BC Artscape Sun Wah Founding Tenants 創建租戶

We are excited to introduce the first group of passionate organizations and people who will be part of BC Artscape Sun Wah. Our Founding Tenants have been carefully selected with the guidance of our Community Steering Committee based on the project’s vision and principles, including working sensitively in the neighborhood, providing a platform that encourages intergenerational and intercultural connections and active transmission of heritage, and a place that welcomes all members of the community.

我們很高興地介紹第一批的租戶,他們將成為「BC Artscape 新華」的一部分,並會通過藝術為唐人街創造一個新的社區樞紐。我們的創建租戶由我們的社區指導委員會的指導下,根據項目的願景和原則細心挑選-包括在社區內敏感性地工作,提供一個鼓勵跨代和跨文化聯繫的平台,積極傳承文化,並歡迎所有社區成員的地方。

Learn about the Founding Tenants of who will be in the BC Artscape Sun Wah community cultural hub below.

Organizations
Artists and Artist Collectives

Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop

The Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) was created out of a need to develop and nurture Asian Canadian writers. Its primary purpose is to foster a community of writers and build a literature. Over the years, ACWW has established a number of successes: writing workshops, literary anthologies, book clubs, mentorship of new writers, one-on-one manuscript development sessions, a reading series, a chapter in Toronto, an Emerging Writer Award, Ricepaper Magazine, and an annual LiterASIAN Writers Festival.

It’s exciting being part of BC Artscape Sun Wah Centre and the Chinatown/DTES neighbourhood because it’s in many ways the birthplace of Asian Canadian literature. Many of the Canadian literary canonical texts are set in this area — with the likes of Jim Wong-Chu’s Chinatown Ghosts; SKY Lee’s Disappearing Moon Cafe; Paul Yee’s Saltwater City; Wayson Choy’s Jade Peony; Denise Chong’s Concubine’s Children; Madeleine Thien’s Certainty — the list goes on and on. To return to the literary roots of Chinatown is an honour and a privilege, and we will be able to work and collaborate closely with other grassroots community organizations in the shared spaces at Sun Wah. I’m excited at the opportunity to be in a new space that will be an incubator to the next generation of writers and cultural activists.

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Groundswell Education Society

Groundswell is a non-profit society providing accessible education to support the creation of meaningful employment and social ventures. We provide space for young ideas and young ventures to connect, flourish, and contribute to the local economy. Our social venture training and mentoring programs put the emphasis on the individual and the community, helping people build sustainable projects with a little money and a lot of impact. Our program participants includes artists, makers, foodies, designers, educators, healers, and social service providers who are united by a desire to belong to something greater than themselves. Through Groundswell, participants and alumni connect to mentors, industry experts, professionals and other organizations using business as a tool to build better communities and working towards a more collaborative economy. Our vision is a regenerative, collaborative economy where each individual can contribute meaningfully and find purpose in their life through their work.

We can’t wait to connect and make meaningful partnerships with the community in and around BC Artscape Sun Wah. We look forward to learning from each other so that we can make a bigger impact based on the values of social entrepreneurship, and engage more people with Groundswell’s education, events, markets and more!

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Made in BC- Dance on Tour

Made in BC- Dance on Tour is a non-profit industry association dedicated to building a culture for dance throughout the province of British Columbia. Our programs create opportunities for people from all over BC to learn about the arts, express themselves creatively and celebrate a shared humanity through dance performance and activities. We connect BC communities with dance artists; fostering an appreciation of contemporary dance by collaborating with arts presenters, community arts councils, parks boards, schools and community groups across the province. We support dance artists by connecting them to community partners and nurturing and supporting their creative ideas and projects by enhancing their capacity to bring their passion to others. If you want to bring dance to your community through performances, residencies, workshops and community engaged dance projects – we can help make it happen!

Made in BC functions as a network. Our expertise lies in bringing artists and organizations together around common purpose, to amplify their impact. We feel that the arts community is rich, that any artist’s or organization’s success is everyone’s success, and that as a community, we are better off together.

