May is Asian Heritage Month. Here at the AGA, we are privileged to have a longstanding history of presenting exhibitions and programming with artists from many Asian cultures. In our exhibition, The Scene, you will find the work of Chinese-Canadian artist Yong Fei Guan currently installed and waiting for our reopening.
Yong Fei Guan’s pair of sculptures, 塑胶狮 Sujiao Shi, were made in response to two recent events. The first occurred on April 4, 2017, when the City of Edmonton removed the two Chinese guardian lions that flanked the Harbin Gate. Formerly the ceremonial gateway to Chinatown, the Harbin Gate was named after Edmonton’s sister city in China. The second event happened in January of the following year when China announced that it would no longer accept most plastic recyclables from other countries. Made entirely from household plastic waste, Guan’s lions memorialize the displacement of a local monument while speaking to the global waste crisis. You may also recognize one of the sculptures from the exhibition, Daydreams, at the McMullen Gallery.
We will be sharing more for Asian Heritage Month on our social channels throughout May.