Family, belonging, and identity at Centre A’s new exhibit

A new exhibit at Centre A reflects on family, identity, belonging, and the importance of transferring traditions between generations.

When you no longer share the same mother tongue as your ancestors, how does it speak to your cultural identity? 

Cold Tea Collective paid a visit to (dis)location (dis)connect (dis)appearance, a new exhibit at Centre A that explores the complexities of intergenerational relationships. The exhibit features five emerging artists who reinterpret traditional crafts as tools for self-reflection on family, belonging, and identity. 

Photo: ‘A Labor of Labor’ by Florence Yee stitches the generational divide between differing understandings of work ethic and aspiration between generations.

Curated by Diane Wong, a 1.5 generation Chinese-Canadian, the concept was inspired by her own intergenerational relationship with her grandmother during a family emergency in 2018. 

“I was interested in seeing how different people approach the topic of intergenerational relationships, and the gap that they have with previous generations,” said Wong.

“When I first started this, I thought, ‘This is something I’m going through,’ but then slowly as I met more artists and people from the community, the more I realized that this is a very common experience.”

Photo: ‘Nomad Rocks’ by Reyhaneh Yazdani

The selected works highlight the shared experiences of her peers who explore the spaces, tensions and nuances of cultural disconnect. Featured artists include Aaniya Asrani, Olivia Chan, Cheyenne Rain LeGrande, Reyhaneh Yazdani, and Florence Cing-Gaai Ye.

“I want people to realize that our generation has a very hybrid identity. We’re not exactly like our parents. We’re not exactly like our grandparents. We’re something in between.” 

Photo: ‘Ties to Mother’ by Olivia Chan reveals an intimate portrait of mother and daughter hand-in-hand, produced in collaboration with Chan’s mother.

Wong hopes that the exhibit will spark conversations on the importance of transferring culture and tradition between generations. 

The exhibit is located in Centre A’s newly unveiled location on the second floor of the Sun Wah Centre at 268 Keefer Street in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. (dis)location (dis)connect (dis)appearance will be showing until August 10. 

Follow Centre A on Instagram and Facebook for updates and future exhibits.

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