Major public art installation by Ken Lum

Major public art installation by Ken Lum

Vancouver Art Gallery

Ken Lum
From shangri-la to shangri-la, 2010
Site-specific installation
Photo: Rachel Topham and Tervor Mills

January 30, 2010

Vancouver Art Gallery Presents
Major Public Art Installation by Ken Lum

January 23 to September 6, 2010

The Vancouver Art Gallery has commissioned a large-scale site-specific installation by internationally renowned artist Ken Lum for display in one of the city’s most prominent locations during the 2010 Winter Games. On view from January 23 to September 6 at the Gallery’s recently launched outdoor exhibition space, Offsite, the artist’s large sculptural work includes three scale replicas of squatters’ shacks that once populated North Vancouver’s shoreline.

Titled from shangri-la to shangri-la, Lum’s rustic cabins resemble those of the Maplewood Mudflats squatters’ community. Located along North Vancouver’s intertidal zone from the early 20th century until 1971, this improvised village was home to a number of artists, writers and activists. For his project, Lum has recreated the homes of renowned writer Malcolm Lowry, artist Tom Burrows and Greenpeace leader Dr. Paul Spong. Propped up on stilts over the surface of the Offsite reflecting pool, the huts strike a sharp contrast with the surrounding downtown architecture. Located at the foot of the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver’s tallest building at the busy intersection of Thurlow and West Georgia Streets, these dissimilar structures evoke the character of the mudflat community and draw attention to the rapid advance of urban development in the Lower Mainland.

The work of Vancouver artist Ken Lum questions the relationship between modernism, mass culture and everyday experience, often blurring the boundaries separating high art and popular culture. Over the past twenty years, Lum’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has also represented Canada at the Istanbul Biennial, São Paulo Biennial, Shanghai Biennale, Gwangju Biennale and Documenta.

Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite offers a rotating program of innovative public art projects by local and international artists in Vancouver’s downtown core, which respond to the city’s unique urban environment. The exhibition space presents new projects organized by the Gallery two times a year, funded by the City of Vancouver through its Public Art Program.

Offsite: Ken Lum is curated by the Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, Grant Arnold, with assistant curator, Kathleen Ritter. The Gallery deeply appreciates support for Offsite: Ken Lum from the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation. Offsite is also supported by Ian Gillespie, President, Westbank; Ben Yeung, President, Peterson Investment Group; and the residents at Shangri-La.

Inside the Vancouver Art Gallery:
During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Art Gallery will present the best of British Columbia to the world and the best of the world in British Columbia. From a landmark exhibition of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and an arresting presentation of contemporary art based on the human form, to a massive two-floor survey of British Columbia’s visual art, visitors will experience some of the most exciting programming in the Gallery’s history. Thanks to a partnership that will see the Province of British Columbia’s BC Canada Pavilion located on the fourth floor of the Gallery, all exhibitions will be free to the public during the 17 days of the Olympic Winter Games.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man — February 6 to May 2, 2010

Visceral Bodies – February 6 to May 16, 2010

Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual — January 23 to April 18, 2010

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2H7
T 604.662.4719

Gallery Hours
Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Tuesdays until 9 pm

Media contact
Andrew Riley, Public Relations Manager, 604-662-4722

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Vancouver Art Gallery
January 30, 2010

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