Lost in #VanRELand, ’90 – ’94, the Early Years (1994)

(1994, colour scans from 35mm film negatives)

Lost in #VanRELand is a long-term photography project that explores the intersections between consumer culture, the built environment, the everyday, and the themes of cultural constructs, colonialism, myth-building, and utopias, as communicated through commerce, advertising, real estate, urban planning, and human behavior, as found strewn across the metropolitan region of Vancouver, Canada, a place deeply marked by #VanRE, its anti-genius loci.

This set focuses on years ’90 to ’94.

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ARTIST’S STATEMENT

“In the 1990…” writes Sam Cooper in Willful Blindness, his investigative journalism bestseller, “Vancouver was evolving from a relatively small, law-abiding city into a drug capital with the corporate leadership to control global narco-dollars.” (p. 197)

As a young immigrant to the city, I could feel a growing uneasiness on its streets.

I moved to Vancouver, Canada, in the fall of 1990. In the early 1990s, the city still had a small city feel, but you could feel strange rumblings underfoot. The empty Expo 86 Lands, a sixth of the size of the Downtown city core, were fallowing unproductively, to give the general public the (false) impression that they were worthless “due to their contaminated soil”, so that the government of the day could sell it off at a bargain price to an insider, a common narrative for over a century in a city built on real estate marketing fraud and speculation—read Land of Destiny: A History of Vancouver Real Estate by Jesse Donaldson for a good backgrounder.

Then the sale happened (but to an outsider), for pennies on the dollar, and it seemed to have broken in the spirit of the city: different energies started flowing, which would incrementally but fundamentally disrupt the small-city ecosystem and social fabric of Vancouver.

On this murky canvas, I painted my Early #VanRELand Years, atmospheric, moody, melancholic.

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ALSO IN THIS SERIES:

Lost in #VanRELand ’91 – ’94, the Early Years (1994)
Lost in #VanRELand ’94 – ’98, the Impressionist Years (1998)
Lost in #VanRELand ’98 – ’04, the Dark Years (2004)
Lost in #VanRELand, ’04 – ’10, the Bubble Years (2010) – (TBR*)
Lost in #VanRELand, ’10 – ’14, the LoFi Years (2015) – (TBR*)
Lost in #VanRELand, ’14 –  ’17, the Stasis Years (2017) – (TBR*)
Lost in #VanRELand, ’17 –  ’18, the Textnecks Years (2019) – (TBR*)

 

 

 

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