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PUBLIC COMMISSIONS

Third Garden (SLIDE SHOW)

with Millie Chen, 2002

Permanent site-specific public art installation:
Lakeshore Grounds, Toronto.

Media: cast iron, bronze, plants, concrete
Dimensions: 10,000 sq. ft.

Third Garden is designed as a monument to local memory. This garden refers to the past use of the surrounding grounds as a healing site for psychiatric care, and to current day use as regenerated land, some of which has become a rehabilitated nature reserve. The installation integrates landscape design with sculptural elements to convey playful associations with psychiatric care (i.e. the couch and the serpent) and with the specific history of the site. The text in the pavers is based on oral and recorded histories of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, rewritten in the tone of intimate journal entries from the point of view of patients, relatives, staff and local residents.

 

Timetrack (slide show)

with Millie Chen, 2001

Site-specific public art installation
Dempsey Park, Toronto

Media: bronze, patina, concrete
Dimensions: 13,500 sq. ft..

The park design, the product of a collaborative process between the artists and the landscape designers of MBTW Group, is based on a historic farmstead theme to remind its present day and future visitors of the site’s rich history and of the time when it was owned and operated as a part of the Gibson Family Farm. The art work is installed along the park’s pathways, tracing the passage of time. Appearing at irregular intervals to the walker are remnants and symbols from the past of the site. These elements are cast in bronze and imbedded into the physical structures of the park. The time line that begins in the prehistoric and travels through First Nations culture to European agricultural settlement is mapped out across the park. Interrupting this linear passing of time are the tracked lateral movements of past and present indigenous animals, some of which symbolize an insistent presence that endures to this day.

 

Gateway (slide show)

with Millie Chen, 1997

Permanent site-specific public art installation:
Spadina LRT at Dundas Street West, Toronto

Media: fiberglass, steel, Endura, polyurethane foam
Dimensions: 2 pairs, each 6m x 3m x 0.5m

This pair of allegorical entrances were created to identify the environs of Toronto’s Chinatown, the neighbourhood name for this now predominantly Asian community. Gateway is based on the ancient script form of the Chinese characters for’ gateway’ and uses the supporting poles as part of the calligraphic notation for the word. The upper portion of the character depicts an intertwining and metamorphosing of four venerable mythological figures which have been cast in fiberglass: Feng Huang (associated with the Phoenix), Long (Dragon), Sun Hou Zi (Monkey King) and Qilin (associated with the Unicorn). This linguistic lexicon has the same meaning in Korean, Japanese and pre-colonial Vietnamese, reflecting historic as well as contemporary cross-cultural pollinations. The metaphorical gateways signal the transition of one community into another and reflect the social heritage of Spadina Avenue, where traditionally one culture displaces another as new waves of immigrants arrive in the city.

 

Trinity Bellwoods (slide show)

2000

Site-specific public art installation:
Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre, Toronto.
Commissioned by Oleson Worland Architects.

Media: ceramic, ceramic tiles, glass, glass tiles, metal and plastic toys, grout, wood

These mosaic installations were commissioned by Oleson Worland Architects as part of the renovations of Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre in Toronto.

In a number of sites throughout the building, specifically themed mosaic designs are integrated into the architecture. In the main stairwell, the mosaic elements reference traditional decorative patterns from different cultures, reflecting the diverse population that utilizes the community centre.