"I couldn't believe it," was Richmond artist Jones Kan's first reaction after hearing that exploASIAN Festival had recently selected his recent work to celebrate this year's Asian Heritage Month.
May is Asian Heritage Month and a time to highlight the rich contributions of generations of Canadians of Asian descent and reflect on everything they have overcome, according to Government of Canada’s website.
For the past 25 years, the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society has closely worked with local Asian-Canadian communities and organizations to celebrate Asian Canadian arts and culture through hosting free exhibits and events across Metro Vancouver.
As a well-known Taiwanese artist who immigrated to Richmond in 2007, Kan told the Richmond News that he felt grateful that his work could be featured in this year's Asian Heritage Month, allowing more like-minded audiences to connect with him.
And the most important thing is that he hopes more people could appreciate the city's beauty through his work, added Kan.
"I created thousands of ink paintings and sketches throughout my last 15 years in Richmond.
"When I first arrived in the city in the winter of 2007, the rain was drizzling and the wind was blowing through the maple leaves. I fell in love immediately with the spacious and quiet urban areas, my friendly neighours and the caring our community has for each other," said Kan.
Kan had selected several works for this year's exhibition. A few of them featured popular attractions in Richmond, including Richmond's Minoru Park and the sunflowers next to the Trinity Pacific Church on No. 5 Rd.
"I originally planned to paint the Lingyen Mountain Temple, but I accidentally drove across Trinity Church Community garden next door where the sunflowers were blooming so beautifully and I just sat down on the ground the draw them.
"The church administrator saw me, gave me a chair, and told me that the chair was placed in the corridor and please feel free to use it when you come here to paint. Their kindness is as beautiful as the sunflowers," said Kan.
Kan's work has been displayed at the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society and the exhibit will last through May.