Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


2021 Centre A Holiday Art Market
Application Deadline: November 13, 2021 

Holidays are just around the corner, and wouldn’t it be nice to just pick up our luggage and take off somewhere? Our desire to travel, venture, and reach out to the loved ones far away grows bigger and bigger during this time of the year. Knowing that not everyone has such luxury to do so, Centre A would like to suggest a different way to finally dust off and use our carry-ons. 

Carry-on! The 2021 Centre A Holiday Art Market encourages artists to submit artworks that can fit in a carry-on suitcase. The selected artworks will be featured and on display at Centre A for silent auction from December 4 to December 18, 2021. An opening event will be held on Friday, December 3, 2021, from 4 to 7 pm. Mark your calendars!

Submission is free, and will be juried by the Centre A curatorial team.

Go HERE to complete our online submission form.

Selection process:

– All selected artworks must be ready to be dropped off at Centre A and for installation by December 1, 2021.
– Accepted artists will receive a complimentary Centre A membership for a year
– Accepted artworks will be bid on in the gallery during the exhibition period
– Accepted artworks must be priced between 20 and 300 Canadian Dollars.
– Accepted artists will receive 60% of the selling price of their artwork(s) sold during the exhibition

Get in touch with us at if you need assistance with your submission.

On Lumbung: Artist Talk with ruangrupa + GUDSKUL

November 4, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30 PM PDT

Register HERE.

Join Centre A, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and OCAD University for a conversation with ruangrupa and GUDSKUL, “On Lumbung”, on sharing, solidarities, collectivity, and the lumbung as method towards sustainability.

ruangrupa is a Jakarta-based collective established in 2000 and are curators of the upcoming documenta fifteen in Kassel, Germany. As a non-profit organization that strives to support the idea of art within urban and cultural context ruangrupa involves artists and other disciplines such as social sciences, politics, technology, media, etc., to give critical observation and views towards Indonesian urban contemporary issues. ruangrupa also produce collaborative works in the form of art projects such as exhibitions, festivals, art labs, workshops, research projects, as well as books, magazines and online-journal publications.

As an artists’ collective, ruangrupa has been involved in many collaborative and exchange projects, including participating in big exhibitions such as Gwangju Biennale (2002 & 2018), Istanbul Biennial (2005), Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2012), Singapore Biennale (2011), São Paulo Biennial (2014), Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, 2016) and Cosmopolis at Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2017). In 2016, ruangrupa curated TRANSaction: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem, NL.

From 2015-18, ruangrupa co-developed a cultural platform Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem together with several artists’ collectives in Jakarta, located at Gudang Sarinah warehouse, Pancoran, South Jakarta. It is a cross-disciplinary space that aims to maintain, cultivate and establish an integrated support system for creative talents, diverse communities, and various institutions. In 2018, learning from their experience establishing Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem and together with Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara, ruangrupa co-initiated GUDSKUL: contemporary art collective and ecosystem studies (or GUDSKUL, in short, pronounced similarly like “good school” in English). It is a public learning space established to practice an expanded understanding of collective values, such as equality, sharing, solidarity, friendship and togetherness.

For this lecture, members from ruangrupa and GUDSKUL will expand on the concept of the lumbung, an Indonesian term for a communal rice barn, as a model for creative and artistic practices they have developed throughout the years and the iterations their collective practices have gone through. 


Trained as an architect (B.Arch from Universitas Indonesia and M.Arch from Cranbrook Academy of Art), farid rakun wears different hats, depending on who is asking. A visiting lecturer in the Architecture Department of Universitas Indonesia, he is also a part of the artists’ collective ruangrupa, with whom he co-curated TRANSaction: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem, NL, and currently taking the helmet as Artistic Direction for documenta fifteen (Kassel, 2022).

Marcellina “Cella” Dwi Kencana Putri is the manager of GUDSKUL. She studied International Relations and has a postgraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology. Previously, she was a producer in Studio Batu, a Yogyakarta-based collective and served as a co-curator for OK. Pangan, Media Art Festival (2017), where she found her main interest in food-related subjects. She has never been able to resist having a dessert after a meal, and finds cooking as a therapeutic way to keep her sanity intact.

Henry Heng Lu is a curator, writer, and artist. He is a co-founder of Call Again, a mobile initiative/collective committed to creating space for contemporary diasporic artistic practices. Presently, he is Executive Director/Curator of Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (moderator).

Melissa Karmen Lee is the Director of Education and Public Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She is a social practice curator that has collaborated on a variety of different art practices in Hong Kong and Vancouver (moderator).

This lecture is supported by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research / Government of Canada, the research offices at OCAD University and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Please email us at if you require any assistance.


November 10 – 19, 2021

Buy tickets HERE.

Centre A is excited to partner with the 25th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival as a community supporter for Waikiki, a film by Christopher Kahunahana.


