On display from Jan. 22 to April 3, the Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) is presenting a new exhibition, NOURISH, by curator Nan Capogna. Featuring American poet and writer Jane Wong and Vancouver-based artist duo Mizzonk (Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen), the exhibition offers insights into ideas around nourishment and care.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated many of the issues raised in NOURISH: isolation, fear of food supply shortages, poverty, and the importance of mental health,” says Capogna. “It has also prompted many to recognize the quiet pleasures that can be found in making, from DIY projects to sharing a meal together. The ways we nourish ourselves and each other speaks volumes about our personal and collective identities.”
For her Canadian premiere, Wong will present After Preparing the Altar, The Ghosts Feast Feverishly, an installation that features an oversized, round dining table that holds bowls containing fragments of a poem written by the artist. First shown at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum in 2019 — her first solo art show — the installation has been adapted for the RAG exhibition and features updated elements, including a new “chandelier” comprised of soup spoons. The work will be accompanied by The Long Labors, a video of the artist reciting the poem while making dumplings.
Seattle-based Wong is the author of How to Not Be Afraid of Everything (2021) and Overpour (2016). She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa, a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington, and is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.
For the exhibition, Mizzonk will present a new work titled Six Acres, named after the local six-acre expanse the artist duo calls home. A projected animation produced from watercolour drawings on paper, the work was developed from Mizzonk’s observations of living and working in the serene, outdoor escape.
Mizzonk is the collective name of Taiwanese Canadians Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen, both graduates of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Recent projects include a work at the Oak Bay Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition; a temporary public art installation at Spaceworks Tacoma, Washington; and a piece at the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in La Conner, Washington.
Presented in partnership with #RichmondHasHeart, a city-run initiative to connect the community through uniquely Richmond events, NOURISH will also feature ancillary programming, including a virtual cookbook made from community submissions, recipes from local chefs, and artist talks in English and Mandarin.
Planned programming will include: (take note, changing COVID-19 restrictions could alter scheduled events, check websites for details)
Artist Talk with Mizzonk
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 | 2–3pm Moderated by Nan Capogna
Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 | 2–3pm Moderated and delivered in Mandarin
Mizzonk (an artist duo comprised of Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen) discuss living and working on Six Acres for the last 20 years, including what brought them there and how the natural environment has sustained them.
Nourishing Stories: Storytelling Workshop with Jane Wong
Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 | 1–2:30pm In person workshop
Jane Wong leads a workshop for participants to share their own stories about food, food writing, and delicious poetry. Class will include generative prompts. Limited capacity, registration required.
BC Family Day at the Richmond Art Gallery
Monday, Feb. 21, 2022 | 11am – 3pm Hands-on art activities and tours for all ages
As part of the Richmond Children’s Arts Festival, the gallery will be welcoming families for registered drop-in activities throughout the day. Local artist Jeni Chen will lead art activities to create watercolour artworks for a small hand-made book inspired by the gallery exhibition. More information at childrensartsfestival.ca.
Restaurant Babies with Jane Wong
Saturday, March 12, 2022 | 1–2:30pm Online Panel Discussion
Jane Wong leads a discussion with other “restaurant babies,” those who grew up in their family’s restaurant or store and how these places gave, and are still giving, bright futures to generations of immigrant families. Session will be hosted online with a Q+A for audiences to join in the conversation. Registration required.
For more details about NOURISH, to register for its associated events and find safety protocols, visit richmondartgallery.org
For information about #RichmondHasHeart, visit richmond.ca