September 15 – December 31, 2023
The Cabinet | Room 4390
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver
Reception: September 15, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM | Refreshments will be served
Germaine Koh’s WARES is a series of wearable, clothing and textile objects that sit in counterpoint to the unsustainable production and consumption practices hidden within typical consumer objects and fast fashion. They short-circuit these through absurdity and by modelling alternatives, such as slow processes of deliberate re-use and cultivation driven by natural rather than consumption seasons. Their details reveal something of the energy, labour, and global trade practices embodied within fashion. The WARES objects that will be exhibited in The Cabinet, are overtly "slow," arguing for deliberate and cyclical production. The three branches of the WARES objects are: pieces made from discarded clothing; pieces hand-woven from deconstructed garments or plastic, and those that are entirely hand-made through laborious processing of plants cultivated by the artist then hand-spun and -woven and made into bespoke clothing. In the latter, the artist undertakes experiments in cultivating and processing flax, or harvesting and spinning wild stinging nettles into textiles. The branch of Koh’s WARES collection on display in The Cabinet exhibition consists of woven recycled plastic, and uses as its emblem the cheap "red white blue" plaid shopping bags that carry diasporas, as well as other woven patterns (e.g. Burberry check, Hudson Bay stripes) whose appearances signal colonial and global commerce.
The Cabinet is curated by Denise Oleksijczuk.
Germaine Koh is an artist and organizer whose work adapts familiar objects, everyday actions, and common spaces to create situations that look at the significance of communal experiences and the connections between people, technology, and natural systems. She is a 2023 winner of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts and for the 2023-24 academic year she is a Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University. She served as the City of Vancouver’s first Engineering Artist in Residence in 2018-20 and as the 2021 Koerner Artist in Residence at the University of British Columbia, where she continues to teach sessionally. Koh’s ongoing projects include Home Made Home, an initiative to build and advocate for alternative forms of housing, and League, a participatory project using play as a form of creative practice.