Kea can’t make ends meet, even while working as a luau dancer, karaoke-bar hostess, and elementary school Hawaiian-language teacher. After a violent altercation with her boyfriend, Kea accidentally hits a homeless man with her car. Not wanting to involve the authorities, she decides to take care of the mysterious man herself. But while she continues to struggle with her own financial hardship and difficulty finding housing, Kea’s downward spiral begins to reveal a deeply rooted trauma from her past. As her life careens out of control, so too does her grasp on the world around her. The film stars Danielle Zalopany, Peter Shinkoda, and Jason Quinn


Christopher Kahunahana is a Sundance Institute Native Lab and Feature Film Program Alumni. As the founder of 4th World Film, he’s written and directed LAHAINA NOON and directed a short documentary for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American “A Day in the Life” project.

“Christopher Kahunahana’s captivating storytelling ventures beyond the world-famous titular tourist destination and strikes an aesthetic that is perhaps unfamiliar to those with cursory knowledge of idyllic Hawaii. Kahunahana’s juxtaposition of the latter against the cold concrete of looming and perpetual urban development casts a critical look at the gentrified waste of ecological decay, systemic poverty, and the enduring legacy of U.S. colonization, which haunts the faces and spaces of Kahunahana’s film. Waikiki is a critical contribution to the growing body of Native Hawaiian cinema.” — Kevin Lim 

Please email us at if you require any assistance.

Vancouver Art Book Fair – Centre A Virtual Table

October 18 – 26, 2021

Mark your calendars! Centre A will be an exhibitor at this year’s Vancouver Art Book Fair from October 18 to 26, 2021. Come visit our VIRTUAL TABLE, where we will have various art books and items for sale from a wide range of local and international artists.

Featured in our catalogue are titles such as Samson Young’s It’s a Heaven Over There, Seung Woo Back’s “18 Buildings,” Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction edited by J.F. Garrad et al., and Fire/Fire by Malaspina Printmakers with Abbas Akhavan and Marina Roy. In addition, we are offering limited edition works by artists Wei Chang, Janet Wang, and Clare Yow.

We are also excited to launch artist Gu Xiong’s new book entitled “The Remains of a Journey,” edited by Gu Xiong and April Liu, with additional contributions by Chris Lee, Xiaoping Li, Xiaoyan Yang, Steven Dragonn, and Henry Heng Lu. The book documents Gu Xiong’s exhibition of the same name at Centre A and Canton-sardine — a major milestone in both the artist’s repertoire as well as Canadian art. The book is co-published by Centre A and Canton-sardine, and will be available for pre-order at our table.

Please email us at if you require any assistance.

Revolving: A Reading Group

Image: Guest speakers Dr. Dallas Hunt (left) and Reyhan Yazdani (right). Courtesy of the speakers

October 30, 2021, 3:00 – 5:00 PM PDT

Register HERE.

In conjunction with Centre A’s current exhibition, Revolving: a family talewe will host our first in-person public program since 2020. The multimedia exhibition revisits the semi-colonial history of the Iranian oil industry by Sona Safaei-Sooreh.

We are inviting Dr. Dallas Hunt and artist Reyhan Yazdani to lead a reading discussion on texts chosen by the speakers. The discussion will fall under the themes of environment and ecology, colonial history, storytelling, revolution, cultural resistance, and love.

The reading group aims to support artistic and curatorial engagement by creating a space for exploring themes of the exhibition through alternative methods.

The reading group will take place in our gallery space at Unit 205, 268 Keefer Street in the Sun Wah Centre located in the historic Chinatown on the unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. We will be limiting the reading group to max. 15 participants and will be following COVID-19 protocols. The readings will be sent out a week prior to the gathering.

Participants of all levels and experiences are welcome!


Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in northern Alberta. He has had creative works published in Contemporary Verse 2, Prairie Fire, PRISM international and Arc Poetry. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018. His new book, CREELAND, is out through Nightwood Editions. Hunt is an assistant professor of Indigenous literatures at the University of British Columbia.

Reyhan Yazdani is an interdisciplinary artist/designer currently teaching at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her creative practice revolves around themes of embodied knowledge, language, displacement and nomadic identities, among others. Yazdani explores notions of de-centring practices, pluralistic understandings, untranslatability, loss and longing through installation, objects, social practice, and poetry.

She received a Master of Architecture from the University of Tehran in 2017 and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2019. She exhibited her works at galleries such as Seymour Art Gallery (2020) and Centre A (2019) and has been working as an Artist-in-Residence at Access Gallery (2021) and Shadbolt Art Centre (2021). Recent projects include a Poem in Distance publication purchased by Emily Carr University for the permanent Artist’s Books Collection of the library.

Please email us at if you require any assistance.

Resistance as an Act of Public Pedagogy

July 27, 2021, 11:30 AM PDT

Register HERE.

This virtual event will bring together five artists with African origins – Rikki Wemega-Kwawu, Laiwan, Linda Mvusi, Shaheen Merali, and Zainub Verjee – for an active engagement about the panellists; practices, experiences of resistance, and histories of decolonization. The event will be moderated by Narendra Pachkhédé.

This public program is co-presented by Centre A and Western Front.

This program is organized in conjunction with Centre A’s current exhibition, Speech Acts: Zainub Verjee, an excerpt of Verjee’s practice where language becomes the materiality of the form and its meaning. The exhibition represents her sustained and long-term engagement with the issues of resistance, activism, artist’s labour, and discourse making—speech, listening and writing.


