Curator: Joni Low
Cathedral Square Park (Dunsmuir at Richards Street, Vancouver)
June 26 – 29: 12:00 to 4:00 pm; June 30: 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Saturday, June 30 closing performance: 8:30 – 10:00 pm – Khan Lee, Andrew Lee and Francis Cruz – with special guest haircuts!
“Every time I try to conform to an expectation, it’s more grief than its worth.
In the end, I can’t do everything to make you happy,
So I might as well maintain my sense of identity.
The haircut seems to be the least offensive of all the things I’ve done
The only way I express myself… it’s a choice.”
– Meesoo Lee, A Bad Hair Day (2001)
A haircut is a common life ritual. Everyone, for the most part, has hair – it grows, and needs occasional care. Beyond necessity, haircuts frame how we’d like to convey ourselves to the world: an aesthetic decision we adorn everyday. They differentiate us, yet are also an equalizer; a constant. The relationship with those who cut our hair requires trust. Can we take this risk with a stranger? Can a haircut, beyond simple service, be a therapeutics for the people – an exchange that leaves us transformed?
For the final project, Khan Lee and Andrew Lee will host Francis Cruz as artist-in-residence of Boothy, where he will give complimentary haircuts to the community, making a stratified service accessible to all. Cruz, an artist and professionally-trained stylist, works at Field Trip Hair Co. in Mount Pleasant. For each encounter, he will discuss personal desires to customize the haircut as a means of self-care and personal transformation. In the spirit of the history of salon culture, the age of conversation and the public sphere, we invite you to take a chance, see what emerges, or ask someone outside your everyday circles to try something new.
On June 30, the closing night of What Are Our Supports, Khan Lee, Andrew Lee and Francis Cruz will perform a light-and-sound composition within the parameters of the booth, an absurdist commentary on limitations on space and imaginative potential. With special guest haircuts!
First come, first cut! Check back for the range of services on the event’s Facebook page.
Francis Cruz is a multidisciplinary hairstylist whose social art practice engages critical conversations, exchanges and potential transformations, customizing hair cuts as a means of self-care and self- realization. A professionally trained hairstylist influenced by the endurance of muay thai, he taught at the Vancouver Hair Academy and studied under Hiroshi Nakagawa. Cruz received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Andrew Lee is a New York-based multidisciplinary artist. His installations, sound compositions, and music have been exhibited in Vancouver, Malmo and New York. Andrew has performed and presented sound works at The Centre for Performance Research in New York (2012), Kunstradio in Vienna (2013), The Surrey Art Gallery and most recently a sound installation at Vancouver’s International Symposium On Electronic Art (2015). He has performed sonic responses to the visual art of Ian Wallace and Khan Lee for the Vancouver Art Gallery, and composed a sound piece for Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries that conveyed the characteristics of seeing. Holy Hum, his most recent musical project, is currently touring North America and Asia.
Khan Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and lives and works in Vancouver. He studied architecture at Hong-Ik University, before immigrating to Canada to study visual art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Through sculptural and media practices, his work seeks to express inherent relationships between material and immaterial content, and to convey experimentation with form and process. A founding member of the Vancouver-based artist collective Intermission, he is presently a member of the Instant Coffee artist collective. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent solo projects Red, Green, and Blue (2016, Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite), Ich Cho Shin Mu, an outdoor installation in Yonago City, Japan (2015, AIR475) and 흉내내기 (2016, Republic Gallery).
What Are our Supports, a series of artists’ projects in public space by Emily Neufeld with Cease Wyss, Stacey Ho with Elisa Ferrari, DRIL Art Collective, and Khan Lee and Andrew Lee, is made possible through the generous support of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program.
The Or Gallery and Richmond Art Gallery acknowledge their presence on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. We are grateful for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the British Columbia Arts Council, our members, donors, and volunteers. The Or Gallery is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC).
Image: Khan Lee and Andrew Lee, The People’s Salon, 2018.