Gu Xiong: The Remains of a Journey

Centre A & Canton-sardine Presents New Work by Vancouver Artist Gu Xiong Exploring B.C. Historic Sites Once Inhabited by Early Chinese Immigrants 

Locations
Unit 205 (Centre A) and Unit 071 (Canton-sardine),
268 Keefer Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6A 1X5

Gallery Hours
Wednesday to Saturday, 12 PM – 6 PM*
*Subject to change as per COVID-19-related protocols

About the Exhibition
The Remains of a Journey brings visibility to historic sites that have gradually faded away from official narratives as their physical remnants have disappeared from the landscape. During the mid-19th century, Chinese immigrants began settling along the coast of British Columbia to work the gold and coal mines and to build the transcontinental railway that would form the backbone of Canada. Today, there are only a few remaining structures of the many settlements that spread throughout the province. Yet, the immigrants’ collective memories have lived on in the community in the form of stories, artifacts, and monuments.

Comprised of a new body of multimedia works, along with archival materials sourced from multiple official archives, the exhibition will revive six historic sites across British Columbia that bear the untold struggles of the Chinese immigrants: (Part 1, shown in Centre A) the destroyed “bone house” of Harling Point, the Leper Colony of D’Arcy Island, and the burnt-down Chinatown in Cumberland; (Part 2, shown in Canton-sardine) the Canada Village in Kaiping, China, the New Westminster Chinese Cemetery, and the Mountain View Chinese Cemetery It will take the form of an immersive installation that reanimates these early Chinese immigrant experiences during an era of exclusionist policies. Part of the artist’s ongoing investigation into the living conditions of the early Chinese immigrants since 2011, the exhibition sparks an uncanny parallel to the anti-Chinese sentiment prevailing during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Gu Xiong works with painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation. Throughout his career as a visual artist, Gu Xiong has drawn on both his own life experience as an immigrant and his active engagement with migrant communities around the world. His works have been globally exhibited and recognized for transforming and deepening the understanding of the migrant experience, in terms of home, geography, globalization, and labour. 

The exhibition runs from November 13, 2020 to February 13, 2021. This two-part exhibition is curated by Henry Heng Lu and Steven Dragonn.

Acknowledgements
We would like to acknowledge the unceded Traditional Territories of several Coast Salish peoples on which the photographs and videos in this exhibition were recorded, including the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Stó:lō, Sechelt, Squamish, Qayqayt, K’òmoks, Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.

We are grateful to the Parks Canada agency for its assistance to film in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Thanks to the BC Archives, City of Vancouver Archives, Cumberland Museum and Archives, and New Westminster City Museum and Archives, for their support for Gu’s research and providing images for the exhibition.

This project is especially funded by Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Art Council and City of Vancouver. We are grateful for their generous support.

O Zhang 張鷗

O Zhang 張鷗 (born in Guangzhou) is a Chinese artist working in photography and mixed media. Zhang received a Master of Photography from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London and a BA from the Central Academy of Art in Beijing.

Zhang has had more than 100 exhibitions around the globe, including the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum (Berlin), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai). She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Beijing, London, Istanbul, Vancouver, HK, Manchester, Philadelphia. She was the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship, Fuji Film Award, Vilcek Artist Award, and nominated for numerous awards including the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (Beijing), Beck’s Future Award (London), and Creative Capital Awards (New York). She has been invited to give artist lectures at Oxford University, New York University, New School, School of Visual Art, among others.

Her works are in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Santa Barbara Museum (CA), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), M+ Museum (HK), and other private collections including the Uli Sigg collection in Switzerland.

She has been cited in many publications, including the New York Times, Art in America, The Guardian, Canadian Art, Chinese Photography, South China Morning Post, etc. Zhang gave a solo exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art (New York) in 2009. She was one of the earliest Chinese artists who gave a solo show at a major art museum in New York. Zhang’s autobiography: “An Empire Where The Moon Light Never Fades” was on The Best Seller List in China.

Zhang has been primarily working in New York since 2004. She was a Photo Professor at New York University. She is also a mom of two beautiful children.

I Am Your Monolith Series (42 photos)
Inkjet print on luster photo paper,
Size: 40×30 inch, Edition of 5 / 24×16 inch, Edition of 5
2020
All works’ price upon request by email: stdragonn@canton-sardine.com

Zhipeng Lin 林志鵬/ No.223 編號223

Lin Zhipeng(aka No.223) Born in Guangdong, China in 1979, who is a photographer and freelancer writer based in Beijing. Presented for ten years in group exhibitions in China and abroad , Lin’s works have also been the object of several solo shows both nationally and internationally (Walther Collection Ulm ; De Sarthe Gallery Beijing ; Stieglitz19 Gallery Antwerp ; M97 Gallery Shanghai; Delaware Contemporary Museum, etc). He has published photography books in Taiwan, France, Canada and Japan.

Lin is a leading figure of new Chinese photography emerging in the last decade, popularizing his work originally via social media and other online platforms as well as his self-published zines. Lin’s work has come to reflect and define a certain zeitgeist of the post-80’s and 90’s generation of non-mainstream Chinese youth. Amidst an otherwise conservative and often closed traditional society and cultural background, Lin’s photographs act as a collective not-so-private diary of a young generation wishing to escape the pressures from a high-stakes society and play within its limits. 223’s works are saturated with a soft sense of carefreeness, a playful innocence, and a certain optimism amidst a hedonist lifestyle going against the expected pleasures and entrapments of the middle class dream.

