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Gallery Exhibition / “開 門 ( Open )” by Angela Lai
November 17, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - December 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm PST
From Nov 17th to Dec 14th, the Massy Arts Gallery hosts a new window exhibition: “開 門 ( Open )” by Vancouver-based artist Angela Lai. The installation is a site-specific piece that utilizes discarded material from garments that have history from the artist’s family, and relate to Chinatown. At the exhibition, the materials are arranged and pieced together to form a three-dimensional portrait of the neighborhood.
The Massy Arts Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 5pm, at 23 East Pender Street, in Chinatown, Vancouver. Entrance is free and masks are mandatory.
The work – 開 門 ( Open )
This site-specific installation is comprised of discarded fabrics and materials: some of them are from the Chinatown community, and discarded garments.
There are eight banners, signifying the importance and most desirable number in the Chinese culture because it is associated with the meaning of luck, fortune, and wholeness. The banners were chosen based on the location of the piece, in the window of an entranceway, as a way of welcoming and wishing good luck to people, much like the banners with phrases in Chinese calligraphy that adorn entranceways in homes and businesses.
They fill the space by being suspended and draped; they seem to intersect each other, even from different angles, despite being separate entities. They mimic the motions of a brushstroke and how the lines cross each other in Chinese characters and cover a blank page. The black, much like the ink used in Chinese calligraphy, is accented with various colours drawn from the Chinatown community.
It may be seen as an abstracted portrait, built up by many layers of the neighbourhood; both integrating the old and new histories in the area. The colours were derived from photographic documentation of the streets, spaces, and buildings of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Concept text by Angela Lai
Angela Lai, is a first generation Chinese Canadian, born and raised in Vancouver, BC and spent her formative years growing up and working in Chinatown.
She is currently revisiting her art practice as an emerging artist and focusing on developing site-specific installations while exploring and developing her various interests including her cultural past, architecture, and integrating sustainable practices throughout her processes and work.
Her training over the years includes textiles, mathematics, fine arts, design, and gastronomy.