Even Though We Are Not Together; an exhibition by Ron Tran

Opening reception Saturday 23 May, 7 – 11pm. Exhibition open Sunday 24 May, 12 – 5pm and Monday 25 May, 12 – 5pm.

Curated by Charo Neville, CCST graduate 2006.

Busking and feeding pigeons; Exotic World Museum and Puff Pipes; Our Community Bikes and Bill’s Glass Ltd.; Ilosam Frames & Trophies and Kim’s Mart; Polar Bear Enricher Enterprises Inc. and Five Star Coin Laundry & Dry Clean Alterations. Existing in close proximity but possessing radically different objectives, these pairs normally relate only by way of their shared location. Yet, in an upcoming exhibition of work by Ron Tran, these otherwise disparate events and places come together through unlikely collaboration.

Much like Tran’s recent photo-montage projects which propose new compositions between two unknown and unrelated intimate family portraits, in this exhibition Tran joins uncommon objects from unrelated stores existing side-by-side to create playful and humorous collage objects. A porcelain knickknack meets a broom, a Chinese/English Bruce Springsteen songbook meets a butterfly floating in a Plexiglas box and a picture frame becomes a dolly with wheels. In these unusual assemblages Tran explores the possibilities for new narratives based on difference.

Provoking uncanny exchanges through the confluence of performance and sculpture, Tran’s relational practice gently inserts itself into everyday life by testing the edges of social anxiety and cultural norms using absurdity and humour. In past works Tran has experimented with the boundaries of trust by offering to walk strangers home at night and by attempting to have dinner with strangers through mirrored movements across the room in fast-food restaurants. More recently, in an exhibition at the Western Front, Tran installed the front door of his apartment in the gallery, leaving the entrance to his home wide open to chance.

In addition to new sculptural works, this exhibition will present Tran’s 2004 video, The Peckers, an improvised noise-collage integrating the artist’s observations of daily activities on Granville Island, busking and feeding birds, and featuring a flock of hungry pigeons as the main performers.

Even Though We Are Not Together will aptly be exhibited at Bestway studios, also a hybrid. Established in 2008 in Chinatown’s historic Chinese Times Building, Bestway is a private working artists’ space that also periodically hosts events and exhibitions in collaboration with local artists, curators and cultural organizations.