Vancouver Art Gallery showcases British Columbia and its renowned artists

The Vancouver Art Gallery, located in Robson Square, which includes the British Columbia Canada Pavilion at its 4th floor,  is marking the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with a dynamic exhibition of British Columbia’s renowned artists.

Visions of British Columbia: a Landscape Manual displays the work of 37 artists who take inspiration from the natural environment.Among them is Emily Carr, one of the province’s most famous artists. Her painting, ‘Old Time Coast Village’ is an impressionist’s view of the natural settings of British Columbia.

This piece in particular had a big influence on modern artist, Jin-me Yoon, who uses it as a backdrop to her photo installation: ‘A Group of Sixty-seven.’ Remembering Canada’s lifting the immigrations restrictions to several Asian countries including South Korea, Yoon’s native land, the artist places images of Korean-Canadian immigrants in front of a traditional setting as a means to highlight the country’s move towards a more diverse demographic.

Other works on display include Jeff Wall’s light boxes which bring to life mundane urban photographs (photo) and Brian Jungen’s impressive 40-foot whale skeleton, ‘Cetology’, suspended from the gallery’s ceiling made entirely from recycled plastic chairs. (photo)

There are also interactive displays inspired by the BC forest and the green technology being introduced into the area. A focal point is the 500-year-old Spirit Tree, part of the BC Canada Pavilion at the Beijing Summer Games.

However, due to space limitations, the Vancouver Art Gallery is showcasing only 2% of its collections. Nevertheless, with the $50 million donation the Gallery received from the province of BC, the hopes are that more of these collections will be made available to the public.

”The long term goal is to build a gallery twice the size of the existing building. It will be an architecturally significant building. There will be an intense selection process for a local designer but the first priority is to find a suitable site in Downtown Vancouver” says Andrew Riley, Public Relations Manager of the Gallery.

Mark Hodge and Rachael McAllister are Master’s students at the University of the West of Scotland and are contributing to Culture @ the Olympics during their stay in Vancouver.