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“Where I’m From” by Artists Megan Kwan and Jeremy Jude Lee

A site-specific installation featuring a collection of 55 photographs by Vancouver-based artists Megan Kwan and Jeremy Jude Lee (previously featured here). Opening at Gallery 881 on February 10th to kick off Lunar New Year, “Where I’m From” explores the idea of home, Asian masculinity, and specific aspects of the artists’ cross-cultural identities that they’ve both struggled to accept in the past. Born and raised in the Lower Mainland but still perceived as foreign, Lee and Kwan’s work examines what it means to belong.

Set in Vancouver’s distinctive Strathcona neighbourhood, the photographic, video, and sculptural works represent everyday artifacts that capture the resourcefulness, dreams, and sacrifices of generations before. Together, these works create an immersive installation that expresses the mutual influence of Asian culture in a Western world. As Kwan, who leads the artistic direction of the exhibition, states:

“Where I’m From is inspired by our ancestors who immigrated to Vancouver in hopes of a better future — one that we have been able to gratefully embrace as artists. It’s our vision of home as first and second generation Asian-Canadians, revisiting familiar places documented with a renewed perspective that redefines past beliefs of belonging.”

The exhibition is supported by the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA). Through this collaboration, Kwan and Lee hope to bridge local artists with Strathcona businesses to foster a culture of belonging and community support.

Participating businesses include: Gallery 881, Printmaker Studio, Sunrise Soya Foods, Sunrise Market, Coolite Bamboo Products, CINCO Drink Co, Allegra – Vancouver, and Alterior/A Living Taste. The process of creating the series of artworks was deeply collaborative and made possible by the contributions of Jacky Huang, Hwahyoo Joh, Rachel Kwan, Ciara Kosai, Sabrina Wong, James Jin, Jason Chu, Long Xi Vlessing, and Xin.

“Where I’m From” runs from February 10th to March 9th, 2024. Admission to the gallery exhibition is free and open from 10am-5pm Tuesday to Friday, from 12pm-5pm on Saturdays. Gallery 881 is also part of the Vancouver Art Walk in the Vancouver Arts District of Chinatown and Strathcona.

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