Playing out its 2019 theme of “uniting nations through art”, Western Canada’s largest international contemporary-art fair is getting set to pull in a globe-spanning mix for its fifth annual edition.
In addition to showing individual artists from about a dozen countries, Art Vancouver has announced it is now adding two Asian international art fairs under its convention-centre roof this year.
Taiwan’s Art Kaohsiung is bringing the event a taste of work from China, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. The fest held in the city known for its street art is in its seventh year.
Art Vancouver is also bringing in South Korea’s PLAS Contemporary Art Show, a festival dedicated to the exploding niche market of plastic arts in that country. Coming here straight from Seoul, it will be displaying its array of moulded or modelled pieces—think sculpture, glass art, installations, and mixed media.
Four-day Art Vancouver is also known for showcasing a strong contingent of local and Canadian work. But here are a few of the offerings that bring it a marked international flavour this year:
Based in Bangkok, by way of the Philippines and France, the artist uses bright colours and bold graphics on pop-arty resin and fibreglass sculptures.
The Korean-born and -trained, Vancouver-based artist explores the “mystery of the forest” and Stanley Park via mixed media and painting, combining emotionally charged black line drawings of leaves and branches with subtly painted colour elements, like butterflies and birds.
A fascinating peek into the art scene of Albania, from moody abstract landscapes to striking portraiture.
Global Art Street
The paintings of Delhi comic and animation artist Dheeraj Verma feature warriors, Transformers, and mythological creatures swooshing through vivid fantastical landscapes.
Shurelen Gallery of Fine Arts
Based in Ulan Bator, the gallery brings in paintings that capture the vast steppes of Mongolia, and the nomadic peoples who live there.
Mohamed Ben Soltane
The comical and the monstrous come together in the drawings and paintings of this expressive Tunisian artist. Look closely, and you’ll see references to the tumult going on in his home country.
Elsewhere at the art fair, check out panel discussions, art classes, live demos, and guided tours. The event kicks off, as always, with its signature Face of Art runway show, featuring artists carrying a piece of their art down a catwalk.
Amid the other offerings, Art Ignites, a youth-centred art fair that’s part of the broader event, runs Friday (April 26) from 1 to 5 p.m. under the Canada Place sails. Included as part of its programming is a panel talk at 2 p.m., with five speakers from different creative fields, including emerging artist Tara Lupovici and video-game artist Jude Godin. The next day (April 27), Elena Nahum Leroy of RusArt Art Supplies leads a class in drawing with pastels, inspired by Van Gogh’s Wheat Field With Cypresses, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Preregister and find a full schedule at the Art Vancouver website.
Art Vancouver takes place from Thursday to Sunday (April 25 to 28) at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.