EXHIBITION TITLE: Inside/Out: the art show my dad never had by Sue Dong Eng and Mercedes Eng
ARTISTS: Sue Dong Eng, Mercedes Eng
OPENING: February 3, 2024. 3-5pm PST.
EXHIBITION DATES: February 3 – March 16, 2024
Composed of archival family images, copper etchings in handmade frames, and literary work brought together by familial ties and an impulse to document and collect, this exhibition marks the first art presentation for both Sue Dong Eng and Mercedes Eng.
Inside/Out: the art show my dad never had by Sue Dong Eng and Mercedes Eng takes a close look at the life and work of the late Sue Dong, showing images of his family and upbringing focused around vancouver’s Chinatown, while connecting to broader themes of cultural visibility, institutional violence, and community building that are still in flux in this city today.
Sue Dong’s copper works were created in the carceral facilities he spent most of his adult life going in and out of. Mercedes has gathered and built this collection of archival images and her work – which is inextricably linked to Sue Dong’s as his daughter – intentionally responds to the prison industrial complex she and her family frequently brushed up against, while pushing back at the idea that the colonial nation-state of canada is a multicultural utopia.
Mercedes Eng is a Chinese mixee settler with familial connections to “Vancouver’s” Chinatown that are 100 years deep. She is an artist, poet, prison abolitionist, and a professor at Emily Carr University, where she organizes the On Edge reading series. Mercedes’ writing and art is shaped by lived experience, grounded in community organizing and volunteering, and in service to social and environmental justice. It has been her years-long dream to exhibit her father’s prison artwork as an act of loving care.
Guest curated by Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa and Mercedes Eng.
Image courtesy of the artist.