Christian Nicolay is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver BC. His diverse body of work employs a wide range of media and techniques including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, sound, performance and installation - to create works that explore themes of paradox, politics, social activity, cultural identity and the origins of things. Nicolay has several ongoing long-term projects that unite his day-to-day experiences with his practice challenging notions of factuality and fiction. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of several awards, grants, honours and residencies.
In an earlier work Nicolay hitchhiked across Canada with a wooden chair mapping his travels of the unusual and unexpected moments of transition between moving and sitting. He also did a 364-foot unauthorized climbing of Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver BC transforming it into a musical instrument entitled Taking the bridge. The Day Job, a work that started in 2003 incorporates hiding as he puts, "silent graffiti" inside the backs of other artists’ artworks without detection. His unique take on the self-portrait span several types of media, most of which are long term projects that will continue until the artists’ death. Collaboration with artists from various fields draws on his curiosity of finding the things that connect what seem to be disparate practices, usually taking shape in the form of performances, concept albums and installations.
Nicolay graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC-Okanagan) receiving the prestigious Helen Pitt Award in 2000.
His work has been widely exhibited, most recently at VIVO Media Arts Centre, Canada (2020); StaamUp, Netherlands (2020); MADATAC X Media Art Festival, Spain (2019); Cinémathèque de Grenoble, France (2018); Cinemateca, Colombia (2018); Kimoto Galley, Canada (2018); 17th Media Art WRO Biennale, Poland (2017); Kunst Film Festival #3, Berlin (2017); International Short Film Festival, Belgium (2017); Absolute Space for the Arts, Taiwan (2016) & (2015); 7th Cairo Video Festival, Egypt (2015); National Art Gallery, Thailand (2015); VAEFF, Video Art and Experimental Film Festival, USA (2014); Kimoto Gallery (2016) & (2015) and Initial Gallery, Canada (2014); Art Experience Gallery, Hong Kong (2013); SESIFF The 5th Seoul International Extreme-Short Image and Film Festival, Korea (2013); ANEMIC: Independent Film and New Media Festival, Czech Republic (2012); and the Schmiede Art Festival, Austria (2012).
He has worked as an artist in residence in Enschede Netherlands, ARE (2018); Jyväskylä Finland, Äkkigalleria (2015) & (2010); Taipei Taiwan, Taipei Artist Village TAV (2010); Toronto ON Canada, NAISA, Deep Wireless Festival, Charles Street Video (2006); and Kelowna BC Canada, Alternator Gallery (2004). He was the recipient of Canada Council visual and media arts travel grants (2000) &(2006); the Judges award winner at the Make it Short Film Festival, Portland OR USA (2012); and Honorable Mention for Dave Bown Projects - 11th Semiannual Competition (2015).