Lotus L. Kang: In Cascades
Lotus L. Kang, In Cascades, 2023, installation view. Commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London, and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Courtesy of Chisenhale Gallery, London. Photo: Andy Keate.

Lotus L. Kang: In Cascades

Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC - To Jan 7, 2024

by Michael Turner

A memorable 2022 exhibition in Vancouver was Do Redo Repeat at Catriona Jeffries Gallery, showcasing works by Valérie Blass, Lotus L. Kang, Christina Mackie and Liz Magor. The exhibition’s prefatory notes reminded us of the artists’ interest in “iteration and duplication” and, as viewers aware of our own pandemic-era labours, of working “in relative isolation, altering our understanding of time and making the act of repetition an integral part of our lives.” In Kang’s current exhibition, it is the registration of that “understanding” that gives her work its overtone.

Displayed in the CAG’s B.C. Binning Gallery, In Cascades features a specially built ceiling structure consisting of steel joists “sheathed with lengths of unfixed photographic films in a palette of visceral hues – bruise, blood and marrow.” Over time, the work, like all life forms, responds physically to shifts in light and humidity, a record of Heraclitian becoming, “exploring self and environment as continuous, contingent and inseparable.” In addition to the Binning Gallery, the exhibition includes two photogram-based public art installations: one on the CAG’s façade, the other on the exterior of the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.

Concurrent with Kang’s exhibition is a screening of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage (1982) in the Alvin Balkind Gallery. A classic work of critical ethnography, this 40-minute film, set in rural Senegal, raises questions concerning the interface of ethics and aesthetics; namely, who speaks for whom – better known today as “Not about us without us.” Kudos to the CAG for giving us this thoughtful pairing.

Curatorial tour with Matthew Hyland Nov 7, 6pm


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