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Little Lantern

Little Lantern is a grassroots group based in the unceded Coast Salish territory of Vancouver. We host youth-centred, youth-driven and youth-led programs that value Chinese youth’s voices and creative potentials. We work with high school newcomer youth who identify with diverse Chinese heritages and experiences. Our capacity-building model creates a safe and inclusive multi-lingual space for Chinese youth to explore their cultural belongings and personal identities. We believe in the strength-based approach of empowering youth to build bridges with peers and all community members.

Our vision is an inclusive community that embraces the intersectionality of every person’s cultural belongings and personal identities. Our mission is to support high school Chinese newcomer youth, who are immigrants, refugees and international students, to make meaningful connections that will sustain and foster into active local and global citizenship. Through sharing languages and cultural knowledge, we support youth to make connections across diverse Canadian communities, as well as strengthen a collective identity within Vancouver’s Hua community at large.

Little Lantern is excited about being a part of BC Artscape Sun Wah, through our partnership with Onion Language Centre, because of the opportunities to collaboratively build an inclusive community hub alongside other creative and like-minded organizations. We recognize the roots, history, and diversity of the Chinatown and DTES neighbourhoods as assets in the process of identity and citizenship-building among newcomer youth, and thus, as assets in the work that we prioritize. We look forward to respectfully incorporating the assets of this physical space into our approach to youth work and community engagement wherever possible.

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LIVE Biennale of Performance Art Society

LIVE, The LIVE International Performance Art Biennale is a showcase and forum of contemporary performance art. Our mission is to encourage ideas around live art through a creative, critically engaged program of activities. We strive to be an internationally focused inclusive site of cultural exchange and collaboration that promote art and ideas to simultaneously engage the public’s imagination and activate their roles within the social body. We are dedicated to servicing multi-cultural engagement by offering new professional opportunities to exceptional artists locally and worldwide, and providing a forum for emerging artists. LIVE enjoys an historic and ongoing relationship with the Downtown East Side and Chinatown community and consciously supports the local art centres and businesses. LIVE is a celebration of cultural diversity and personal identity inclusive of and sensitive to First Nations, visible minorities, sexual orientations, genders, and people of different ages and histories.

Being long associated with Chinatown and the Downtown East Side, I am critical of new changes in the neighbourhood. Rarely do we get it right. BC Artscape Sun Wah, with the participations of the owners, city, and cultural agencies seems to be the exception. Since the beginning of this vision, the organizers have mandated to create a new cultural hub that is inclusive to artists, cultural organizations (like LIVE), and the community. From our tiny office, we will have access to conference and meeting facilities and shared resources. I am impressed that cuisine culture and rooftop vegetable gardens for the local seniors are also integrated. As a new senior citizen myself, I look forward to participating in the tai-chi that will undoubtedly occur in the gardens.

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Onion Language Centre

Onion Language Centre is a place of language services and language instruction that strives to provide translation, interpreting and educational resources to the Chinatown community by working directly with businesses/organisations and providing workshops and classes in Chinese language at varying competencies.

Onion Language Centre is excited to be a part of BC Artscape Sun Wah, particularly because of its location within Chinatown and proximity to the Downtown East Side where language services are a continuing necessity. In light of the increasingly rapid gentrification of the area that has resulted in loss of affordable and accessible retailers, OLC is also excited to provide educational resources and language training for newer residents and business owners/operators needing to work more closely with the Chinatown community they have found themselves in.

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Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration


The Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration (PCHC – MoM) Society is a non-profit society incorparated to build a wider and improved understanding of Canada’s history and growth through intercultural explorations of historic and current trans-Pacific immigration.

Its mission is to establish a Museum of Migration at a site of historical significance for Canadians whose families first arrived in Canada through its western portals, and create a supporting national research network for an interdisciplinary and more inclusive interpretation of Canada’s history.

The PCHC- Museum of Migration will be a hub where Canadians can engage with each other to understand past and current relationship between immigrants and host communities, including their interaction with First Nations peoples, and where Canadians will be able to research their family history and share their stories.

Since 2012, it has functioned as a “museum without walls” and offered a range of activities from workshops, cultural walking tours, to oral history projects and exhibitions throughout Metro Vancouver and Toronto in partnership with its wide networks of collaborators.

