Include Traditional Cuisine in Curriculum

The Shillong Times, November 7, 2015

A delegation consisting of representatives of various international organizations supporting the Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) 2015 have urged Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to include traditional knowledge and traditional cuisine in the State educational curriculum, arguing that traditional cuisine can help youths connect to their roots. Read more...


Sculpture Connects the Contemporary with the Traditional

Westender, July 20, 2015

Seemingly defying gravity, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' newly unveiled sculpture "Sei" rises from the ground at the centre of the new McArthurGlen outlet mall near YVR, before arching to one side, hanging motionless in the air. Named after the sei whale, the second-largest baleen whale species found in BC waters, Yahgulanaas' work evokes the form of its namesake in mid-breach. The abstract sculpture stands more than 12 feet tall, and stretches out almost as long as a school bus. Read more...


"Haida Manga" style public art piece unveiled at YVR outlet mall

Vancity Buzz, July 18, 2015

A blend of Indigenous art with Japanese manga dynamism isn't something you see every day -- but there's a high chance you already have. At both Kensington Park and the UBC Thunderbird Winter Sports Arena sit public art pieces by award-winning Haida Gwaii artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. The newest art piece was unveiled on June 14 at McArthurGlen Outlet Mall at the Vancouver International Airport. Read more...


Michael Yahgulanaas's new art piece SEI unveiled at Vancouver airport

CBC News, July 9, 2015

Visitors to Vancouver Airport's new luxury mall will be greeted by a 3,855 kilogram steel sculpture called SEI. The public art installation by acclaimed visual artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is his largest work yet and one of his favourites. "Sometimes when I walk away from a project I'm never quite sure. I'm always thinking I could have done things differently. This one is a slam dunk," Yahgulanaas told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff. Read more...


Abstract form of jumping salmon unveiled at Vancouver International Airport mall

The Vancouver Sun, July 9, 2015

Artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has designed a new stainless steel sculpture that recalls natural forms such as the curve of a jumping whale or salmon. The public art work is made from highly polished stainless steel. In contrast to those reflective surfaces is the underside of the 12-metre long sculpture which is covered in copper leaf. “Yes, it’s like a whale jumping or a salmon jumping,” Yahgulanaas said in a phone interview. Read more...


Pod People: Haida artist relies on talented Calgary fabricators to create his 5,500-kg whale sculpture

Calgary Herald, June 12, 2015

Stories about whales are generally epic, and this one, which starts with a napkin sketch and ends with the 5,500-kilogram creature making an overland voyage to the West Coast, is no exception. The whale in this case is a steel, copper-bellied piece of public art currently being installed outside the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport following a four-month gestation period in a southeast Calgary industrial park. Read more...


Exclusive sneak peek at Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' latest work at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport

The Georgia Straight, June 12, 2015

You might not know his name, but if you've ever driven down Knight Street or passed by UBC's Thunderbird Winter Sports Arena, you've definitely seen his work. Contemporary artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' latest piece, SEI, won't be unveiled until later this summer, but the Georgia Straight was invited to see the piece just as the finishing touches were being made. Read more...


'Indigenous Beauty': a blockbuster Native American show at SAM

Seattle Times, February 20, 2015

To complement this big show, Brotherton has organized a smaller but still potent exhibition of Northwest Coast art drawn from local private collections. In addition to some exquisite old pieces in stone, silver and wood, there are contemporary contributions. A standout is “Red” by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, a mural comprised of individual watercolors done in a powerful, graphic blend of Haida style and Japanese manga. Read more...


City of Kamloops Commissions Yahgulanaas Sculpture

The Beat, December 8, 2014

A sculpture commissioned from Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas by the city of Kamloops celebrates confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers in Kamloops. This confluence goes on to form the largest tributary of the Fraser River. This new sculpture echoes of the exhilarating form of Yahgulanaas's 2010 sculpture at Thunderbird Arena at the University of British Columbia. Read more...


Meeting of the Rivers: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' sculpture in Kamloops

The Vancouver Sun, January 15, 2014

A sculpture by artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas for Kamloops that recreates the moment before the North and South Thompson join and become the single Thompson River was put together and raised for the first time Wednesday at a metal fabricating plant in Delta. Called Rivers, the soaring steel and aluminum sculpture is more than 10 metres tall. At the top, representing the two arms of the river, are stylized female swimmers in copper leaf. Read more...


