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David Khang – March of the Monarch

Participatory Public Performance: Bring your bicycles & your wildest butterfly costumes! Children welcome!

Date/Time: August 30, 2018

Meeting Location:  Science World at TELUS World of Science, 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7
Departure: 6:15 PM from Science World
Bike Route: We will ride together at a leisurely pace along the False Creek Bike Path, with stops along the way.
Destination Point: ETA 7 PM Chain And Forge Granville Island, 1402 Anderson St, Vancouver, BC V6H 4E5 (under Granville Bridge)
Performance: ETA 7:15 – 8:30pm
*Please note that all times are estimated, and subject to variances. The total length of the bike ride is approximately 5.6 KM (30 minutes).

ARTIST: David Khang

A public performance with
 Bring your bicycles & your wildest butterfly costumes! 
Children welcome!

How does art transform cities? How can artists activate public spaces?

How can visual imagery invigorate the public’s creativity and imagination?

For March of the Monarch, David Khang creates a new public performance from recurring tropes in his art – monarch butterflies that camouflage a military soldier and his bicycle-powered tank. The public will be invited to form a “migration” of cyclists, and participate in a butterfly-themed bicycle ride through the city, accompanying the tank along False Creek, to Granville Island. Accompanied by the Korean music troupe Tazza, and with projected visual imagery as a backdrop, the audience will be invited to help release live butterflies. This multimedia project looks to engage the audience towards a social metamorphosis as part of Khang’s ongoing work of being open to change.

The project is the last of a series of site-specific and site-responsive works produced by Khang over the past ten years as the Wrong Places Project and The Tank, The Poem and the Uniform. This multimedia project invites the audience to engage in social metamorphosis, by participating in Khang’s ongoing work of opening up to change.


David Khang is a visual, performance, and biological artist whose practice is informed by education in psychology, theology, dentistry, and law. Khang selectively embeds these disciplinary codes into his work, to compose interdisciplinary languages that materialize in visual, textual, and spoken forms. In performing, Khang often embodies these languages to interrogate social constructions – of gender, race, and interspecies relations – that are present within dominant historic narratives in contemporary culture. By strategically employing non-native languages and code-switching, Khang produces divergent, dissonant, and often hyperbolic and humorous readings that re-imagine the poetic and the political.

Khang received his BSc (Psychology) and DDS (Dentistry) from the University of Toronto, BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, and MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he was the recipient of the University of California Chancellor’s Fellowship. Khang concurrently completed UCI’s Critical Theory Emphasis, for which he worked with Jacques Derrida, Etienne Balibar, Fred Moten, and Laura Kang. In 2004, Khang’s thesis was chosen to represent UC Irvine at the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Writing Competition (USA). Khang was a 2006–07 recipient of the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Award (Brooklyn, NY), and in 2010, an artist– in–residence at SymbioticA Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts (Perth, Australia). Khang was born in Seoul, grew up in Toronto, and currently resides in Vancouver, where he has been dividing his time between art practice, part-time dentistry, and part-time teaching at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Khang is currently a JD candidate at Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia (2016–).

This project is made possible through Granville Island’s
Activation Grants and Initiatives.


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Ghost Spring


Happening # 1: Procession through cemetery, candle lighting and Turkish tea served

Happening #2: Turkish coffee fortune readings and traditional Turkish Tahini Helva served.

Happening #3: Akay family game from their great-grandmother titled, 1001 Fortunes and traditional Noah’s Pudding served.

“Our work will allow us and others to re-experience memories/emotions with late ones and create a possibility for understanding / honouring our ancestors and alive family members. We will try to create a commemoration in act and in physicality through building a shrine and creating events. We will create a place to eat, play and pray. Where we will find ways to deal with ghosts/grief of many geographies/generations dead and alive and search ways to coexist in peace and harmony.” Derya Akay, Dilara Akay

In January of 2018, grunt gallery will produce the exhibition “Ghost Spring” a two-person show by Dilara Akay and Derya Akay looking at funeral practices within their own family in Turkey, passing down information from one generation to the next. This mother and son team re-creates the rituals around death for some lives who are not considered grievable. The artists will produce an installation and a series of activations that explore ways to deal with ghosts/griefs of many geographies/generations and experience ways to coexist— focusing especially on food that is presented to, and eaten for, the dead. The works in the gallery include garlands and flowers, texts and drawings as offerings to their ancestors.


Dilara Akay

Born in (’63) Adana,Turkey lives and works in Göcek, Turkey. Graduated Bosphorus University (’85). Founder of artist platform HAYAKA ARTI (‘05) and alternative gallery project (‘09). Recent exhibitions include “Water is Life”, Santa Fe Art Institute (‘16); “Deaf and Mute”, Kuad Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (‘16); Mardin Biennial, Turkey (‘15). Akay is an ambassador for Terzo Paradiso, a project of Michelangelo Pistoletto & Cittadellarte.

