Tian Tian Xiang Shang (make progress everyday) is a Chinese proverb that Mao Zedong once said in the 1950s to motivate children. This proverb inspired me to create a conceptual comic in 1970s in which I drew children who asked an un-ending barrage of questions and refused to focus on their studies. To me, Tian Tian’s white, three-dimensional body is like a blank piece of paper full of possibilities that people can write or draw on. The person who invented blank paper is a truly artistic designer; the material, dimension, shape and texture of blank paper are all measures of the designer’s creativity. A blank sheet of paper is a platform or vessel that people can write, express themselves and discuss things on. Our thoughts are expressed in what we write; this expression of our thoughts can be discussed; and the contents of these discussions could become further platforms or vessels for creativity. The more that is written, expressed and discussed, the more likely it is that creativity will be brought forth.

Hank Bull

Hank Bull has been active on the Vancouver art scene since 1973. Associated with the Western Front, an artist-run centre, he is also co-founder of Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, where he was executive director until 2010. His practice includes visual and media arts, as well as telecommunications and collaborative social projects.

Lyse Lemieux

Lyse Lemieux is a Vancouver-based artist whose almost forty years’ art practice has focused primarily on drawing and installation.

Lemieux is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious VIVA AWARD granted annually by the Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation and adjudicated by an independent jury to a mid-career artist living in British-Columbia for outstanding achievement and commitment to the visual arts.

Through considerations of process and materiality her practice explores the space between abstraction and representation, while consistently maintaining an interest in the human figure.

Lyse Lemieux graduated from the University of British-Columbia and has exhibited nationally and internationally including; Canadian Cultural Centre; Rome, the Vancouver Art Gallery; Vancouver, Oakville Galleries; Toronto, Richmond Art Gallery, British Columbia; Charles H Scott Gallery; Vancouver, Trépanier-Baer Gallery; Calgary, Kaztman Contemporary, Toronto; SFU Gallery; Burnaby, Oakville Galleries; Oakville, Ontario.

Artist Statement –

Danny Yung created Tian Tian based on the 1950’s Chinese slogan; tiāntiān xiàngshàng 天天向上 ; “Study hard and make progress every day“.

More recently the Blank Boy Canvas project aimed to draw attention to art education by offering artist across the world the opportunity of developing and evolving their concept of Tian Tian.

Here Tian Tian has been transformed into a girl. Standing tall, her eyes peering through a lensed mask, she points her strong pink finger upwards, determinedly. Her gender apparent and without apology, her grey hair is a symbol of the long and productive life that awaits her.

This Tian Tian iteration will I hope continue to explore and expand the conversation around Tian Tian for children of all ages and gender.

Heather Baker

Heather Baker was born and educated in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1971 specializing in painting, lithography and photography. She has lived on the west coast for the last 40 years and making assemblages from found articles, in time taken away from running her antique business. The materials used for making these assemblages come from antique goods and historical and visual references.

Work title  – Minor deity with third eye with pill box hat

Drew Shaffer

Drew Shaffer was born in Victoria, B.C., and moved to Vancouver in 1990 to attend Emily Carr Institute from which he graduated in 1994. Since then he has continued to make and show work in Vancouver as well as other cities across Canada and the U.S. Shaffer’s work employs details taken from familiar objects and augments them to examine the notion of material desire and the effect it has on us and our perception of ourselves and one another.

Link Leisure + David Malachi Robinson

David Malachi Robinson

David is a multidisciplinary visual artist who’s work focuses on recontextualizing organic forms taken from nature. His work questions issues surrounding our relationship to time, human mortality, and our own divinity through the natural world.

David graduated from Emily Carr university of Art and Design in 2010 with a focus in sculptural ceramics and continues to explore castables.

His work has been seen both nationally and internationaly and holds his current studio practice in Vancouver Canada.

Link Leisure
Leisure’s work It is disturbingly attractive, aesthetic, delicate, subtle, and tremendously sexual. It is a little degrading, definitely exciting, and elegantly perverse.

Born and raised in Canada he began his love affair with form and space by rejecting an artistic education. Instead, fleeing  to London UK to learn his  trade by working hands-on, immersing himself  in the stimulating and challenging underground art / fashion / club scene.Often crossing over from gallery to pop music videos and performance stage design.

Returning to Vancouver where he began, Link has  joined forces with Vancouver Artist David Malachi Robinson.Through their collaborative works they continue to push the boundaries , exploring  new territory together .

Josh Hon

Josh Hon was one of the most known artists in the 1980s in Hong Kong but faded out from the Hong Kong art scene in the early 1990s when he immigrated to Hope, British Columbia. However, with his cross-disciplinary practice from theatre performance to multi-media installation, he still remains as one of the most well-remembered artists of his time in Hong Kong art history. Hon’s brief career in the 1980s is a good example of the first generation of Hong Kong artists who have made use of a rather global art language without a burden of the Chinese tradition. With an introduction by Leung Chi Wo and an interview by Melissa Karmen Lee, this recollection of his artistic practice and his life in Hong Kong establishes the notion of memory in the study of Hong Kong art prior to any historical writing.