Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
22 Jul 00until26 Aug 00

An Te Liu


555 Hamilton St

Detail of an art installation by An Te Liu. White mockups of electronic devices, many of which look like humidifiers, are placed on a white surface.

The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by An Te Liu, a young Vancouver artist and architect whose dual practices find a meeting ground in his art. The work in Pathology concerns itself with domestic technologies, both high and low, as well as urban planning, and how the two relate to a desire for health, pleasure and the prolongation of life within the safety of controlled environments. Liu is interested in contemporary society's obsession with the improvement and perfectibility of both our bodies and living spaces, and with technological and design formulas that propose solutions to a world full of unknown and unexpected threats.

The exhibition consists of various works that are connected by their minimal aesthetic, architectural references and everyday use-value. The centrepiece consists of a cluster of more than sixty clean-mist humidifiers and negative-air ionizers. Theoretically, these machines create a "charged" atmosphere that makes one feel better. They're clean, almost abstract, design is suggestively architectural, and Liu's arrangement of these machines mimics an architecture model of urban design, like those presented at expositions or town planning meetings. Although their appearance does not disclose their function, humidifiers and ionizers are promoted as preventing everything from parched sinuses to furniture drying and cracking. As most users lack an understanding of the technological principles employed to achieve this, these "machines for living" function as much psychologically as they do physically. Also in the exhibition are loosely-hung samples of decorative wallpaper imprinted with Rorschach-like patterns derived from an overhead view of Levittown, an early post-war example of ideal suburban planning.

Pathology is An Te Liu's first solo exhibition. He has previously exhibited at Hedgespace, PARC Gallery and the Pacific Design Centre all located in Los Angeles, and the Henry Urbach Gallery in New York City.