Ken Lum and Germain Koh
Vancouver's Contemporary Art Gallery is a major promoter and catalyst of contemporary art in Canada, and a core centre for the presentation of international art. After almost thirty years at the same location, the CAG is moving to much larger premises at 555 Nelson Street. The inaugural exhibit will introduce new artwork by Ken Lum, one of Canada's foremost artists, and Germain Koh from Toronto, a relative newcomer to Vancouver audiences. Their work will be showcased in two different gallery spaces within the new CAG that are named for Alvin Balkind and BC Binning. Ken Lum has an ongoing interest in popular culture and text. In keeping with this, he has created large wall pieces that simulate the signs of such small businesses as restaurants, muffler shops or travel agencies. In the spaces where sales and promotions can be advertised, Lum has improvised commentary on the nature of the signage. Germain Koh presents two unique installations. The first features a shower of ball bearings that pour down from ceiling pipes to make patterns on the gallery floor before funneling back into the pipes and recycling. The other (which would have been much admired by Marshall McLuhan, who wrote about the ways in which communication venues alter and shape civilization) transforms text taken from an office computer set up inside the building into smoke signals outside on the street. The new, much larger premises of Contemporary Art Gallery at 555 Nelson.
© Mia Johnson