For this inventive exhibition, Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist Ron Tran adapted for the city of Nanaimo a number of site-specific projects that he had previously mounted in international locations. To do this, Tran moved to Nanaimo as a guest of the Nanaimo Art Gallery.
More recent exhibitions at the NAG have emphasized Nanaimo as it has come to know itself (e.g., through a history of resource extraction). In Trans exhibition, the gallery chose a visitor to read the city aloud to its residents.
Tran identifies structural similarities that link Nanaimo to other cities in which he has lived and worked. The result is an exhibition that challenges our notions of cultural relativism by emphasizing how, in our globalized moment, the world is no longer a collection of autonomous countries or atomized social spaces, but a tightly wound system of privately controlled economic relations.
A number of the exhibitions works were made by or in conjunction with local artists, community members and the exhibitions commercial partners, many of whom are long-serving independent businesses.