Ron Tran is a Vancouver based artist. He studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and has participated in exhibitions at Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal; Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver; Artspeak, Vancouver; Liu-Haisu Museum, Shanghai; East International 2007, Norwich, UK; Berlin Biennial 6; and he has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver.
Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.
February 5–March 12, 2005
Ron Tran’s practice calls attention to quotidian interactions and collaboration by highlighting quiet, playful interpersonal gestures. Working in a performative manner, Tran inserts art into public life through absurdity, physical endurance and provocation. Exploring issues of power and cultural anxiety as well as engaging with the critical potential of humour, Tran has undertaken projects such as Dinner with a Stranger in which he surreptitiously filmed himself mirroring the movements of a solo eater at a fast food restaurant and Walking Strangers Home in which he documented his nighttime escort service to investigate issues of trust. His works are often generous gestures that can appear threatening, causing both the participants and viewers to question our daily interactions with others.
Tran’s new work for Artspeak will be encountered not only by the gallery-goer, but also by a happenstance audience. The performative works will occur largely outside the gallery, while the gallery itself will house indicators or documents of the interventions that took place around the city. Highlighting exchange and interaction, Telephone Cups, a collaborative project with Gareth Moore, proposes a basic form of communication through a network of paper and string “telephones” that will expand into a web of crossed voices. The network of “telephones” will be installed in the gallery. Other works include Public Tape, a rewinding of rolls of tape onto extant city poles, ostensibly providing a public service; Lost Pets, the framing of lost pet posters and flyers located in the street; and Shelters, in which Tran will install open umbrellas (reclaimed from the bus company’s lost-and-found) at bus stops with no shelters.