Vancouver Art Gallery presents an installation immersed in local issue of environmental sustainability

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Vancouver Art Gallery presents an installation immersed in local issue of environmental sustainability
Asim Waqif, Salvage, 2017, site-specific installation at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery is presenting an engaging public artwork by New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif, at the Gallery’s Offsite location in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Inspired by environmental concerns and the pace of human consumption, Waqif constructed an immersive architectural experience from materials collected at repurpose stores, transfer stations and landfills in the metro Vancouver area. The structure has been assembled using timber, roofing, doors, window frames and sections of walls salvaged from recent demolitions sites in addition to electronics, cabinets, bails of recycled cardboard and containers discarded from local residential, business and institutional buildings. Waqif’s architectural structurealso incorporates an interactive acoustic system using microphones, effects pedals and speakers. Visitors are encouraged to move through the installation maze allowing them to actively experience the architecture instead of passively observing it.

“We are very pleased to present the first exhibition in Canada of work by Asim Waqif, an emerging artist whose use of unconventional materials and unique approach to interactive design entice viewers to be more curious and adventurous with art,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Through an engaging encounter with issues of sustainability, industrial manufacturing systems and the imprint of human activity, Waqif’s work compels us to observe and reflect on the world in which we live today.”

Offsite: Asim Waqif is presented as part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art and is curated by Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art.

Asim Waqif (born 1978, Hyderabad, India) studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, but after graduation turned his focus to a dedicated art-practice. He has worked in sculpture, site-specific public installation, video, photography, and with large-scale interactive installations that combine traditional and new media technologies.

Offsite is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor public art space located at 1100 West Georgia Street between Thurlow and Bute Streets, west of the Shangri-La Hotel, in downtown Vancouver. Presenting an innovative program of temporary projects, it is a site for local and international contemporary artists to exhibit works related to the surrounding urban context. Featured artists consider the site-specific potential of art within the public realm and respond to the changing social and cultural conditions of our contemporary world. New projects are installed in the spring and fall of each year. Offsite: Asim Waqif is the sixteenth installation in the Gallery's Offsite series, curated by Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art.

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