Naming himself “No. 223” after the police character in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie Chungking Express, Lin also adopts a sense of the Hong Kong director’s poetic and dreamy atmosphere as well as the loneliness and mystery of many of his film’s characters. Lin Zhipeng offers his point of view on an alternative youth spirit and culture in an often conservatively Chinese cultural context.

http://linzhipeng223.com/

All works’ price upon request by email: stdragonn@canton-sardine.com

O Zhang: 2020: I am your Monolith

ARTIST
O Zhang

CURATORS
Xiaoyan Yang, STEVEN DRAGONN

EXHIBITION DATES
sep 26 – nov 1, 2020

GALLERY HOURS
TU–F: 2–6 PM; SA: 11 AM–6 PM; M, SU: CLOSED


Please note that this exhibition is by appointment only. Book your visit here

***

2020 has been an unforgettable year. The whole world has experienced extreme hardship due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In April, New York City was the global epicenter of the coronavirus. During the peak week of the infection in April, 23 people died every hour. Many of my photos were taken during that period. I wanted to record this never-before-seen ghost town of New York.

Since then, I have gone out regularly to photograph the city in crisis. After taking thousands of photos, I realized the most interesting visual contrast was between the boarded-up high-end stores, such as Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, and many more — stores that symbolize vast wealth and exclusivity, the most glorified image of New York City — and the ugly, hastily installed plywood panels. Some of the boards are used to protect the windows against looting; Some are used to cover up the shattered windows in the aftermath; Some are used to seal the businesses that are permanently closed. COVID, protests, chaos, civil unrest have been going on in my city and throughout America for many months, and are still ongoing. In this new reality, these boarded-up stores have become a symbol of the most significant global crisis in recent times, one that threatens the physical, economic, and political health of entire human societies as well as that of individuals and their loved ones. 

In a previous series, I photographed thousands of massive haunting blank billboards throughout America, the fallout of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and visually very similar to these plywood panels. I like to capture fleeting, seemingly incidental moments that actually signal profound historical shifts. The title of the series is inspired by the black Monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The large not manmade rectangle stone stands for something otherworldly and ambivalently. Looking into the blankness of these wooden panels in my photos, the makeshift symbolic monoliths of 2020, one can feel a sense of failure and end. The boards also serve as a signal for some new tectonic shift, a metaphor for our new surreal reality.  They presage an unfathomable future in this unprecedented time in history.

O Zhang
New York

About the Artist:

O Zhang is an artist working in photography and mix media. A graduate of Royal College of Art in London and Central Academy of Art in Beijing, she moved to New York in 2004, since then is living, working and traveling between New York and Beijing. O Zhang was the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Artist Fellowship (NY), Wilson Centre for Photography Fellowship and Fuji Film Awards (London), winner of RCA Photography Graduate Award (London), and nominated/short listed for numerous awards including Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (Beijing), Beck’s Future Award (London), Creative Capital Awards and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Awards (New York).

O Zhang has had solo exhibitions in Beijing, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Vancouver, Philladelphia and New York, has been invited to give artist lecture in Oxford University, New York University, Beijing Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing Fashion Institute, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been included in group shows throughout Europe, America and China, including Kunsthalle Museum (Hamburg), Miro Museum (Barcelona), Kunstmuseum (Bern), Folkwang Museum (Essen), Peabody Essex Museum (MA), UC Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley), Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai), Millennium Monument Art Museum (Beijing) and is in the collections of Guggenheim Museum (NY), Santa Barbara Museum (CA), Clifford Chance Collection (London), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), Millennium Monument Art Museum collection (Beijing), and other private collections including Uli Sigg collection in Switzerland.

No.223: Satellite of Love

ARTIST
Lin Zhipeng

CURATORs
Steven Dragonn Kelvin Huang Yiqun

EXHIBITION DATES
Aug 12 – Sep 20, 2020

GALLERY HOURS
Tu–F: 2 pm–6 pm; Sa: 11 am–6 pm; M, Su: closed

Capture Photography Festival 2020 Official Selected Exhibition
Please note that this exhibition is by appointment only. Book your visit here

***

Satellite of Love is the title of a rock ’n roll song composed by Lou Reed in 1970, when he was still part of The Velvet Underground. The song describes a man watching a satellite launch on television while feeling “the worst kind of jealousy” about his unfaithful girlfriend. It resonated with the hippie movement along with the influence of the Beat generation, a youth movement in the 1950s characterized by underground and anti-conformist art and literature in New York, starred by Kerouac among others.

The wave of the Beat Generation had great influence on China’s post-‘80 generation, especially in South China, along with J-pop and Hong Kong subculture. No.223 (Lin Zhipeng) is certainly a pilgrim. Inspired by Wong Kar-Wai’s film, Chungking Express, Lin named himself “No. 223,” intending to evoke a poetic and dream-like aura, as well as the feeling of loneliness and mystery characterized by this film. Lin offers an alternative point of view on youth in a relatively conservative Chinese culture. In an indifferent and fast-changing society, his spontaneous photography portrays a young generation indulged in love and life, oscillating between jubilation and deep melancholy, playful sexuality and a basic human need to be loved.

Inspired by the song, Satellite of Love is also the title of No.223’s book, a photography-poetry album published in 2012. “No. 223 is a visual version of Kerouac” described by Hong Huang, a renowned editor in China, “Like Dean in On the Road, he is always asking: ‘What’s your road, man?—holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow. Where body how?’ His photography invites you on this road of discovery.”

This exhibition contains work that may not be suitable for some viewers.