An interdisciplinary artist, writer, educator and cultural activist with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese Toisanese parents, her family immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Recipient of numerous Canada Council and BC Arts Council awards and the Vancouver 2008 Queer Media Artist Award, Laiwan has served on numerous arts juries, exhibited and curated projects in Canada, the United States, and Zimbabwe. She was Chair of the grunt gallery Board of Directors and currently teaches in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College in Washington, USA. Laiwan founded the Or Gallery in 1983 and is based on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Peoples.
A recent graduate of Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Shem has exhibited his work in ‘Blip: Locating Nature and Technology’ that toured to Cornish College of Art, Seattle; Pratt Institute, New York; and the San Francisco Institute of Art and Design.
Director/Curator of Artspeak
Cate Rimmer, 1961, is a curator from Calgary, Alberta. She was the founding Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery, Director of Truck Gallery and was a Curator in Residence at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. Rimmer has published reviews, articles and catalogue texts. She received a diploma in Curatorial Studies from Emily Carr and graduated with a MLitt (with distinction) in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
rapture : rupture
LAIWAN, SAM SHEM
December 11–January 29, 2000
This exhibition is a culmination of a collaborative process between Laiwan, an established interdisciplinary artist and writer, and Sam Shem, an emerging artist working in installation. Taking the form of on-going discussions and shared readings over the past year this collaboration has informed their respective new works.
Sam Shem’s work will be installed in the gallery space. This new installation work uses small circular mirrors, painted walls, lighting and bubbles produced by a bubble machine: ephemeral materials that are contingent upon the bodies of viewers to craft the experience and atmosphere of the work as they move through it, while reflections appear and disappear, bubbles fall and break. The work draws attention to its own impermanence and the transitory nature of experience through the immediacy and indeterminate approach to materials and space.
Laiwan’s new text work will be presented in the publication centre and will take two forms: an ‘installed’ poetic text will be present when the exhibition opens and a theoretical text which will be added for the final half of the exhibition period.