From tucked away galleries to museum institutions, here are seven exhibitions to visit this month, highlighting a range of emerging and established artists in cool spaces.
Megan Kwan and Jeremy Jude Lee at Gallery 881
Where I’m From | Feb. 10 to March 9
Kick off Lunar New Year at the opening of Gallery 881’s upcoming exhibition, Where I’m From, on Saturday, February 10, from 12-5pm. The exhibition “contemplates themes of (be)longing, lineage, and the nature of evolving dreams passed down through generations as (grand)children of immigrants.” On view will be a collection of 55 cinematic photographs by Vancouver- and LA-based artist, Jeremy Jude Lee, in conversation with physical objects nostalgic to the Asian-Canadian experience. The show, which includes video and everyday artifacts, is a site-specific installation curated and designed by Megan Kwan (of creative studio, Super Sensitive Studios).
Lee elaborates: “The site-specific installation speaks to the immersive aspect of the gallery display (inviting the viewer to become part of the imagery and scenes) and to engage with the everyday objects that represent the Asian immigrant/diaspora experience. Visitors will be taken from day to night with an intimate and curated night market setting installed specifically to the Gallery 881 space. For example, there will be a clothes line that you might see in East Vancouver, artifacts from Asian households, and other found objects that we’re bringing into the gallery setting to hold significance of immigrant resourcefulness and creativity.”
A collaborative effort between Kwan and Lee, the two have been envisioning this project for the past two years. The photographs – all shot on film – were captured on a summer’s day in 2022 in locations throughout Vancouver and Richmond.
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10am-5pm & Saturday, 12-5pm, and by appointment. DETAILS
Two Exhibitions at THIS Gallery:
Donna Seto, Re-Imagining Chinatown | Now through Feb. 10
Katie So, The Way I See It | Feb. 16-24
This month THIS Gallery presents a double bill, with a focus on illustration. Currently on view is Re-Imagining Chinatown, a solo exhibition by artist/illustrator, Donna Seto, whose watercolour-and-ink drawings portray the façades of iconic businesses and benevolent societies in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Inspired by historic photographs from the neighbourhood’s thriving days, Seto’s works are detailed, colourful and playful, while simultaneously re-imagining a Chinatown that once was and still could be.
Next up is The Way I See It by Katie So, a local tattoo artist (@ghostmeadow), visual artist and illustrator. Born and raised in Vancouver, So is a first-generation Canadian, growing up bi-racial with autism. For their solo exhibition at THIS, So presents a series of closely cropped ink-on-canvas paintings of things observed on walks and time spent outdoors.
In the artist’s words: “The monochromatic palette mimics my visual sensitivity to light. These paintings act as a sensory soothing exercise when I create them, and also attempt to convey how I see and experience my visual world.”
Save the date for the opening reception of The Way I See It on Saturday, February 17, from 12-4pm. *THIS has recently moved locations and joins the artistic hub at Sun Wah Centre, home to Centre A, Moniker Press, SUM Gallery, Canton-Sardine, and numerous artist studios.
Deborah Edmeades at Afternoon Projects:
Debi’s (Teenage) Theosophical Enlightenment | Now through Feb. 17
Time travel via Deborah Edmeades‘ solo exhibition, Debi’s (Teenage) Theosophical Enlightenment, at Afternoon Projects. Born in London, England and currently based in Vancouver, Edmeades roots her practice in performance. More recently, she has been investigating the historical underpinnings of contemporary New Age religion —especially in its relationship to the feminine struggle for spiritual authority.
On view are pencil drawings and an installation of six acrylic panels in pink, with hand-cut-and-collaged lighting gels (coloured, translucent sheets of thin plastic, typically used by photographers and filmmakers to correct lighting issues) and ink on acetate. In the exhibition text, Lauren Lavery describes: “Edmeades invites the viewer to perceive a history of cosmological ideas through six acrylic panels shaped like 18th century signage. Dreamily installed throughout the gallery, the chapters beckon the viewer to move through both physical and metaphorical time and space, sharing the perspective of teenage Debi as she time-travels through six historical scenarios from the Enlightenment era.”
Following Edmeades’ exhibition, Afternoon Projects presents Vancouver-based artist, Justin Patterson, with an opening date set for February 22.
Gallery hours: Thursday to Saturday, 1-5pm, and by appointment. DETAILS
Gabi Dao at Unit 17:
Hold these questions close | Now through Feb. 24
Bats are the focal point of Gabi Dao’s solo exhibition, Hold these questions close, at Unit 17. The show includes a two-channel video installation, alongside marionettes made of ceramic and textile. Dao’s new body of work began partly in response to a viral video of a Chinese celebrity vlogger eating bat soup, that was circulated on far-right platforms and falsely claimed as the source of COVID-19, inciting racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. (Enjoyed as a delicacy in Palau, the bat soup video was in fact shot in 2016 to promote a tour program.) This led the artist to consider the perception of bats — scorned in Western culture — leading to extensive research on the animals and recent conservation efforts in North American and the Netherlands.
The presentation at Unit 17 is a version of the artist’s recent solo exhibition at Southern Alberta Art Gallery Maansiksikaitsitapiitsinikssin. Based between Rotterdam and Vancouver, Dao has an impressive resumé, including being shortlisted for the 2021 Sobey Art Award and exhibitions across Canada, Europe, and Asia. They also generate olfactory experiences in both their installations and their small-batch perfume business, PPL’S PERFUME.
This is the first exhibition to take place in Unit 17’s new space, located in the historic Dominion Building.
Gallery hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-5pm. DETAILS
Gwenessa Lam at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden:
The Articulate Object | Now through April 7
Taking place in the serene setting of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is The Articulate Object, by artist and educator, Gwenessa Lam. Lam’s work draws from historical objects and domestic spaces as contested sites of collective memory. The content of her paintings and drawings are culled from public documentation of private spaces and artifacts, and are often brought to light by a catastrophe, error, or chance. They depict singular objects in various states of erasure or repair. Time your visit to coincide with upcoming events at the Garden, including Lunar New Year celebrations on Sunday, February 11th, and an Artist Talk on Saturday, February 24 from 2-3pm.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30am-4pm. This exhibition is included with Garden admission. DETAILS
Gathie Falk at Audain Art Museum:
Revelations | Now through May 6
Over 80 works by legendary Vancouver artist, Gathie Falk, are currently on view at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Revelations includes ceramic and bronze sculpture (hanging cabbages, pyramids of oranges, grapefruit and apples), paintings in acrylic and oil on canvas, photography, video, and multimedia installation. Organized and circulated by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Ontario, this is the exhibition’s final stop and your last chance to view such a vast presentation of Falk’s life’s work, drawn from public, corporate and private collections across Canada. Yes, there’s more to do in Whistler than skiing!
Gallery hours: Thursday through Monday, 11am-6pm. Regular admission is $20. DETAILS