A Message from the curators
After navigating turbulent waters throughout the past year as our communities continue to face the challenges of a global pandemic, this program is a reminder of resilience and agency our peoples have had for generations.
“Rivers have mouths” (1) was born out a desire to call attention to our interconnected histories and lived experiences on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. The artists who have joined our exchange highlight and honour the stories of Chinese-Indigenous relations and connections to land both past and present.
As a cultural anchor in the historic neighbourhood of Chinatown, we feel that the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is an important space to create this awareness and strengthen our future. Our responsibilities to each other must not be neglected or forgotten. Many of the challenges our communities have faced historically such as systemic discrimination and racism against Indigenous and Asian peoples are critical to put into conversation with the ongoing and everyday impacts of colonialism.
Our hope for this exhibition, as part of the year-long program “Solidarity” is to foster empathy, understanding and solidarity between our communities as we envision what wellness and recovery looks like at both the individual and collective level.
We invite you to join us on this journey.
“Rivers feed, nourish, and cleanse our bodies.
Rivers carry us, and have carried our ancestors.
Rivers hold secrets, and rivers tell stories.
Rivers have mouths.”
(1)This is the name of an article and poem written by Sarah Ling in “Hyphen Nation,” ricepaper issue 18.4, Spring 2014