Art & Culture
April 9, 2019

The Sea Captain, at Surrey Central Station

Kudos to TransLink, for making some space for Indigenous art that doesn’t shy away from engaging people on social and even political themes.

Marianne Nicolson is a member of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations, an artist, and the creator of “The Sea Captain”, the new public installation at the recently upgraded Surrey Central Skytrain.

As she explains in the following short video, she’s interested in interactions between peoples, particularly related to colonial encounters, and bringing something different to the public realm.

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An American named Bill Heine moved  to Oxford Great Britain and ran two cinemas. This gentleman had studied law before turning to running movie houses.

But in 1986 Mr. Heine had a Big Idea and commissioned a fibreglass shark which he craned to the top of his house. The timing of his installation of a headless shark on the roof of his 1860 British townhouse was the  “41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.” The piece was created by artist John Buckley.

The shark weighs 400 pounds and is 25 feet from its headless body to its tail.  As this web page on the Hedlington Shark attests  the placing of such a large object on the roof of a pretty ordinary residence sprung the local Oxford city council to action.

First city council said the shark had to go because it was a dangerous hazard. But when the shark installation was inspected, it was carefully installed and was safe. Then Council used Section 22 of the Town and Country Planning Act that had no provision for the placement of large things like sharks on roofs within the municipality.

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Once again, New York City is taking public art literally one step further in the design of the public art piece “The Vessel” by artist Thomas Heatherwick.

This is the first public art installation at Hudson Yards, the old working dock and shipbuilding site on the west side of Manhattan. By square foot, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the United States, with 16 planned buildings. Total cost of this megaproject is $25 billion.

The Vessel is fifteen stories high and as Amy Pitt observes in in CurbedNY.com, “The piece is made from 154 interconnected staircases, and is intended to be used by the public—for climbing, running (though probably not too fast), and, most likely, for providing the backdrop for selfies and Instagram photos.”

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A brilliant piece of performance comedy from two guys – Benjamin Kheng and Hirzi Zulkiflie – who together as the BenZi Progect satirize their home city, Singapore, and its people and culture.  Here are fresh eyes on the multicultural, global world we share, with a startling similarity in character but enough local references (peranakans!) to go beyond cliche.  The writing is, from the opening line, gently absurd.

Kheng and Zulkiflie play two execs at the Singapore Tourism Commission, interviewing a third, Andrew Marko, for a job.  Give it a couple of views, and then check out other skits here.

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Two Vancouver urbanistas – Michael Gordon and Gordon Price – have decided to celebrate their birthdays in New York City.  Help us out.

  • What off-the-beaten-tourist-tracks should we hike?  (And remember, we’ve seen a lot of NYC.)
  • What’s new in the boroughs?  Even Jersey.
  • Shows, performances, galleries, museums?  (Middle of March through April.)
  • Restaurants, of course.  (Food carts too.)
  • Your favourite book about, set in or metaphorically referencing the Apple.  (Video series, movies or print articles included.  Even policy reports.)

Are you in New York?  Would you like to meet?  Would you buy us a beer or a cupcake with a candle?

And yes, of course we’ll use Citibike.

 

 

 

 

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What do you do if you are a world-famous city that has suffered horrendous terror attacks and a famous artist decides to “gift” you with a sculpture you really are not that happy with?

That was the scenario for Paris when American artist Jeff Koons offered a ten meter long work called “Bouquet of Tulips” as a ‘remembrance to the victims of the terrible tragedies”.

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo originally planned the art being installed opposite the Eiffel Tower. The piece called “Bouquet of Tulips” has a hand grasping flowers, kind of a reference to the Statue of Liberty which was given to the United States by the people of France. But France’s art world were not so happy with this gift, or the fact that it was going to be beside some  Paris landmarks that had no reference or place in the attacks.

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The theme of ‘Heritage: The Tie that Binds’ highlights the power of cultural heritage to bring people together and create a sense of belonging.

 

Wednesday, Feb 20: Places That Matter: Community Celebration

Hear the stories of Places That Matter sites from the people and organizations who brought their history forward.This free celebration includes refreshments and displays related to Places That Matter sites and local history, a short program of inspirational stories featuring our Master of Ceremonies, Author, Musician and Historian Aaron Chapman, as well as live music from the Vancouver Chamber Players Wind Trio.

Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St. 6pm – 8:30pm, FREE

 

Saturday, Feb 23: Tea at Chinatown House

Visit Chinatown House, an innovative new hub in a converted building that is providing space for co-working and cultural programming. Hear about the project from Leslie Shieh, co-founder of Tomo Spaces and learn about the intangible cultural heritage of the area from Helen Lee, a planner with the City of Vancouver’s Chinatown Transformation Team. Cantonese instructor and certified tea master, Christine Wong, will serve tea and discuss its relevance in Chinese traditions and everyday practices.

Chinatown House, 188 E Pender St. 1:30pm – 3pm, $20

 

Sunday, Feb 24: Oakridge Community History Walking Tour

In the post-war period, the Oakridge area was the hub of Vancouver’s Jewish community, home to many families and community organizations. Join Michael Schwartz, Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC for a tour of this neighbourhood. Visit architectural landmarks including the Jewish Community Centre, King David High School, modernist homes, and Temple Sholom synagogue, and learn how these spaces provided the foundations for a vibrant community.

Oakridge Neighbourhood. 10am – 12pm, $20

 

To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org or call 604 264 9642.

 

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On the latest episode of the This is Vancolour podcast, Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle and Squamish First Nation Councillor Khelsilem chat with host Mo Amir and dive deep into the issues affecting our region.

And it’s no surprise that housing and affordability remain the most important issue of the day. In this episode, both councillors offer solutions on how the City can build more housing while meeting the objective of making Vancouver more affordable.

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