We arrived, with Russell’s blessing to “just knock on their door and see if they’ll let you in.” The Show wasn’t opening until later that evening, but we had to be back to friends/or the ferry by than. They did let us in and they were so happy too, they even let us take photos. We were very clear to ask if they were really okay with it, and that it was okay if they were not. After we asked if we could take some posters to put up at UVic, they were really grateful, and we were really happy to contribute in a small way to their exhibition.
Gallery Gachet’s exhibit was ‘Right to Remain, Right to Remain: A Creative Repossession of the Human Rights Legacies of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside,’The “Right to Remain” project is the second phase of the “Revitalizing Japantown?” research project in partnership with Queen’s University and the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. This is a collaborative project between residents of the DTES. Japanese Canadian, other community organizations, and Indigenous Canadians living in the East Hastings area all participating in the questions surrounding the gentrification, citizenship, history, poverty of East Hastings. Also about how revitalizing the area under the name “Japantown” is somewhat problematic and a step towards the challenges that Chinatown is having: gentrification, the erasure of histories and voices. Here we saw the indigenous people and Asian Canadians working together as marginalized members of a community being erased, ignored, and spatially segregated.
Colonization, Ethnocentrism, and Whitewashing
(Alicia) Upon looking at the Gallery website I noticed this “become a member” page. When I saw this image I started to analyze the colonial nostalgia that was present. So, even though this gallery is promoting “decolonization” and equal rights, their “become a donor page” had a wealthy patron, in an exotic robe, with a china cup and a tambourine? It is essentially romanticizing colonialism and reinforcing cultural appropriation, commodification, and capitalism. Why are there Chinese lantern flowers on the English doily, next to a tambourine (why would there be a tambourine?). It seems very eurocentric, and bizarre.
Also, on the way home Kate and I noticed these ads. We were both fairly shocked by the stereotyped, and whitewashed “ethnicities” presented. Why did one have to dress in “traditional” cloths to “speak English.” Furthermore, this ad represents the MOST stereotyped essentialist images of Asian women, and it is up, right now, in Vancouver. We knew we might be over-analyzing, as we’d found ourselves doing all day, but this is an add people see everyday taking the skytrain, so they may start to influence the way people view themselves and others.
Because we took so many photos we compiled some into a Prezi document.
This interface was better at loading many photos onto in a sort of digital collage.
Please view after reading out Learning Journal!
Centre A.Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. 2012. http://centrea.org/
Gallery Gachet. Online. http://gachet.org/