Mizzonk and Jane Wong: NOURISH
Mizzonk | Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen, Six Acres, 2021, video still of a projected animation of watercolour on paper

Mizzonk and Jane Wong: NOURISH

Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC - To April 3

by Michael Turner

The word “nourish” is related to the act of eating, but it also implies the quality of what we take into our bodies (as nourishment). Not surprisingly, the word is often used affectionately, meaning to encourage, to foster and to grow. For those like Seattle-based poet- artist Jane Wong, whose family history carries remembrances of
poverty and hunger in China, nourish can be haunted by its antonym: to deprive. For Taiwan- born artist duo Mizzonk, who lived in Brooklyn during the 9/11 attacks, nourish can be a leit-
motif, a resolution, a desire “to be with nature.”

Wong’s contribution to NOURISH is After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feed Feverishly (2019), an installation that begins with a large circular table, like those common to Chinese restaurants. (Wong grew up in a Chinese American restaurant in New Jersey.) Atop the table are a number of bowls, each one containing a line or lines. To read the poem – to take it in, as
it were – viewers move around the table, an act that allows the poem to continually reconstitute itself.

In Six Acres (2021), Mizzonk produced a series of watercolour works inspired by their rural Greater Vancouver property and reproduced them for video projection. Here, abstraction and figuration both clarify and protect the public and private experience of daily life, promoting self-reflection and mindfulness based on the rhythms of the natural world. Over time, stand-alone images form linkages and the patient viewer gains entry into a harmonic world of creeks, forests, grasslands and gardens. 

In partnership with the City of Richmond’s #RichmondHasHeart program, the gallery invites NOURISH viewers to submit favourite recipes to its “virtual cookbook.” Follow the link on the gallery’s website.


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