Ron Tran

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.


  • International Chilliwack Biennial

    July 28–July 29, 2010

    Chilliwack Biennial 01

    Chilliwack Biennial 02

    Chilliwack Biennial 03

    Chilliwack Biennial 04

    Chilliwack Biennial 05

    Artspeak, Or Gallery, and Bodgers’ and Kludgers’ Co-operative present:

    International Chilliwack Biennial

    The International Chilliwack Biennial takes place July 28 and 29 at the Delta Grove campsite of Cultus Lake Provincial Park near Chilliwack, BC. The event is an open question on large-scale exhibitions and takes a consciously precarious approach. This is the DIY, near-zero budget biennial—the bodged biennial. Shoe-horned amidst other campers in a state-run camping area, the International Chilliwack Biennial quietly goes about its business. This is the biennial that doesn’t sit up quite right, that wobbles, that is, perhaps, rained-out. Offsite, contingent, last minute favours: borrow your dad’s sleeping bag and your neighbour’s tent. The International Chilliwack Biennial hopes to make you feel different about camping.

    Understood as a prototype, the event will consider the biennial as studio or performance. Works will be created, rearranged, consumed, found and dusted off. Tents, trailers, and other portable or temporary structures will form pavilions for international projects. At our symposia smoke may get in your eyes. We don’t have a PA system, but we may be able to offer you a marshmallow. Enjoy.

    Park: Cultus Lake Provincial Park Campground: Delta Grove Directions: Cultus Lake Provincial Park is located 11km southwest of Chilliwack, BC. Access to the park is off Highway 1 at the Yarrow or Sardis exits. It is 16 km to the park entrance from Yarrow and 10 km from Sardis via the Columbia Valley Highway, which bisects the southeast section of the park.

    See for updated information.

    This is the final program in Artspeak’s two-year OFFSITE series.



    Ron Tran’s practice typically examines the influence of chance and coincidence in daily life. Contending with the campfire ban and as of yet unforeseen culinary hurtles, Ron is designing a dinner menu for the Wednesday evening of the International Chilliwack Biennial.


    The work of architect and writer Markus Miessen considers spatial strategies and cultural analysis, accommodating change through research, criticism, writing, teaching, and design. The editor of a trilogy of publications on participation, his most recent book, The Nightmare of Participation (Crossbench Praxis as a Mode of Criticality), is due out later this year. For the International Chilliwack Biennial Miessen not only provided six of his texts from this book for distribution and discussion in relation to the collective and offsite activities of the ICB, but also designed the ICB’s camp headquarters.


    Oscar Tuazon’s practice engages with do-it-yourself architectural concepts. Responding to the circumstances of camping at Cultus Lake for the International Chilliwack Biennial, Tuazon will read a campfire tale.

  • By Chance

    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.