B.C. Artist Brings Car-part Exhibit to Edmonton

Edmonton Journal, November 26, 2012

Some master stone and chisel, others conquer pigment and brush. In his copper-glowing artworks, Michael Nicholl Yahgulanaas is the planet's foremost expert on making art from the metal sunroof panels of 1992 Volvos. As glib as that description sounds, his "Haida Manga guy" work not only glows with beauty, but actually follows a trail of discussable substance going back to his days as a B.C. activist, author and cartoonist for underground political magazines. Read more...


Hot Art: Abundance Fenced by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Where Canada, April 6, 2012

Vancouver's public-art scene just got a little edgier with "Abundance Fenced" by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. The First Nations artist fuses Northwest Coast motifs with Japanese graphics, which he's dubbed "Haida Manga." The sculpture, atop a retaining wall at the Knight Street and 33rd Avenue intersection, depicts orcas pursuing salmon and is inspired by the bountiful Fraser River salmon run of 2010. Read more...


Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: Haida Manga Public Art

The Vancouver Sun, December 2, 2011

One of the city’s newest public art works is a 43-metre-long steel sculpture inspired by the record-setting 2010 Fraser River Salmon run. Abundance Fenced is located at Knight Street and 33rd Avenue along the top of a concrete retaining wall beside Kensington Park. It serves as a decorative railing beside the pedestrian path. Read more...


Sculpture Abundance Fenced Completed

The Beat, October 9, 2011

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has completed his City of Vancouver steel sculpture project. The title has changed from Bracelet of Abundance to Abundance Fenced. The work is currently being installed at Fraser and 33rd Avenue east in Vancouver. Read more...


Yahgulanaas’ The Bracelet of Abundance

The Beat, June 3, 2011

Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is preparing a new public sculpture for the city of Vancouver The Bracelet of Abundance. The stainless steel work will be placed on a retaining wall on Knight Street at 33rd Avenue East in Vancouver. “The bracelet is inspired by the unexpectedly abundant migration of salmon into the Fraser River in 2010. The Clark-Knight corridor links Vancouver to this river, one of the world’s most significant salmon runs,” says the artist. Read more...


Pacific Notion

National Post, October 17, 2009

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas recalls stories he heard as a child of Haida fishermen pursuing northern fur seals across the Pacific Ocean on hunts that would last months at a time and take them as far away as the shores of Japan. They would make port of calls in Hokkaido or Hakodate, and, unlike the persecution they faced in Canada, there the men could "walk through the streets just like an ordinary human. They could go to the restaurant, could use public restrooms, they could shop and move freely and live freely as regular humans. Of course, that [was] not the situation here in British Columbia, in Canada, where if you're even allowed in the movie theatre you had to sit in the Indian side." Read more...


Vancouver's Thunderbird Arena Hosts New Aboriginal Artworks

Vancouver Sun, September 16, 2009

Take Off is the first time Haida manga has been turned into public, outdoor art.

It is anchored to the ground by three steel pipes that arc to the west. They’re meant to mimic the motion of a mallard duck that quickly lifts up from the water as it takes flight. The birdlike part of the sculpture is made from recycled Volvo fenders and door with the profile of a hockey player painted in black acrylic in Haida-manga style. Read more...


Haida Art Hopes to Inspire Engagement

The Ubyssey, November 9, 2007

If you visit the Museum of Anthropology this month you'll be bumping into a parked Pontiac Firefly with a canoe tied to the roof. The piece, a part of artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas's new Meddling in the Museum exhibit, is more than just a fusion of the old and the new, though. Instead the exhibit is highly symbolic, dealing with the individual and cultural conciliation of settlers and indigenous peoples.

On the carpet sits the gutted, copper-foiled, argillite-dusted Pontiac Firefly. Strapped to its roof is the traditionally designed and decorated Haida canoe. Read more...


Re-collecting the Coast

The Georgia Straight, July 5, 2007

The man who invented Haida Manga is standing in an improvised studio at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is positioned between his sculptural works in progress - two large, copper-coated "shields," which he will install outside MOA's front doors - talking about meeting places, middle places, and margins. "I'm trying to play the edge between the neighbourhoods," he says, indicating the way the interface between First Nations and colonial culture has shaped his current project - and his life. "I grew up that way. I was the only pale-looking Haida in the whole village... the only green-eyed, light-haired kid." Read more...


Haida Artist Hits it Big in Asia

Vancouver Province, April 6, 2007

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is a bird of many feathers. Formally trained in classical Haida design, the Vancouver resident has taken his considerable artistic talents along new paths with his unique form of "graphic narrative" called Haida Manga, essentially part-Haida and part-Asian. He takes Haida design and narratives and transforms them into socially relevant art. The object is to advance the Haida design traditions "to combat the simplistic narratives perpetrated about indigenous people of the Pacific Coast." He is already a big hit in Japan and Korea where manga - Japanese for comic - is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business. And greater commercial success may just be around the corner. Read more...