Rikki Wemega-Kwawu (Panellist) is a contemporary artist from Sekondi, Ghana. His projects grapple with the effects of globalization and the African diaspora on African art, as well as the politics of cultural dictatorship in the evaluation of modern African art. Rikki has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Poetics of Cloth (1998) at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in New York; The World in Hand/Welt in der Hand (2010) at the Kunsthaus Dresden in Dresden, Germany; and Interwoven Dialogues: Contemporary Art from Africa and South Asia (2017) at the Aicon Gallery in New York. He directs and is an artist-in-residence at the El Anatsui Experimental Studios, a residency space established and funded by El Anatsui in Takoradi, Ghana. Currently, Rikki is completing the catalogue raisonné on El Anatsui.

Laiwan (Panellist) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, her family immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Laiwan founded the OR Gallery in Vancouver, Canada, in 1983; was Chair of the grunt gallery Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014, and has been teaching in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College since 2001. Currently, Laiwan is a member of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Committee and the City’s Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group and Heritage and Culture Working Group. She is also active in the transformation and revitalization of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Linda Mvusi (Panellist) is an award-winning architect and actress, best known for her design of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa and 1988 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress in the film A World Apart. Returning to South Africa from exile after 32 years in 1992, Linda has since designed women’s shelters, libraries, crèches, rape crisis safe homes, cultural centres, and “design-thinking” parks, streets and public transportation for differently-abled and marginalized people.

Shaheen Merali (Panellist) is a London-based curator and writer who explores the intersection of art, cultural identity and global histories. He has held positions at Central Saint Martins School of Art, University of Westminster, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Shaheen was the co-convenor of “This is Tomorrow – De-canonisation and decolonization” at the Courtauld Institute, London, in November 2019. He is currently on the advisory board of the Live Art Development Agency in London.

Zainub Verjee (Panellist) is a multidisciplinary artist and advocate of artists’ rights and labour. She was the Executive Director of Vancouver’s Western Front and has held positions at the Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage and the City of Mississauga. Currently, Zainub is the Executive Director of the Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries. In 2020, Zainub received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts for Outstanding Contribution. This year, she was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Narendra Pachkhédé (Moderator) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, programmer, critic and writer based in Toronto, London, Paris, and Geneva. A Commonwealth Fellow, Narendra pursued his doctoral studies in Anthropology and works at the cross-section of philosophical inquiry, social theory, and systems of knowledge production. He is the founder of the Geneva-based Society for Inquiry into the Social and provides art advisory services to major private art collections. His latest essay is for the catalogue of “Cloak and Dagger: India’s Fictional Times” at the Zuzeum in R?ga, Latvia.

Please email us at if you require any assistance.



June 3, 2021, 4:00 PM PST / 7:00 PM EST

Register HERE.

Presented in partnership with Centre A, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s 19th Heller Lecture features New York-based, Taiwan-born artist Tehching Hsieh.

How is art sustained over time? How does the body localize agency? These questions guide us in examining the intermingling of discipline and desire on the body and the construction of a performative citizenship.

Connecting his lived experience, Hsieh will discuss his artistic practice, specifically his performance works, and the exertion of the body as a counter-history and site of protest in the context of migrational flows of identity, labour and late capitalism in the twentieth century.

This distinguished lecture is presented in collaboration with Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art). Hsieh will be in conversation with Henry Heng Lu, Executive Director/Curator, Centre A, and Melissa Karmen Lee, Director of Education and Public Programs, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Simultaneous interpretation from English to Mandarin will be provided.

The Heller Lecture is generously supported by Paul and Edwina Heller in memory of Kitty Heller.


Tehching Hsieh was born on December 31, 1950, in Nan-Chou, Taiwan. Hsieh dropped out of high school in 1967, and took up painting. After finishing his compulsory military service (1970–73), Hsieh had his first solo exhibition at the gallery of the American News Bureau in Taiwan. Shortly after, he stopped painting. He made a performance action, Jump, in which he broke both of his ankles. He trained as a seaman, which he then used as a means to enter the United States. In July of 1974, Hsieh finally arrived at a small port near Philadelphia. He was an illegal immigrant in the U.S. for fourteen years until he was granted amnesty in 1988. Between 1978 and 1986, Hsieh made five One Year Performances: the artist spent one year locked inside a cage, one year punching a time clock every hour, one year completely outdoors, one year tied to another person, and, lastly, one year without making, viewing, discussing, reading about, or in any other way participating in art. Hsieh’s final performance piece, Thirteen Year Plan, was completed in 1999 after a process lasting thirteen years. Using long durations—making art and life simultaneous—Hsieh achieved one of the most radical approaches in contemporary art. His first four One Year Performances made Hsieh a regular name in the art scene in New York; the last two pieces, which led to him intentionally retreating from the art world, set a tone of sustained invisibility. Since the early 2000s, released from the restriction of not showing his works during the thirteen-year period, Hsieh has exhibited in North and South America, Asia and Europe. In 2017, he represented Taiwan at the 57th Venice Biennale. Hsieh lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Please email us at if you require any assistance.