We look forward to moving our office to a more convenient location along with some of our long-standing community partners. Being in Chinatown will be a way to support efforts to protect this important heritage site in Pacific Canada. We can’t wait to rub shoulders with the other tenants for the conversations and synergies.

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Pacific Community Resources Society’s Pathways to Education program

The Pathways to Education program, delivered through Pacific Community Resources Society, aims to enhance educational success and supports youth living in the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona community to successfully graduate from high school and transition into post-secondary education, training or employment. The high school graduation rate for the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver, including the Downtown Eastside, is lower than the provincial average and the lowest of all Vancouver communities. According to the most recent census data only 41 percent of young adults (20-34) in Strathcona have a high school diploma. Working in partnership with community partners, local schools, school boards, and many diverse volunteers, Pathways to Education is helping to break the cycle of poverty through education and support strategic, long-term social change. Pathways to Education’s innovative community-based program provides free academic, social, financial, and individualized supports to youth, including: Tutoring and academic support; Mentoring and social activities; One-on-one educational and social support; Bus tickets and grocery cards; Positive relationships with adult role models; and Scholarships for post-secondary education and training. The results of this unique Program have been ground breaking, increasing high school graduation rates by an average of 85 per cent in 20 communities across Canada, with 75% of all Pathways students successfully transitioning to post-secondary education.

We are excited to be a part of the BC Artscape Sun Wah hub for so many reasons, including the wonderful opportunity to be located in the neighbourhood closeby the young people and families we have been supporting since Pathways launched in Vancouver. We are also looking forward to developing new partnerships and opportunities for our young people through the potential collaborations with partners at the BC Artscape Sun Wah hub.

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Pride in Art Society

The Pride in Art Society (PiA) is a professional multidisciplinary art organization dedicated to the presentation and promotion of queer art and artists; inspiring recognition, respect, and visibility of people who transgress gender and sexual norms. Through curated exhibitions, performing arts presentations, readings, artist talks, panels, workshops, and screenings, we bring diverse communities together to support artistic risk-taking, incite creative collaboration and experimentation, and celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art. PiA produces the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), recognized as one of the top 5 festivals of its kind worldwide (Melbourne Herald Sun). QAF produces, presents & exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries & initiates dialogue. QAF has a strong record of culturally diverse programming within its LGBT2SQ mandate, emphasizing prominent representation of artists, staff, and membership from communities who have called the DTES home—notably Asian-Canadian (specifically Chinese and Japanese) and Indigenous communities. Since 1998, PiA has presented 1,735 artists in more than 220 events, welcomed 61,500 patrons & incited the creation of dozens of new Canadian works through commissions, premières & curation. QAF’s programming has garnered wide acclaim as “easily one of the best art exhibitions of the year” (Vancouver Sun), “concise, brilliant and moving” (Georgia Straight) & “on the forefront of aesthetic and cultural dialogue today” (Xtra).

The Pride in Art Society (producers of the Queer Arts festival) is excited about the abundant possibilities and community partnerships made possible through sharing space in an active neighbourhood at BC Artscape Sun Wah. Presenting queer art in multipurpose, public spaces in the DTES and Chinatown increases opportunities to experience art, building greater appreciation for the arts and contributions made by queer artists.

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Senior Chinese Society of Vancouver 温哥华老年华人协会

The Senior Chinese Society of Vancouver is a non-political, non-profit charitable organization formed voluntarily by seniors of Chinese origin in 2004. The Society, with branches across Metro Vancouver, now has over 900 members between the ages of 50 to 90, most of them new immigrants from China (including Taiwan), the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, the U.S. and other places. The society provides a platform for seniors who otherwise would not have known each other to gather and help one another. We organize and take part in various activities to aid seniors in adapting to their new environment and Canada’s multicultural society. Weekly activities such as singing, dancing and music classes aim to alleviate the sense of isolation amongst seniors. We also take part in outside activities with a focus in cultural exchange and community service for the elderly.

