ART BEATUS, VANCOUVER BC – To April 20, 2018
By Michael Turner
It is common to all historical periods that during times of rapid change and protracted distraction we take comfort in constants, from the rising and setting of our sun to the ebb and flow of our tidal waters. These rhythms, aligned to our own life-sustaining breath, allow us to recalibrate, adapt, endure. To honour these constants, we make art. Artist Tony Yin Tak Chu has focused on a medium that brings sustenance to our shores and takes with it our sorrows, that most fluid of elements: water.
Prior to moving to Vancouver in 1996, Chu worked as a draftsperson at an architectural and engineering firm in Hong Kong. Eager to return to artistic practice, he took courses at Langara College and Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD), where he learned how to turn his early training in drawing and painting into immersive three-dimensional environments. According to Chu, “Installation art offers different dimensions as the viewers can walk through it, look at the work from different angles, through the spaces and experience the tension within the art pieces.”
A notable entry in Ebb and Flow is Chu’s ongoing Lu Shui, a series of works based on the Chinese pictographic words 流 水 that, when translated into English, refer to “flowing water.” Installed vertically, these rolling tracing paper scrolls carry drawings and paintings made with pigment, ink, drafting pens and water soluble oil pastels. Equally responsive to gallery light and the movements of the inquisitive viewer, Lu Shui pays tribute to the passage of time and tide.