With wings like clouds hung from the sky (2017)
As installed at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Victoria, Canada)
14.5 x 9.32 x 3 m / 47.6 x 30.6 x 10 ft
With wings like clouds hung from the sky is an installation-exhibition that re-imagines the studio of Lee Nam,
a Chinese immigrant to British Columbia and a friend of modernist painter and Canadian icon, Emily Carr, in the 1930s.
During two residencies with The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV), I carried out historical research into Carr’s
friendship with Lee Nam, whose existence we know solely through her journals in which she wrote of their friendship.
In an attempt to give presence to Lee Nam, the studio installation incorporates elements of a typical Chinese painter’s
studio, a sketch attributed to both Lee and Carr, paintings by Carr and other historical artworks in the AGGV collection,
as well as works done in collaboration with local artist-practitioners of traditional Chinese ink painting to reflect their
experiences in Canada. The installation also included a series of drawings as portraits of Lee Nam based on head tax
records of immigrants coming into Canada with similar names, and incorporates a second installation, “Like rain drops
rolling down new paint” (2017), that is composed of over 300 brush paintings of birds hung from the ceiling. Finally,
within the installation-exhibition, there is a workshop zone to engage visitors to participate in bird and flower
paintings and contribute to the work.