温哥华老年华人协会(简称老华协)是大温地区老年华人自愿参加的、非宗派、非政治、非牟利的联谊性慈善社团组织。协会至今已有900多名会员遍及大温地区,其中大部分是来自中国大陆、 香港和台湾地区、菲律宾、印度尼西亚、新加坡、越南、马来西亚、日本、美国、加拿大及其他国家和地区的新移民。年龄层从50到90多岁。协会的发展归功于它的凝聚力。它提供平台让原来互不相识的老人欢聚一堂,互相帮助。协会本着让 老年华人健康快乐的原则,组织会员参加各项活动,以尽快适应异乡环境,融入加拿大多元文化社会。总会和分 会设有各类学习班,包括英语班、绘画班、电脑班、书法班、歌咏班、模特、健身舞蹈班,以及举办各种知识讲座等。协会成立有艺术团、枫华诗社和武术太极拳队,并建立了自己的网站和博客,发行枫华诗社网絡版。 文化交 流是协会活动的重点,每年有数十次去老人院慰问,去社区演出,介绍中国传统文化艺术 。

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Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival

The Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival (VIMAF) is an organization of artists and supporters that raises the profile of Indigenous media arts and facilitates the creation of a community of Indigenous media artists. We do so through an annual festival, along with other events in BC,for Indigenous media artists, as well as others that will benefit from being exposed to Indigenous world views. VIMAF also provides training for youth as well as those new to different Media Arts forms. We want to make space where the next ‘generation of artists’ can get inspired to create some wonderful pieces. VIMAF is founded on the idea of inclusivity, we want community members from all walks of life to participate, and experience all aspects of VIMAF.

VIMAF is excited to take part in this new opportunity in partnership with Pride In Art at the new BC Artscape Sun Wah Building. The opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented Arts Organizations and Artists is of particular interest to VIMAF, as we want to work with the Arts Community in Vancouver to further foster cross-collaboration and understanding between communities throughout the City. This type of opportunity is too far and in between in Vancouver, but we are looking forward to working with BC Artscape, Pride In Art, and everyone else in the new Arts-centric building in creating something that will be surely be uniquely Vancouver.

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Alanna Ho

Alanna Ho (@rainbowforcast) is an educator and performer combining deep play, new media, sound and community engagement. As a freelance educator, she is passionate about engaging a welcoming space for children to immerse into. Strong social collaboration, child-led projects and careful documentation of childrens’ ideas are adapted to each play workshop with a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach. Alanna facilitates workshops for the New Westminster New Media Gallery, bridging elementary school-aged children with contemporary new media art; integrating sound design with Burnaby North Secondary School (Music and Technology program) through the Western Front; and creates play sessions packed with games and digital literacy.

THE PLAYROOM is a new community space which fosters three main components:

    1. integrates children into the process of creating immersive and sound art (The Rainbow Forecast Project)
    1. incubates play and pedagogy research
    1. hosts performance art in the form of community-engaged happenings

The Rainbow Forecast Project aims to share children’s stories and spirit, and generate contemporary art discussions by construction children’s creative ideas into larger scale works.

With the quick gentrification of the DTES, we have to be in a mindset of young creatives contributing to this area, rather than just occupying a space and catering to our own needs. Through the lens of social practice, I am excited to nurture a space that cross-pollinates creative mediums amongst the diverse demographic surrounding the Chinatown area.

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Becki Chan

www.beckichan.com
Becki Chan
I am an artist, jewellery maker and designer. I have an educational background in sculpture and architecture, but I always knew that I wanted to do more. I wanted to design and produce objects at a human scale, that people can interact with. I conceive and develop public installations, for both artistic and commercial use. I transform my sculptural vocabulary into wearable art and look for new ways to frame the body. For the last couple years, I have been offering jewellery workshops as an extension of my art jewellery practice. I enjoy showing people my process and sharing my love for making.

I am also the Vancouver organizer of PechaKucha – a global series of live events held worldwide where people can meet, inspire and get inspired, based on a format that is fast-paced and fun. It is about uncovering the unexpected – unexpected talent, unexpected ideas. It’s a place to share your thoughts, gather as a creative community and have a good time.
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Clare Yow

www.clareyow.com

Clare Yow – Tide is Against Us 2017

I am a Singapore-born visual artist and photographer with an M.F.A. in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia (2010) and an Honours B.F.A. in Photographic Studies from Ryerson University (2008). Since 2003, I have participated in exhibitions and events across Canada including ​at ​the ​Two Rivers Gallery​, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery​, ​Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and​ Brock University.​

My artistic practice has been foregrounded on the everyday, readymade, and seemingly unremarkable as subject matter, material and process. Over time, it has come to encompass navigating the landscape where my subjectivities and personal politics—as a Chinese-Canadian, an immigrant, a settler, a woman, and a concerned citizen—all collide. ​Presently​, I am focused on exploring the relationship between ​the politics​ of identity​ and issues of social justice through visual and written means.

