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Research Residency

Janet Wang Research Residency

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  • File number: RESI1050

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Over the last 5 years, Wang’s practice has shifted from conceptual, smaller-scale 2-dimensional painting towards socially-oriented, mixed-media installation. Paintings are digitized, registered, repeated, and scaled to create installations suggesting fresco, monumental scrolls, and decorative aesthetics. Her strategy is to draw connections between the everyday application and the artistic aspects of visual vocabulary: animating paintings into gif loops; turning stereoscopic viewers into 3-d paintings; reworking drawings into wallpaper; and, installing draperies in a shop window.

Wang’s interest in intaglio, a new medium to her practice, began with recent research into the historical manufacturing process of toile patterns. She creates social patterns, pastiches of traditional decor motifs in critique of fixed cultural archetypes. She began with examining the speculative nature of migration, the patterns found in the histories of labour, movement, and settling that has occurred along coastlines that causes us to look at who has privilege, and who does not. The coastline represents a limit that is constantly in flux, evolving and shifting in response to industry and development.


Janet Wang is a visual artist working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation practices and digital media. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and her Master of Studio Practice from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures. The artist extrapolates from the canons and traditions of history, both the artistic and the quotidian, in order to use the familiar as a meeting point with the viewer. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and the UK, and has been awarded residencies from the Arts Council of England, ArtStarts, the Burnaby Arts Council, and received the Visual Arts Development Award by the Vancouver Foundation. She is currently is an instructor at the Art Institute of Vancouver.