About: Bio & CV

Artist Statement

Michael Cichon is The Teaman, a Montreal-based artist: writer, poet, and photographer.

Mr. Cichon’s childhood was one of poverty, hand-me-downs, and living off donations. These formative years fostered in him a unique understanding and empathy for those who stand outside the frame. From that early age, he was encouraged to participate in acting and Polish Folk dancing, both instrumental factors in shaping his conceptual world of subjects and ideas that reside outside of what is considered socially acceptable. Later, his academic training in Liberal Arts and Russian Studies helped further inspire him and his philosophical and literary perspectives. Of all the influences that helped to develop his views, it was discussions with his Polish-Ukrainian Grandmother, drinking tea and listening to her talk about her arduous past, that most shaped his personal relationship to time and space.

Mr. Cichon left Toronto in 1996 to teach English in Busan, a large port city in South Korea. Instantly isolated from the familiar, he became acutely aware of his existential tourist consciousness; being both “apart” and “a part” of society. Here, he was introduced to Taoist philosophy and the phrase “Live Like Water”, something that resonated with his Eastern European family’s history of displacement and rootlessness. The phrase continues to guide his artistic and business endeavours.

Deeply influenced by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and word play, Mr. Cichon crafts comical and critical tableau photographs that comment on absurd social constructs. His portraits are intimate confessions in which his subjects reveal their true face. Through humour and empathy, Mr. Cichon establishes a bond of trust and is able to create portraits that are therapeutic and empowering. As a Medical Photographer, he has used these experiences and learned how to photograph vulnerable people, capturing both the physical and emotional scars they often carry. This vocation is one that truly aligns with his core values of truth and healing.

Currently, Mr. Cichon divides his time between exploring new photographic concepts and selling tea that he imports from East Asia at local farmers markets and online at www.livelikewater.com. During the week, he works as a Medical Photographer and runs his private gallery; on weekends he retreats to the countryside and his Live Like Water Traditional Korean Tearoom in East Bolton, Quebec. To see more of his stories please visit www.michaelcichon.ca.



CV

Education
2015 AEC Commercial Photography Diploma, Dawson College, Montreal
2012 Fashion Photography Course, Concordia University.
2012 Product Photography Course, Concordia University.
2010 Digital Photographic Imaging Diploma, Concordia University.
1995 English Literature, Concordia University, Montreal
1994 Communication Studies: Media, Advertising & Journalism, Concordia University.
1991 BA, Concordia University.
Major: Liberal Arts: Western Society and Culture
Minor: Russian Studies

Professional Experience
2016 – present Medical Photographer, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University
Health Centre, Montreal. Adult clinical photography for non cosmetic
plastic surgery. Also, covering events and press conferences.
2014 – 2016 Medical Photographer, Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University
Health Centre. Pediatric Medical Photography specializing in Dermatology,
Plastic Surgery, Orthodontics as well as Pre and Post
Operation Breast photography for teens. Knowledge in protocols
concerning suspected child abuse cases.

 

Solo Exhibition:
Mother’s Prayer: Struggle, Death and Rebirth:55 Years of Cottage Life in the Eastern Townships: Gallery Cichon, Montreal, Qc

Group Exhibition Record:  2020 Landscapes from the Sunshine Coast: Gallery Hors Cadre, Knowlton, Qc

2019 Local Portraits, Gallery Hors Cadre, Knowlton, Qc
2015 Senior Nun Portraits: Graduating Portfolio Warren B. Flowers Gallery, Montreal
2013 Addicted to Love, Warren B. Flowers Gallery, Montreal
2002 Tea an Installation with Pauline Lawson, Artesia Gallery, Gibson’s BC, Canada
2002 Dead Russians: Cemetery Tour: A Pilgrimage: Dostoevsky to Mayakovsky, Sechelt Tea House, Sechelt, BC Canada

Teaching Experience
2000-2001 ESL Teacher, WLI, Taejon, South Korea
1996-1997 ESL Teacher, Dong Dae Shing Dong Middle School, Busan, South Korea

Awards
2015 Honors Distinction, AEC Commercial Photography, Dawson College, Montreal

Travel/Foreign Languages Spoken

English, French and Polish with Basic Korean and Russian
Lived in South Korea for 3 years between 1996 and 2000 and revisited in 2017. Traveled to the Soviet Union in 1984. Returned Russia, Poland and the Ukraine in 1992 and 2000.
Other countries include: England, France, Italy, Czech Republic Switzerland, Barbados, Trinidad, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Japan and various provinces in Canada.

Projects
Grandma Dynamite: Josie a dynamic journey of a bored senior.
Korea Then and Now: 1997-2017,  streets and portraits
My Lolita Story; Re-Exploring The Lolita Theme.
In Memoriam: The Closing of the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Hospital Unseen Faces: Environmental Portraits.
Dead Russians, A Pilgrimage: Dostoevsky to Mayakovsky
Attack On Clarity: Photo essay: steeps of a tea set as it travels to war monuments.

Collections
Public Institutions:
Montreal General Hospital: British Columbia Nature Series
Montreal General Hospital: Busan South Korea Travel Series