Marlene Yuen: Cheap! Diligent! Faithful!
Vancouver-based printmaker Marlene Yuen’s explorations of Chinese Canadian labour histories have through the years taken the form of intricately produced print and paper-based media. Through ‘zines, comics, lovingly crafted artists books and – new for this exhibition – site-specific artworks, Yuen’s body of work comes off the pages and onto the walls. In precise and attentive craftsmanship, Yuen brings dimension to both the known and the overlooked histories of immigrant labour. Drawing from oral histories and archival research inspired by Yuen’s own family history, Cheap! Diligent! Faithful! acknowledges the complexities of labour and immigration in this country – and lifts up the small, remarkable details of lived experience.
The exhibition includes the launch of Yuen’s new publication that explores the graphic and cultural history of Ho Sun Hing Printers which closed in 2014, after 106 years of business in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Yuen’s works available to view online:
Marlene Yuen is a Vancouver-based artist who received her Bachelor’s of Studio Arts in 1998 from the University of British Columbia. Marlene has exhibited at galleries, artist-run centres, and cultural events in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan. Although she is a multidisciplinary artist, her current focus is on handmade books; her artist books have been retained in special collections nationally and internationally.
Currently, Marlene is focusing her subject matters on Chinese Canadian labour history and preservation of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. Her newest artist book explores Vancouver Chinatown’s last print shop, Ho Sun Hing Printers.
grunt gallery is accessed from the sidewalk via a 106” long, 64” wide concrete ramp that rises 12”. The slope is 1 : 8.75. There are no rails on the ramp. The front entrance is a manually operated outward-swinging double door with a total width of 64”. Entry to the Media Lab behind the gallery space is via a 42” wide passage and entry to the neighbouring amenity space is through a manually operated outward swinging double door with a total width of 70”. No stairs, inclines, or elevators are necessary to access the public areas once inside the gallery.
grunt gallery has a single gender neutral washroom that is accessed via a 31” wide doorway with a sliding pocket door with a door handle that is 40” high. The toilet has a 10” clearance on the left side and a 21” clearance in front, with a support bar on the left side. The sink height is 34”.
Photo: Dennis Ha, 2020.