Jon Sasaki Performance

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

4:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Join us at Garry Point Park, 12011 Seventh Ave, in Steveston for Jon Sasaki’s performance of We first need a boat for the rising tide to lift us.

Standing in the Fraser River delta, Waist-deep in water and equipped with rudimentary materials, basic hand tools, and negligible skills, Sasaki will attempt to build a functioning boat that would allow him to extricate himself and paddle to shore. As boat building in the water presents far more challenges than boat building on dry land, there is a strong possibility the performance will end in failure.

Channeling an absurd romantic hero who finds himself nearly engulfed by nature, the artist relies on his ability to problem-solve as complications arise, and improvise solutions in the moment. Attempted in Steveston, this new iteration of a past work takes on added dimensions as Sasaki considers his Japanese-Canadian family’s history of boating and fishing in the region before their internment. The performance will bring into focus all the maritime knowledge that didn’t get passed down to the artist.

Documentation and ephemera from the performance will be presented at Richmond Art Gallery as an exhibition this fall. The performance would not be possible without the generous support to the artist from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Annie Koyama.


Jon Sasaki is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice brings performance, video, object and installation into a framework where expectation and outcome rarely align. Often charting territory between logic and absurdity, his work employs ad hoc problem solving and inefficiencies in thought experiments that search for useful models. Sasaki holds a BFA from Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB) and is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto.

Directions for cars and transit:

In partnership with LIVE 2019 International Performance Art Biennale (LIVE Biennale)and Richmond Maritime Festival



Above: Image courtesy of the Varley Art Gallery and Ryan Park.