Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Art’s Birthday


Centre A presents
Art’s Birthday
12:00 – 22:00, Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Centre A will open its 2010 program on Sunday, January 17th with a celebration of Art’s 1,000,047th Birthday. Featuring cooking performance, video projection, telecommunications-art, and interview, this is the kick-off event for the World Tea Party (Feb 12 – March 21) with free tea served all day by lead artist Bryan Mulvihill. Live streaming of the event can be viewed at , connecting with the Art’s Birthday Eternal Network around the world. The event take place all day at the gallery, and you are welcome to join us for tea and birthday cake, as well as a full course bean dinner (after 7pm)  to celebrate the Art’s Birthday!

“Art’s Birthday” is an annual event first proposed in 1963 by French artist Robert Filliou. He suggested that 1,000,000 years ago, there was no art. But one day, on the 17th of January to be precise, Art was born. According to Filliou, it happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. Modest beginnings, but look at us now. Filliou proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. For more events from all over the world, please visit

Art’s Birthday Program

(Update: Due to illness, Naufus will postpone his cooking performance until the World Tea Party. However, we will still serve tea and cake and everything else will go on as usual. Please come and join us for Art’s Birthday.)

Beaner’s Culinary Secrets Revealed!: An Elegant Guatemalan Bean-Based Dinner
Performance by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa
12pm – 8pm. Food served after 7pm

Like the potato, the bean is part of the victuals that have aided people to survive hard times, and during our current recession it is wise to learn economic cooking secrets from our poor neighbors down south. Vancouver-based artist Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa will make a full course meal, including soup, salad, entre, and desert, from scratch using beans as the main ingredient. A “beaner”, in urban slang, is a derogatory and highly offensive name for Latinos who, it is presumed, eat copious quantities of beans. To call people by the food they purportedly most consume, is to highlight their financial conditions. From Vincent Van Gogh’s “Potato Eaters” (1885) to Annibale Carracci’s “The Bean-Eater” (1584) the economics of food has been a recurring theme in art. It is said that Salvador Dali once called beans a “melancholy vegetable”, and certainly it is not a food associated with success.

A Listener’s Lab

Hosted by Debra Zhou
Guest speaker Hank Bull

A Listener’s Lab ( is a curatorial project by Debra Zhou to investigate and map the sound art presence in Vancouver through interviews and conversations with artists, curators, art historians and musicians. She’ll interview Hank Bull on the history of Art’s Birthday in Vancouver, it’s origin, evolvement and role in the practice of radio/network art.

Vancouver – Yokohama Pre World Tea Party Test Streaming
Organized by Jun Oenki (Artist-in-Residence, Centre A)
with Yokohama – BankART (Location TBC) Hosted by Hiroki Kehara, Kojima Radio, and  Hosted by Chikamichi Kawamura, SIX SQUARE BRIDGE,
19:00 – 20:00 (in Japanese) (in Japanese)

Art’s Birthday Party 2009 at TKU (Tokyo Keizai University)
Hosted by Tetsuo Kogawa (Tokyo) / Jun Oenoki & Bobby Kosnuk (Vancouver)
20:00 – 21:30

For more information, please contact:
Makiko Hara (curator)
Tel: 604-683-8326
Email: [email protected]

Photo credit: Don Li-Leger