Look Towards the Sun
Sep 23 – Dec 23, 2021
Look Towards the Sun is an artistic exchange between Lam Wong, a Chinese Canadian diaspora artist from Hong Kong and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, an artist of Cowichan and Syilx First Nations ancestry. All living beings and spirits are interconnected. We reside under the same sun. Creating reflection and dialogue on environmental concerns and the interconnectedness of place, people, and culture is at the essence of this exhibition.
Yuxweluptun’s bold paintings unreservedly celebrate and assert Indigenous ways of living and being. His work shines a powerful light on Indigenous title, rights, and sovereignty on unceded territories.
Wong’s expressive paintings and contemplations as an immigrant shape his practice as the artist-in-residence at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This show includes a personal response to the horrific findings of the remains of 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the school that Yuxweluptun is a survivor of.
As communities combat the harmful impacts of anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian racism, we are reminded by Yuxweluptun and Wong to look towards the sun – to continually seek and reveal truth, to look within, to unlearn, to create connections, to reclaim, to restore, to more fully know who we are as individuals and nations.
This exhibition is held on traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Letslo:tseitun
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Letslo:tseitun, of Coast Salish descent, graduated from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in British Columbia. Yuxweluptun is Salish for “man of many masks,” a name given to the artist during his initiation into the Sxwaixwe Society at the age of fourteen. Letslo:tseitun was given to Lawrence by Sto:lo artist Laura Wee Lay Laq in 2018 and means “man of many colours.” His paintings and sculptures combine Coast Salish cosmol- ogy, Northwest Coast design, and Western landscape painting. Yuxweluptun Letslo:tseitun’s paintings can be brutal critiques of issues affecting Canada’s First Nations. He broaches topics such as land title, residential schools, and the destruction of the environment.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Letslo:tseitun is an advocate for contemporary indigenous issues in Canada. This is evidenced by his exhibition history and reception of awards, such as the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts (VIVA) award in 1998, and will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Emily Carr University in 2019. Yuxweluptun Letslo:tseitun lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Yuxweluptun has received numerous grants and awards, including the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1998), an Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art Fellowship (2013), and an honorary doctorate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2019). His work has been the subject of over 25 solo exhibitions. In 2016, the Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia mounted a major 30-year survey of his work, titled Unceded Territories. Yuxweluptun has participated in more than 24 pivotal group exhibitions at venues such as the Vancouver Art Gallery (1997, 2005, 2006, 2011), Banff Centre for the Arts (2003, Alberta), National Gallery of Canada (2013, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2017, Toronto), SITE Santa Fe (2018), and the Crystal Bridges Mu- seum of American Art (2018, Bentonville, Arkansas).
Lam Wong – 王藝林
Lam Wong is a visual artist, curator and designer who immigrated from Hong Kong. His approach is often focused on Eastern philosophies. His interest is primarily rooted in regional West Coast art history, with an emphasis on the development of painting and its avant-garde narrative. He sees art making as an on-going spiritual practice. His main subjects are the perception of reality, the meaning of art, and the relationships between time, memory and space. The fifteenth generation of a Chinese tea farmer family, Lam continues to explore the relationship between tea and Buddhism through contemporary art. Currently focused on painting and tea-related artwork.
Lam has had recent exhibitions at Griffin Art Projects, Canton-Sardine, Centre A and Vancouver Art Gallery. He is currently (2019-2021) artist in residence at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden where he organized five major art exhibitions since 2019. He serves as the Vice President at Centre A board (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art). Lam has lived and worked in Vancouver since 1998.
Curated by: Sarah Ling – 凌慧意
Sarah Ling is an interdisciplinary storyteller and scholar born in Prince Rupert, BC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Tsimshian people. She specializes in community engagement, storytelling, content development and project management for public history and cultural heritage initiatives. Her research background is on Chinese-Indigenous relations in BC. She produced the award-winning documentary “All Our Father’s Relations” and co-edited the publications “Journeys of Hope: Challenging Discrimination and Building on Vancouver Chinatown’s Legacies” and “Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow.” She serves as the Chair of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC and on Vancouver’s Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee.