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Artist Janet Wang creates SPOTLIGHT installation called in/visible for Vancouver Art Gallery’s Hornby Street entrance

Wang
Janet Wang, in/visible, 2018/2024 (detail), for SPOTLIGHT, window installation

A second-generation settler of Chinese heritage is re-imagining a Vancouver Art Gallery entryway. Janet Wang’s installation, in/visible, draws on her lived experience, according to a VAG news release. It’s part of SPOTLIGHT, which is presented by RBC and organized by the VAG’S Art Rental & Sales Program in partnership with the curatorial department. It aims to activate exterior and lobby spaces.

Wang’s in/visible will run through April 2025 on the VAG’S Hornby Street windows and door.

“We are dedicated to supporting, nurturing and promoting the next generation of British Columbian artists, and we are immensely grateful for RBC’s impactful commitment to the arts and their dedication to providing emerging artists with the tools they need to succeed,” VAG CEO and executive director Anthony Kiendl said in the release.

Wang is based in Vancouver and her practice includes illustration, painting, installation, and digital media, including augmented reality and animation. The VAG notes that she created the pattern for the in/visible installation “based on a decorative toile motif by French artist Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet, titled called Le Ballon de Gonesse (1784)”.

“Huet’s eighteenth-century pattern depicts scenes of villagers as a hot air balloon, travelling from the nearby city of Paris, lands in their fields,” the VAG adds. “Mistaking the unusual flying object for a monster, the villagers attack the balloon with pitchforks upon its descent. In in/visible, Wang reworks Huet’s narrative to comment on the cultural erasure experienced by many Chinatowns across North America.”

The VAG and RBC announced SPOTLIGHT last year through the RBC Emerging Artists Program. It offers “mentorship, visibility and leadership opportunities” through various VAG programs. They include the new RBC Artist/Curator in Residence, which is held by Nya Lewis.

“Her practice is rooted in the culmination of centuries of resistance, love, questions, actions and study concerning Black Atlantic and Pacific cultural production,” the VAG points out in the news release. “Throughout her residency, the Gallery will support Lewis’ research towards a major publication dedicated to Black cultural production in British Columbia.”

On Thursday, May 9 at 6 p.m., Janet Wang will present an artist talk at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Courtroom 302. Follow Pancouver on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.