LIVE 2019 officially kicked off with the first day of visiting artist workshops and an opening reception at Richmond Art Gallery.
VERB FRAU TV: planning
The day started with a meeting to plan VERB FRAU TV: Season 8. Titled Supporting: Moving (not moving) with furniture and talking with furniture.
This will be happening Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Oct 3, 4, 5) from 11:30am-1pm each day at Pat’s Pub. Free entry! Don’t miss it. More information on the LIVE websiteLIVE website and FacebookFacebook.
Rochdy Laribi & Christine Bouvier: workshops
Visiting artists Rochdy Laribi & Christine Bouvier are leading this year’s workshops at LIVE, where young Vancouver-based artists are invited to learn from the experience of the festival’s artists.
Find out more about their 3-day workshops and their Do Not Disturb performance, which will be the culmination of these workshops. The performance is free to attend and is happening at Pat’s Pub on October 1st. Here is the info about Rochdy Laribi & Christine Bouvier’s Do Not Disturb performanceRochdy Laribi & Christine Bouvier’s Do Not Disturb performance.
Jon Sasaki: opening reception
In the evening, the Richmond Art Gallery hosted the opening of two artists, Cindy Mochizuki and Jon Sasaki. Sasaki was the first official performer of LIVE 2019, as he performed We First Need a Boat for the Rising Tide to Lift Us in late July, 2019. His colossal effort to build a boat in the waters of Steveston were recorded and edited in the video that was screened at the RAG’s opening reception.
Here, RAG director Shaun Dacey introduces LIVE Director Randy Gledhill, who addresses Jon Sasaki for his work:
This is right now.
LIVE is alive at @RAG_Gallery_BC@RAG_Gallery_BC #livebiennale#livebiennale pic.twitter.com/AUzkL4vJrzpic.twitter.com/AUzkL4vJrz
— LIVE Biennale (@livebiennale) September 29, 2019September 29, 2019
Jon Sasaki’s We First Need a Boat for the Rising Tide to Lift Us
I have long revered and enjoyed the silence of performance art. The concept is the holy grail and the performance a meditation.
Jon Sasaki’s documentative and, may I say, agonizing piece We First Need a Boat for the Rising Tide to Lift Us serves us a stiff drink right up as one of the first events of 2019’s LIVE Biennale. Inspired by his recent discovery of his Nikkei grandfather spending much of his life as a fisherman in Richmond, BC, We First Need a Boat for the Rising Tide to Lift Us is a work of grappling with what is lost in between generations, especially ones that are part of a diaspora. Sasaki is earnest in his effort to build a boat: entirely half-submerged in the Fraser River and “equipped with traditional Japanese boat-building tools he had no skill at using”. Watching the video, viewers enter the Fraser River with Sasaki and confront the struggles of cutting plywood in water and attempting to physically build a boat. Thoughts that empathize with Sasaki rush into mind: the metaphor of the challenging process of building a boat and of water as references to the seeming impossibility to relive his grandfather’s experience, and Sasaki’s desire to have the ability to build a boat, naturally, like a skill inherited instead of having to learn and practised for years.
Sasaki places an emphasis on adaptability in this piece. Trying to build a boat in water with tools you don’t know how to use indeed conveys the difficulty of having no choice but to adapt. In a way, the beauty and admirability in that makes one bow down to Sasaki’s imagination of his grandfather and other Japanese-Canadians’ experience post-WWII. The captions next to the display of tools speak to what it looks like to acknowledge what one does not know: they are honest, explorative, and humorously self-aware. The video of the boat-building process, the origami-folding, and the tools display bring one closer to the cultural expectations Sasaki appears to experience. Aptly presented at the Richmond Art Gallery, the opening reception provided trays of sushi—lots of california roll filling, perhaps mirroring the adaptability and expectation of culture.
Review by Katherine Chan, VANDOCUMENT.
Find out more about Jon Sasaki on his LIVE page hereJon Sasaki on his LIVE page here.
Coming up next at LIVE 2019…
Last night may have been the opening reception, but Tuesday, October 1st is the ART PARTY! Come mingle and share a drink with this year’s artists at Pat’s Pub from 7pm until late. It’s free to attend, bring your friends! Here’s the info: LIVE 2019 Art Party Facebook eventLIVE 2019 Art Party Facebook event.
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