I am excited to be surrounded by other creative and cultural producers where we can be in dialogue and exchange with one another and the established neighbourhoods we are joining. My art practice exists alongside my participation in community activism and social justice, so I ​really ​look forward to strengthening my community relations, as well as discovering how my approaches to art-making can expand in uncharted, meaningful, and mindful ways.

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Dina Smallman

Dina Smallman has been a professional communication designer for over 20 years. She has experience with a wide scope of projects ranging from developing complete product lines for the consumer to working with charities and non profit organizations. She recently attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design receiving her Masters in Design. Her research focused on developing a Visual Communication System for people who are unable to communicate verbally or by signing. Her researched gained her the “IDEA Health Design Award” and acceptance to present at the “International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction”. She has also been accepted to present at the “Global Grad Show” during design week in Dubai. Her passion is inclusive design with her main research focus an inclusive visual communication system. Her work is something that has been a part of her personal life for the past 13 years where she has learned all about the Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems with her son, who has cerebral palsy. She hopes to continue on with this research and develop a system that would one day be distributed.

As my work revolves around inclusion and how design can contribute to reduce barriers to enable people to connect I am really excited to be a part of such a diverse community.

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d.June Conley

I attended Otis Parsons in Los Angeles and graduated from Emily Carr College in Vancouver, 1988 major; Sculpture. I make sculptures out of found, recycled and salvaged objects. I love finding that perfect piece of metal with an acquired patina and forged so beautifully by the many feet and cars that have trampled over it. Or the abandon, broken, discarded pieces that were once part of someone’s coveted possession with it’s own history. I weave them together in a different yet somewhat familiar light with a new story to tell. To me the nature of working with found objects is an ever changing-evolving structure, and I love the complexity of it! When this ‘medley of elements’ come together to create something so different, with it’s own history ‘now’ this is always exciting to me. I live in Vancouver, B.C. with my two lovely cats.

I am so thrilled to be an artist in B.C.Artscape Sun Wah. As a visual artist I love to share my practice and mentor with an open studio and workshops or demos. I also would love to get involved in the rooftop garden for the Chinatown community. The building is so amazing and it’s going to be so exciting to be part of something so much bigger, and important for the Chinatown and DTES neighborhoods.

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Elisa Medina

Elisa Medina is a designer, textile artist, and entrepreneur focusing on a mindful and conceptual approach to the ideation, manufacturing, and consumption of clothing. Under the label Nowhere Studio, Medina’s practice looks to incite dialogues between maker, garment, and wearer in pursuit of ethical production methods, an appreciation for handcraft and digital techniques, as well as meaningful human connections through clothing.

Medina has a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Technology from Kwantlen University. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Vancouver (2013) and Toronto Men’s Fashion Week as a finalist for the Emerging Menswear Designer Award (2015).

I am most excited about sharing a space with creative individuals from diverse disciplines that look to build a sense of community as part of their individual practices, generating positive engagements with the neighbourhood and advocating local art.

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Elisa Yon

Elisa Yon is a Vancouver based artist with a practice situated at the intersection of architecture, public art and social practice. She holds a Master of Applied Art degree from Emily Carr University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Waterloo. Since 2012, Elisa has worked with the City of Richmond as Public Art Project Coordinator.

I look forward to building relationships in the community and utilizing my art practice to learn and engage with Vancouver’s Chinese heritage and the DTES neighbourhood.

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Germaine Koh

http://germainekoh.com
I am an internationally active visual artist and independent curator with a 25+ year career, who works in a very wide variety of media, ranging from large-scale interactive public art and mechanical/electronic installations, through performance and site-specific urban interventions, to community-based social practice. My work over the past few years has focused on construction of very small dwellings (http://HomemadeHome.ca). Thematically, my work across all media is concerned with collective behaviours and the intersection of human activity with the built and natural environments, and tries to create surprising, thoughtful and poetic situations from commonplace materials and spaces.

