New Richmond Art Gallery exhibit spotlights importance of nourishment and mental health

Jan 10 2022, 9:25 pm

A new exhibition exploring the importance of nourishment and care in a time of fear and uncertainty is opening this month at Richmond Art Gallery (RAG).

NOURISH, on display from January 22 to April 3, features works by artist duo, Mizzonk (Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen), and American poet Jane Wong. According to RAG curator Nan Capogna, the exhibit is very timely.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated many of the issues raised in NOURISH: isolation, fear of food supply shortages, poverty, and the importance of mental health,” said Capogna in a release.

“It has also prompted many to recognize the quiet pleasures that can be found in making, from DIY projects to sharing a meal together. The ways we nourish ourselves and each other speaks volumes about our personal and collective identities.”

The exhibit features a new work by Mizzonk named after the size of land in Metro Vancouver that Taiwanese Canadians Lin and Chen call home. Six Acres is a projected animation produced from watercolour drawings on paper, and was developed from their observations of living and working in the peaceful outdoor area.


Mizzonk | Wan-Yi and Roger Chen
Six Acres, (video still) 2021

The pair moved to the rural stretch of land after experiencing 9/11 from the rooftop of their Brooklyn studio; they decided to move outside of urban centres in search of a natural environment. Their lives today centre around the natural rhythms found in the tranquillity of their new surroundings, such as the sounds of a running creek and ripples across a pond.


Mizzonk/Courtesy of the artist

NOURISH also marks the Canadian premiere for Seattle-based Wong and her installation After Preparing the Altar, The Ghosts Feast Feverishly. Visitors can explore an oversized, round dining table that holds bowls containing fragments of a poem written by Wong, examine a “chandelier” built out of soup spoons, and watch The Long Labors, a video of Wong reciting her poem while making dumplings.


Jane Wong, Detail, installation of After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly at Frye Art Museum (Seattle), 2019 (Jueqian Fang/Submitted)

Food imagery pays homage to Wong’s experiences growing up in her family’s Chinese American restaurant in the 1980s and ’90s. It also recalls her family’s history of hunger during the Great Leap Forward, a campaign to implement agricultural and industrial reforms that claimed an estimated 36 million lives through the resulting Great Famine.

Wong’s artworks address this historical juxtaposition of hunger and gluttony, as well as familial labour and silenced histories.


Jane Wong (Helene Christensen/Submitted)

RAG is also presenting a variety of supporting programming for NOURISH in partnership with #RichmondHasHeart, a city-run initiative that fosters community connectedness by hosting uniquely Richmond events for the public. Programming during the exhibit’s run includes the creation of a virtual cookbook with community submissions, local chefs sharing recipes, and artist talks held in English and Mandarin.

For more details about the gallery’s COVID-19 safety precautions, programming information, and registration, visit their website.


When: January 22 to April 3, 2022 (Closed on stat holidays)
Time: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday), 12 pm to 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Richmond Art Gallery at Richmond Cultural Centre – 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond
Admission: By donation

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