Canton-sardine is an artist-run centre located in Vancouver Chinatown, which was established in 2018 by artist and curator Steven Dragonn, critic and curator Xiaoyan Yang. The institute’s name is called Canton-sardine because the founders thought that other than exhibitions, an artist-run space also carries curatorial and publishing functions, as it can also be a site for artist residencies and bookstores among many other roles. Thus he attempted to use the word “Sardine” to replace “Space” to redefine the artist-run centre’s mandate after French Avant-garde artist Arman’s thought. Also, the founders who originated from Canton, China, so-called “Canton-sardine”.
After 4 years’ running, Canton-sardine received certain regards not just by showing local artists’ visionary, but also by bringing the internationally mind set to the local audiences. The luminous self-curatorial exhibitions included:
– Gu Xiong: The Remains of A Journey (Granted by the Canada Council of the Arts, the BC Art Council & the City of Vancouver), collaborated with Centre A in 2020.
– Qingsong Wang: FOTOFEST (Inaugural Printing Prize of Capture Photography Festival 2021/ International rewarded China based artist).
– Image Bank: Cultural Ecology of the DDR, Michael Morris & Vincent Trasov, collaborated with Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC in 2021.
– Eli Bornowsky: A Way to Finish Thinking (New York Based Artist) in 2020.
– O Zhang: I Am Your Monolith (New York Based Artist) in 2020.
Canton-sardine has also been selected 3 times in the Capture Photography Festival (2020, 2021 & 2022). Six artist books were published in Canton-sardine. An official YouTube channel created in 2020 for artist talks, so far received more than 10,000 subscribers.