Performance artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong launches Granville Island arts protest

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      Performance artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong is spending six days in February protesting provincial funding cuts to the arts on Granville Island.

      Dong's piece, [Absence| Presence], consists of a 12' x 8' x 42" gallery wall that she will push around the streets of Granville Island for up to six and a half hours a day. When photographed using a flash, the white wall with grey text appears as a grey wall with white text.

      In a strategic plan, the B.C. Liberal-led government has allocated only $2.25 million to core arts and culture funding in its 2010-2011 budget, a drastic drop from $19.5 million in 2008-2009. The budget is expected to be announced next month.

      This Sisyphean art piece should attract plenty of viewers seeing as Granville Island plays host to both the Place de la Francophonie and the Atlantic Canada House during the 2010 Olympic period.

      The first performance of [Absence| Presence] took place on February 6, but there are five remaining performances for curious spectators.

      February 9: 3:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
      February 12: 2:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
      February 15: 12 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
      February 18: 2:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
      February 21: 1 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

      Follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter @charenton_.




      Feb 13, 2010 at 1:18am

      This is the worst art ever! The government shouldn't support this level of artwork in Vancouver.


      Feb 13, 2010 at 12:27pm

      What is she thinking??????? One person team to make the government hear "the voice"?????? It's the Olympic time and stop doing this kind of stupid action to bring the shame of yourself to the whole world!!!
      Governent will ignore it as it's the recession time. Business is now much more important than art. Who cares a one person show like this? This is more like a personal adverisement rather than protesting the funding issue.

      Shame on her!


      Feb 15, 2010 at 12:29pm

      This is a fantastic work. Well done.

      12 8Rating: +4


      Feb 15, 2010 at 5:43pm

      It's very lame.

      13 8Rating: +5


      Feb 16, 2010 at 11:48pm

      She should be naked so more people will take notice.

      Eric L.

      Feb 18, 2010 at 12:03pm

      Let's say if she's got laid off from a job because of the current recession, if she and the family are tight about the money, should she "push this kind of big box on the street" or should she quickly find a job in a local business to earn some living?

      Be realistic, it's not saying art is not important. It's just not that important than the "regular business" as this is a dounting time for the local economy. If you ever learned Economics or just had some common sense, you would know that pursuing arts is something when you are well-off enough to feed yourself. In a simple language, when you only have $50 in your pocket and it's your entire asset, sadly to say, will you buy food or buy a piece of art?

      If you have anybody in your family got laid off from the job or you know anyone is short of money, you should have known better than fighting for this kind of thing. Your work here is creative, but overall, it's stupid and short-sighted.

      16 7Rating: +9


      Feb 18, 2010 at 11:02pm

      Obviously you are not artists, or have the slightest idea of its social, cultural and economic importance. It's not a one man show, she is part of a community protesting about the cuts of funding. During the Cultural Olympiad times, where everything seems to be flourishing in Vancouver, yet after the Olympics arts and culture are going to crash. This is not only a statement of resistance, it is an act of solidarity with thousands of people whose life's are being affected. No other province has cut arts funding during this recession. Many provinces have actually increased funding, because it is proven that this is a form of stimulus that works for the whole economy, recession or no.

      Arts funding, as studies worldwide and in BC have repeatedly shown, is a lucrative investment that makes strong economic sense. According to the government's own calculations, every dollar given to the arts comes back immediately as 1.36 in general revenue, and that figure is actually much higher when you take spinoff industries that rely on the arts (tourism, IT, film etc.) into account - studies show it's anywhere from $6-$12 and sometimes higher.

      There is incontrovertible evidence that elimination of this major employment and industrial sector - which employs over 80,000 people - will be harmful to the whole economy. Maybe that job that your family member just lost Eric, was in the arts and culture sector. Its not about spending your last $50 dollars. And this are just pure economic reasons, don't get me started on the other matters. So before you make conclusions check out some of the statistics...

      13 8Rating: +5


      Feb 19, 2010 at 12:23pm

      I am an accountant. I agree with Eric L's viewpoint.

      9 13Rating: -4


      Feb 20, 2010 at 10:47pm

      Stop being brutal to Catherine!

      You basterds!

      At least she performed for what she believed in! You bloody egg heads need to get a life!

      15 7Rating: +8

      Jeff Choi

      Feb 20, 2010 at 11:09pm

      I have one simple comment.

      Please leave Catherine alone. Emilio is right, You have no idea how the art community revolves. Those of you who have left negative comments are not artists.

      Do you have any idea how to make art? How complicated it is? No. Leave her alone, Keep your negative comments to yourself. She is brave enough to express her opinion.