Image: Germaine Koh with her work Topographic Table (North Shore). Photo: copyright Scott August.

I hope to be an active presence in the neighbourhood and am interested in participating in conversations about the shape of urban space and community which are central to Chinatown and the DTES.

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Hungry Thumbs Studio

Hungry Thumbs was established as a studio on the edge of Chinatown, kitty corner to the Police Station and opposite the Provincial Courthouse and city jail on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in the 80’s by sculptor Ken Clarke. Over the years and with the patronage of the community builders at the Anhart Foundation, Ken Clarke was able to carry out his vision for affordable creative space which benefited the local community through the creation of public art on the building, evolving window installations and enlivening a forgotten street in the city. Since the 80’s Hungry Thumbs has slowly subdivided into individual artist production spaces which have focused on a layout which allows casual interaction of artists while maintaining a feeling of privacy to create. Clarke’s vision of affordable space has also lead to an interesting and diverse group of artists inhabiting the building, each with a different medium, different background and at different stages in their careers. Today the Hungry Thumbs Collective is more than a building, it is the synergy of a group of 4 artists who continue the vision of maintaining a diverse studio, open sharing of space and engaging their neighbours by providing public art displays, studio access and through the sharing of their individual practices.

BC Artscape Sun Wah has created a space for collectives like the Hungry Thumbs Collective to thrive, grow and to be optimistic about our ability to have long term space in the neighbourhood which has been our home since the 80’s. We are excited about the physical space and the diverse collection of groups that are sharing the building with us.

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Jan Bautista

Jan Bautista is a fashion designer continuously working on his menswear brand inspired by bespoke tailoring with a mix of fun and play. Born in the Philippines but based in Vancouver, his inspirations are sometimes also rooted from the distinctive lifestyles he has been exposed to from both places. Most of his designs seek delight and challenge the norm. Currently, he is exploring textile design and innovation in hopes to find a medium between sustainability and beauty in the fashion industry. After graduating from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a degree in Fashion Design and Technology, some of his works has been featured in magazines like Dark Beauty, Imirage Magazine, and C’est Moi Magazine.

Joining BC Artscape in one of the growing artistic neighborhood in Vancouver would be a great platform for my practice. To be surrounded by artists from different backgrounds, yet with the same interest in supporting local arts, would be an honor.

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Janet Wang

Janet Wang is a visual artist working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation practices and digital media. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and her Master of Arts in Studio Practice from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures. The artist borrows heavily from the canons and traditions of history, both the artistic and the quotidian, in order to use the familiar as a meeting point with the viewer. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and the UK, and has been awarded residencies from the Arts Council of England, ArtStarts, the Burnaby Arts Council, and received the Visual Arts Development Award by the Vancouver Foundation. She is currently is an instructor at the Lasalle College Vancouver, Langara College, and Emily Carr University.

I am looking forward to engaging with the vibrant and diverse groups within this neighbourhood, and creating collaborative relationships with community stakeholders.

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Jen Hiebert

Jen Hiebert is a Vancouver-based artist and educator who has been working in textiles for over twenty years. She studied weaving and textile arts at Place Des Arts in Coquitlam, BC, and graduated from the Textile Arts program at Capilano University. Her work and teaching focus on the relationship between material and process, seeking to expand the expected constraints of the medium, while providing new and different entry points into the processes of learning and making. She has been teaching workshops and classes for different community organizations and private individuals around the Lower Mainland since 1999. She is currently working as a Studio Technician and Continuing Studies Instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
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Katharine Meng-Yuan Yi

I am Katharine Meng-Yuan Yi, a Chinese-Canadian visual artist from Vancouver. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of British Columbia. My practice is about seeking to transform rationalized presumptions into works that evoke of sentimentality, identity, and belonging that are inextricably linked to my personal experience of growing up as an immigrant to Canada. A quintessential part of my practice is about creating dialogues and confronting issues of cultural identity and transcultural experience, and Chinatown is a community that has fostered and witnessed the history and personal tales of such experiences. My role as a local Chinese-Canadian artist is to present issues and phenomenon that are little known and seldom represented outside of the Vancouver Chinese community. I am excited to become part of BC Artscape at the Sun Wah building because it is a significant step taken in revitalizing Chinatown through art and culture.
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Leanne M Christie