Derya Akay (b, 1988, Turkey) is an artist living in Vancouver.  He received the 2016 Portfolio Prize Emerging Artist Award in Vancouver. He has an upcoming two-person project with Dilara Akay at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver in January 2018 titled Ghost Spring and solo exhibition at Unit 17, Vancouver in May 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include with bread, Campbell River Art Gallery, 2017; Pumice, Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, California, 2017; Painting with Light, Kunstverein Toronto, 2015; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Supper, Centre A, Vancouver, 2014. Recent group shows include The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit, Lulu, Mexico City, 2018; Nature’s Way, Cooper Cole, Toronto, 2017; Here, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, 2017; Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016. He recently completed his project Mantı, Börek, Baklava at the Burrard Marina Field House Residency program hosted by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. For this project, Akay worked with elder women with immigrant backgrounds to host a series of cooking workshops and lunches open to the public.


Curated by Glenn Alteen


Glenn Alteen essay on Ghost Spring [pdf]

Derya’s website here

Dilara’s website here

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Nothing to Lose

Beirut artist, Rabih Mroué, returns to Vancouver with a video installation exhibition entitled, Nothing To Lose.

This exhibition questions what we know and what we have read, the tumultuous relationship between fact, fiction and construed narratives. Mroué’s practice explores the media’s ability to reinterpret and misinterpret, and the subjective impact this has on the public.

His performances are both conceptually and politically bold, using the backdrop of Lebanon to construct works that speak to everyone. When inquired about past projects Mroué states, “My works deal with issues that have been swept under the table in the current political climate of Lebanon.” His practice emerges from a generation of artists in Beirut that came of age during the civil war (1977-1990); works often address the aftermath, using photography and video to deconstruct and reconstruct its devastating consequences.

Presented with grunt gallery and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Join us for the opening reception of Nothing to Lose on Friday, January 10th (7pm–10pm). The exhibition is at grunt gallery from Jan 10 – Feb 8, 2014.

grunt gallery is also pleased to announce that there will be a workshop by Rabih Mroué on Art & Politics on Saturday, January 11th from 12noon-4pm at grunt gallery. This workshop is intended for performance artists, theatre actors and those involved with the performing arts. Admission to this workshop is $20 (student rate TBA), please email glenn(at) to sign up. This workshop has limited space available so be sure to sign up soon!

PuSh events with Rabih Mroué:

Rabih Mroué is no stranger to the city of Vancouver. Mroué provided an artist talk at PuSh Festival in 2012 and returns as a 2014 PuSh artist-in-residence. PuSh Festival is hosting a breakfast series event with Mroué on January 17 ( and will be presenting “The Pixelated Revolution” at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts from January 15 –18 ( Be sure to buy tickets to these events before they sell out!

Press Clippings:

Tate Modern: On Three Posters 2004

Georgia Straight: Rabih Mroué’s Nothing to Lose digs into war-making and picture-taking

The Vancouver Sun: PuSh Festival preview: Rabih Mroué

The Commentary: Pod cast interview with Rabih Mroué

The Vancouver Sun: Rabih Mroué: finding the humanity in a suicide bomber

The La Source: Multidisciplinary artist captures the political and the personal

grunt gallery: Interview article by Gizem Sözen & Eylül İşce


Image(s), mon amour Fabrications: Rabih Mroué


Artist Bio:

Rabih Mroué was born in Beirut and lives between Beirut and Berlin. He is an actor, director, playwright, visual artist, and contributing editor in the Lebanese quarterly Kalamon and TDR (New York).

He is also a co-founder and board member of the Beirut Art Center (BAC). He is a fellow at The International Research Center: “Interweaving Performance Cultures”/Freie Universität- Berlin, 2013/2014.

In addition to his main work in theatre, Mroué’s recent exhibitions include: CA2M, Madrid 2013, Museé de la Dance (2013), dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012), Templhof, Berlin – Hebbel theater, the world UnFair exhibition (2012), Lunds konsthall, Lund (12 March – 8 May 2011); Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London (23 March – 14 May 2011) and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (22 May – 31 July 2011); and Tranzitdisplay, Prague (10 June – 14 August 2011), BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (21 May – 1 August 2010), Performa 09, New York (2009); 11th International Istanbul Biennale (2009); Tarjama/Translation, Queens Museum of Art, New York (2009); Soft Manipulation – Who is afraid of the new now?, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2009); Sharjah Biennale (2009); Medium Religion, ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (2008); and Les Inquiets. 5 artistes sous la pression de la guerre, Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Paris (2008). In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Grant for Theater/Performance Arts from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts 2010, New York and the Spalding Gray Award 2011 and Prince Clause Award, 2011.

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Qiqayt, 1982 | Emilio Portal

Emilio Portal, Qiqayt, 2012

Description: An on going installation honouring the complexities and mysteries of Qiqayt history, Canadian colonialism, and the artist’s own personal journey. Emilio Portal was born 1982 in New Westminster, British Columbia, the traditional territory of the Qiqayt nation.

Bio: Emilio Portal is an artist, musician, builder, and designer of French and Peruvian descent. Portal’s work is inherently interdisciplinary and spontaneous – preferring to work in-the-moment, rather than through script. Portal has spent a number of years with Dakota, Nahuatl, and Wixarika elders experiencing the immeasurable wisdom of traditional knowledge. He received a BFA from Laurentian University in 2005, a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Dalhousie in 2007, and graduated from the MFA program at the University of Victoria in 2011.

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