West Coast and Yukon

• Sonny Assu
• Cedric Bomford
• Isabelle Pauwels
• Mark Soo
• Brendan Lee Satish Tang


Sonny Assu, There is Hope, If we Rise (#1, #4, #12), 2013, Archival Pigment Prints, 22.86 x 35.56 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Sonny Assu

Born in 1975, Sonny Assu is Ligwilda’ xw of the We Wai Kai First Nation from Cape Mudge, British Columbia. Through museum interventions, large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, printmaking and paintings, Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop art sensibility in an effort to address contemporary, political and ideological issues. His work often focuses on Indigenous issues and rights, consumerism, branding and new technologies, and the ways in which the past has come to inform contemporary ideas and identities. Assu infuses his work with wry humour to open the dialogue towards the use of consumerism, branding and technology as totemic representation. Within this, his work deals with the loss of language, loss of cultural resources and the effects of colonization upon the Indigenous people of North America.

There is a clear interest in materiality in Assu’s work. The materials used for each work is carefully considered, particularly in relation to Indigenous culture: hand-painted deer/elk hide drums for their performance significance; posters for their mass-distribution qualities; and copper for its cultural importance to the Indigenous People of the Northwest Coast. Assu’s projects emphasize the intersections and boundaries of traditional Indigenous art within the larger realm of contemporary art.


Cedric Bomford, Berlin Containers, Museum Insel, 2004 (printed 2012), C-Print, 40 x 51 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Cedric Bomford

Born in 1975, Cedric Bomford currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC. His installation and photographic work has been exhibited internationally and he has participated in residencies in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Cedric holds an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy (2007) and a BFA from Emily Carr University (2003). His work often focuses on the power dynamics established by constructed spaces and takes the form of large-scale rambling improvisational architectural installations. The projects follow a methodology he calls ‘thinking through building’ in which construction takes on an emergent quality rather than an illustrative one. Concurrent to this installation work is a rigorous photographic practice that oscillates between research for and documentation of the installation works.

While the majority of his projects are solo efforts, Bomford often works collaboratively with a number of different partners including his brother Nathan, father Jim and with other artists such as: Verena Kaminiarz, Mark Dudiak and Carl Boutard. Upcoming projects are planned for this year with the Presentation House Gallery in North Vancouver, the Nanaimo Art Gallery and a collaborative installation project with Reece Terris, Innes Yates and 1024 architects as part of the New Forms Festival in Vancouver in the fall of 2013.


Isabelle Pauwels, Immunized Arm(s), 2009, lightjet print, 101.6 x 38.1 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Isabelle Pauwels

Born in Kortrijk, Belgium, Isabelle Pauwels lives and works in New Westminster, BC. She received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. While her practice has encompassed sculpture, artist books, and prints, her primary medium is video. Featuring an intensive exploration of staging, shooting, and most notably editing, her video installations reconfigure popular genres such as the sitcom, the home movie, or the documentary. Pauwels’ blend of performance and documentary realism highlights the fraught relationship between narrative conventions and everyday social interaction. Her research interests include television history, narratives of colonial exploration, and reality TV culture. Recently, she exhibited at Volker Bradke in Dusseldorf, the Western Front in Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. She is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery.

Mark Soo

Mark Soo, Cuttings, 2012, Video still, Digital video (5min)

Mark Soo

Mark Soo lives and works in Berlin and Vancouver. His works often investigate social history and subjective experience through complex photo-based languages. Central to this is a consideration of the culturally and technologically determined role of the spectator. Soo has exhibited extensively at numerous venues including the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp; Detroit Institute for Contemporary Art, Detroit; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Western Bridge, Seattle; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham; Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Johann König, Berlin; and Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris. Soo was the recipient of the VIVA Award in 2009.


Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Manga Ormolu Ver. 4.0-p, 2013, Ceramics and Mixed Media, 68.58 x 30.48 x 30.48 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang

Brendan Tang was born in Dublin, Ireland of Trinidadian parents and is a naturalized citizen of Canada. He earned his formal art education on both Canadian coasts and the American Midwest, where he learned to appreciate the ceramic medium. Tang has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across the country, and his professional practice has also taken him to India, Trinidad and Japan. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (Helena, MT) and has participated in an international residency at the European Ceramic Work Centre (‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL).

Tang’s work has been showcased at galleries and in printed and online media. He has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, the Surrey Art Gallery in BC, and Art Labor in Shanghai, as well as being a recipient of the 2012 RBC Emerging Artist Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. He has been profiled by The Knowledge Network, and featured in printed publications including The National Post, Wired (UK and Italy), and ELLE (Canada). The broad appeal of his work is evident online, where he has received attention from prominent blogs around the globe, including Boing Boing, NotCot and Design Boom.