Thru the Trapdoor: Paul Wong's journey through art

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kevin Griffin for the Vancouver Sun: "It was so good at the preview, I went back a second time the next night. I know we’re only four months into 2014 but Thru The Trapdoor is already at the top of my list for one of the best shows of the year.

But its star won’t shine for long. Thru The Trapdoor lasts only a few days. It closes this Saturday.

It’s a one-of-a-kind exhibition by artistic director Paul Wong. Most of the more than 50 artists and curators are in the basement underneath ViVO Media Arts/On Main. And yes, you head down into the depths below through a trapdoor near a massive painting by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun called Customs Officer whose Northwest Coast head and bureaucratic blue suit and tie looks down in judgment.

Part of the fun of the exhibition is finding so much art in such an unusual space. It’s a rabbit-warren-like network of 603 square metres (6,500-square feet) of corridors and cubicles that, until recently, was Alderbridge Mini-Storage. But with the lease expiring April 30, the show was meant as a final sendoff before the site was redeveloped as condos. (The wrecking ball isn’t coming in right away: the new owner has given VIVO Media Arts an extension to at least July 1.)

It’s easy to get pleasantly lost wandering from one installation to another. All the works are in the storage lockers that vary in size from cubicles to small rooms. Part of the appeal of the exhibition is the journey and the delight in turning a corner and finding something unexpected.

The exhibition is full of numerous strong pieces that could stand on their own in a white cube anywhere.Vancouver Sun: It was so good at the preview, I went back a second time the next night. I know we’re only four months into 2014 but Thru The Trapdoor is already at the top of my list for one of the best shows of the year.

But its star won’t shine for long. Thru The Trapdoor lasts only a few days. It closes this Saturday.

It’s a one-of-a-kind exhibition by artistic director Paul Wong. Most of the more than 50 artists and curators are in the basement underneath ViVO Media Arts/On Main. And yes, you head down into the depths below through a trapdoor near a massive painting by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun called Customs Officer whose Northwest Coast head and bureaucratic blue suit and tie looks down in judgment.

Part of the fun of the exhibition is finding so much art in such an unusual space. It’s a rabbit-warren-like network of 603 square metres (6,500-square feet) of corridors and cubicles that, until recently, was Alderbridge Mini-Storage. But with the lease expiring April 30, the show was meant as a final sendoff before the site was redeveloped as condos. (The wrecking ball isn’t coming in right away: the new owner has given VIVO Media Arts an extension to at least July 1.)

It’s easy to get pleasantly lost wandering from one installation to another. All the works are in the storage lockers that vary in size from cubicles to small rooms. Part of the appeal of the exhibition is the journey and the delight in turning a corner and finding something unexpected.

The exhibition is full of numerous strong pieces that could stand on their own in a white cube anywhere.

Read the rest on the Vancouver Sun website.