‘Material Memories’ is a personal and introspective body of work by Ottawa-based artist Don Kwan. Kwan confronts and navigates the unprecedented challenges brought forth by the pandemic. He uses his artistic voice to resist the prevalence of anti-Asian hate and confront the systemic issues that have been amplified during these times. By sharing his own experiences and challenges, Kwan seeks to disrupt stereotypes, foster empathy, and promote understanding.
Don Kwan is an interdisciplinary artist based in Ottawa. Working in sculpture, installation, photography and performance, Kwan explores place, identity, representation and family memory across time. His work has been featured in exhibitions at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens, Hall of One Hundred Rivers, Vancouver; Ottawa Art Gallery; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; and Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff. In 2022, his year-long exhibit at the Ottawa Art Gallery titled ‘Landscape, Loss and Legacy’ was shortlisted for an award by Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries. During the same year, Kwan was awarded the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award by the Ottawa Arts Council. Kwan recently exhibited in the 2023 Bonavista Biennale.
Don Kwan acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.