Material Memories: Don Kwan
Jan 13
Mar 03 2024
exhibition in-person

‘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.


Don Kwan


Craft Ontario logo
Canada Council for the Arts Logo


Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Robyn Wilcox
Is this venue accessible by wheelchair or similar mobility devices? This includes access to washrooms and all aspects of programming/events.
Can people get to the venue using accessible transit?
A face mask made out of Chinese restaurant menus.
Don Kwan. 'Luncheon Special', 2021. Mixed media, vintage Chinese restaurant placards, tassels, thread.
A Cheongsam made out of family photos.
Don Kwan. 'Dress for Mother', 2023. Media, inkjet prints, sourced family photos, thread, glue.
Intertwined face masks made our of joss money.
Don Kwan. 'Veneration Material Memories', 2023. Mixed media, joss money, thread, glue.
A dress shirt made out of Chinese takeout menus.
Don Kwan. 'Waiters Dress Shirt', 2019. Mixed media, Chinese takeout menus, foam buttons, thread, glue.