Artist Portrait: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Galleries West, Fall/Winter, 2007

It was a typical day at Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology. Patrons gazed at the west coast totem poles, the painted masks and carved feast bowls. Bill Reid's depiction of the Haida creation story, with Raven perched atop a clam shell, the first people crawling out below was in the background, and artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas explained how he was about to turn things upside down.

"See this 27-foot canoe," he pointed at a boat carved in 1985 by Reid and others. "We're flipping it over and tying it to the top of an 11-foot Pontiac Firefly." Read more...


Haida Manga

Aboriginal Times, 2007

One needn't be a high-powered business guru to succeed in the export industry - just ask Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who values artistic challenge far above sales charts and market analysis. That's not to preclude success, though - in the past two years, his sales have grown from zero to 100,000 units, earning him top-three ranking (August 2006) in Japan as an art importer. Read more...


Haida Art, Then and Now

Georgia Straight, June 8, 2006

Amid the usual flurry of pre-exhibition activity at the Vancouver Art Gallery, painters, preparators, curators, all working in quick concert to prepare Raven Travelling for its public opening this Saturday (June 10), unusual cross-cultural elements emerge. Billed by the VAG as the most comprehensive exhibition of Haida art ever assembled, it is also a ground-breaker for that institution in terms of cooperation with a First Nations community. Read more...


Raven Travelling

B.C. BookWorld, Winter, 2006

In front of a fire pit in the Performance House at the old village site of Qay'llnagaay or Sea Lion Town, near Skidegate on Haida Gwaii, direct and indirect contributors to Raven Travelling gathered to celebrate the launch of the lavish coffee table book that coincides with a national touring exhibit of the same name that celebrates two centuries of Haida art. The celebration commenced when the Haida version of a wild man of the woods slipped into the room, two women screamed and the creature was ceremonially drummed out of the hall. Read more...


Haida Roots Surface in Manga Art

Metro Vancouver, September 23, 2005

The 50-or-so pieces of paper taped to the wall of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' Kerrisdale apartment flutter as he walks down the hall. It's the skeleton of a massive work; a comic that combines Japanese-manga art with Yahgulanaas' Haida roots. When finished it can be read either as a comic, or - arranged as it is now - as a single powerful image. He calls it the War of the Blink. Read more...


Haida Comics Break Myths

Vancouver Sun, October 4, 2004

Be prepared. Tales of Raven will rock your world view. These are not the powerful, shamanistic images of artists such as Bill Reid or Robert Davidson. But neither are they the all-too-common media images of Indians living lives of poverty and pain on reserves or in inner cities. The stories of the trickster Raven, as told by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, are something different. For one thing, they're not images carved into cedar -- they're drawn on paper. They're what most people would call comics, and they're fun, humorous and sometimes just plain rude. In one episode, for example, a pompous Raven gets his comeuppance when he's served dried salmon softened in urine. In another, Raven gets to be a hooker and wear fishnet stockings and high heels. Read more...


Haida Stories Get New Life

Vancouver Province, September 26, 2004

How does a tale well-told transform into one well-read? First Nations artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas came up with a unique way of meeting the challenge of making oral culture contemporary. He calls it Haida Manga, after the Japanese graphic novel and animated film genre. "I never wanted to use the word 'comics' because they are, generally speaking, simple mainstream stuff designed to entertain adolescent males suffering from hormone toxicity," says Yahgulanaas. Read more...


Artist Combines Native Art, Japanese Comics

CBC News Online, September 25, 2003

A Haida artist in Vancouver is using comic books to tell traditional aboriginal myths. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas calls his work "Haida Manga." Manga are the highly stylized comic books popular in Japan. The word "manga" means "whimsical pictures." But Yahgulanaas' creation, Rock 'n' Raven, is not exactly whimsical. "Rock 'n' Raven is morally ambiguous. It's not about good versus evil. It's about things we experience as everyday people," he says. "It speaks to our common humanity." Read more...


Haida Manga: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

This Magazine, January 1, 2003

"For the Haida," he says, "a smudged cloud on an ocean horizon carried a message that could mean the difference between a safe or a final crossing. There was a time when this system of signs was displayed in every town inland for many hundreds of miles—all along the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Washington State." On Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. the Queen Charlotte Islands), Yahgulanaas adds, even houses are placed in "relationship to their cosmological and physical world, not positioned helter-skelter based on how many metres of sewage pipe they happen to have." Read more...



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