Urban Oil painter Leanne M Christie has a reputation for complex paintings that are built with powerful brushwork and the sophisticated manipulation of white. She paints full time in her Vancouver studio and her daily 50km cycling commute from her home in Coquitlam, gives Christie an intimate kinship with the flow of the urban streets. The unrehearsed transitory moments provide the abundant source of her paintings.
Born and raised in South Africa, Christie moved to the Canadian West Coast in the late 2000’s after a period of 10 years abroad that had originated as a 2 week holiday after the completion of her Bachelor of Fine Art from Rhodes University.
Christie’s paintings are at first understood by the viewer whose participation is demanded by her relentless harnessing of the communicative properties unique to oil painting.

Chinatown and the DTES have been the incubators of my work over the past 6 years. My first studio was on Keefer, under a staircase, and my second was at the Hungry Thumbs building opposite the courthouse. The BC Artscape Sun Wah building brings the diversity, vibrancy and grassroots community that makes this area unique, into focus and I am eager to explore the new paintings in the new studio in this dynamic building.

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Paul Wong and On Main Gallery

Paul Wong is a media-maestro making art for site-specific spaces and screens of all sizes. Born in Prince Rupert in 1954, Paul is an award winning artist and curator known for his tough engagement with controversial issues and his eye for social context, driven by an insatiable search for identity, community and authenticity. Paul is a pioneer of early visual and media art in Canada, founding several artist-run groups, leading public arts policy, and organizing events, festivals, conferences and public interventions since the 1970s. Writing, publishing and teaching have been an important part of his praxis. With a career spanning four decades he has been instrumental proponent to contemporary art. His works are in many public collections including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa),and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Among his many distinctions, Paul is the first recipient of the Transforming Art Award from the Asian Heritage Foundation in 2002 and he received Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art for outstanding contributions to the field.

On Main is an artist-run organization (est. 1985) dedicated to encouraging, producing and presenting new art by emerging and established Canadian artists that is challenging, contemporary, diverse and enlightening to local, national and international audiences. On Main democratizes access to art by claiming and recontextualizing conventional and new forms of private, public and virtual spaces for art and artistic practices that encourage intersections between culturally diverse generations of artists, artistic disciplines and the public. Led by Artistic Director Paul Wong, On Main presents projects in and out of conventional art spaces, including by boat, airplane, bus and train; within the hotel, geodesic dome, parks, garden, cemetery and other temporal and site-specific locations.

Location, Location, Location. I love the idea of being back in Chinatown in a long term new creative hub with other artists and arts organizations.

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Yuan Liu

I was born and raised in China, got my MFA degree from Emily Carr University in 2017 and BFA degree from Xi’an Academy of Fine Art in 2013. By studying and immigrant overseas, this culture transformed experience gives me a deeper understanding towards to my art and identity. Through working with various media including video, installation art and performance, I focus my practice and research on themes of identity, social issues, as well as culture transformation. Many of my projects are related to social issues and everyday life. By mixing art and everyday life, switching identity between artist and others, I looking into art to pursuit the answers for reality life. Moreover, I believe experimentation is fundamental in art. Hence, I have dedicated myself to projects strived to expand the boundaries of art. As an international artist who is looking for start art career in Canada, to have a studio among other artists in such a dynamic community is an exciting beginning.
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Yule Ken Lum

Yule Ken Lum was born and raised in East Vancouver. He is a graphic designer turned Community Art Activist. He is self taught, with a special interest in painting, sculpting and street art. Now on a journey towards Art Advocacy. He works to fuse art and its creative processes with community development initiatives, believing that this combination can foster a sense of connection that crosses boundaries of age and culture.

I’m excited to be a part of BC Artscape’s family of artists, cultural organizations and community members to collaborate on bringing people together from Chinatown and Downtown Eastside through community-building art events and projects.

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