still life of domestic objects on an orange background

Ode to Autumn
Ode to Winter
Ode to Spring
Ode to Summer


In a quadriptych portrait of the year ahead and a reflection on the year that has passed, A day passes like a year looks to Chinese four seasons painting traditions and the immediate locale of Mercer Union Gallery in Toronto to glean a format for telling time in its place through change, personal connection and collective association.

Image: Ode to Summer (2021). Image courtesy the Artist. 

Shellie Zhang (b. 1991, Beijing, China) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada. By uniting both past and present iconography with the techniques of mass communication, language and sign, Zhang explores the contexts and construction of a multicultural society by disassembling approaches to tradition, gender, history, migration and popular culture. She creates images, objects and projects in a wide range of media to explore how integration, diversity and assimilation is implemented and negotiated, and how manifestations of these ideas relate to lived experiences. Zhang is interested in how culture is learned and sustained, and how the objects and iconographies of culture are remembered and preserved. 

Zhang has exhibited at venues including WORKJAM (Beijing), Asian Art Initiative (Philadelphia) and Gallery 44 (Toronto). She is a recipient of grants such as the Toronto Arts Council’s Visual Projects grant, the Ontario Arts Council’s Visual Artists Creation Grant and the Canada Council’s Project Grant to Visual Artists. She is a member of EMILIA-AMALIA, an intergenerational feminist reading and writing group. In 2017, She was an Artist-in-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Award. Her work has been published in Canadian Art, the Toronto Star, Blackflash Magazine, CBC Arts, and C Magazine. Recent and upcoming projects include exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego and Patel Brown Gallery (Toronto).


A Day Passes Like a Year was originally commissioned by Mercer Union, Toronto, 2021. 


This installation is presented in partnership with Conestoga Mall

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