Shipping containers in Richmond help make arts more accessible for everyone

Eight shipping containers, located outside of the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre, will be transformed into pop-up galleries later this month to feature work from several dynamic B.C. and Canadian artists.

These pop-up galleries are part of the Digital Carnival 2019: Fire exhibit, a two-day film and media festival, which will be presented to Richmondites later this month by Cinevolution, a Richmond based non-profit society founded and run by pan Asian filmmakers and artists.

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Each container operates like an individual gallery, featuring the work of a number of B.C. and Canadian artists. Visitors could be fully immersed in these interactive installations and video projections as they walk through the exhibit, according to Yun-Jou Chang, the president of Cinevolution.

Considering Richmond has a large immigrant population, containers could help make arts more accessible for them.

“They (local immigrants) might not have the habit to go to the gallery, or they might feel intimidated to go to the gallery,” said Chang.

“What’s really nice about the container is that they allow curators to put the art in the right place that is accessible to everyone.”

Shipping containers also hold different meanings for local immigrants.

“Containers might symbolize the migrating path of things like goods travel from the Asia Pacific to the West Coast here.”

Guest-curated by Wynne Palmer, Digital Carnival 2019: Fire is the final installment of a four-part series, which began with water, followed by land and air, striving to showcase the complex relationships between nature, art and technology.

With fire as the central theme, this year’s exhibition plans to focus on intense wildfires in B.C. of late and broader social concerns about climate change, added Chang.

“We tend to feel climate change more intensively in the last few years, what we want to look are not just the damaging effects of fire, but focus on how people are coming together to form a community with resilience. ”

In addition to these pop-up gallery exhibitions, audiences will have the opportunity to participate in the fire talk hotline once a day, which is a long-distance live chat between artists Nicole Dextras and Bridget Fairbank, who is working at a fire watchtower in northern Alberta.

The public will have an opportunity to learn more about forest fires, their causes, prevention strategies and fire safety tips. 

Digital Carnival 2019: Fire will be on at Richmond Library and Cultural Centre from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31.


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