Lectures and Talks

Art Connects | Howie Tsui and Diana Freundl

Fri Apr 10, 2020 | 4:30 PM

Vancouver Art Gallery

Portrait of Howie Tsui, Photo: Rémi Thériault

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay connected with our new series of online gatherings, Art Connects!

In response to the temporary closure of the exhibition spaces due to the current global health pandemic, the Gallery has launched Art Connects to encourage dialogue and connection in the era of physical distancing.

Every Tuesday and Friday, the Gallery will stream live and interactive conversations into your homes, featuring guests from local and international arts communities. Everyone is invited to join through the webinar platform Zoom.

As we navigate these strange and uncertain times, it’s important to remember that art has the power to connect individuals, communities and cultures. No matter its form, art encourages communication, broadens perspectives, enriches the mind and renews the spirit.

New to Zoom? Learn how to register and attend a webinar here »

Howie Tsui and Diana Freundl:
Kinaesthetics of Nature and Durational Sculpting

Friday, April 10 | 4:30 PM


In conjunction with the exhibition Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy—organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery (2017) and recently on view as a touring exhibition at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Florida prior to their closure—artist Howie Tsui and Diana Freundl, Interim Chief Curator / Associate Director, will reveal, for the first time, the artistic and curatorial decisions reached to commission a twenty-five-metre, hand-drawn animation that threads together the social and political realities of past and present-day Hong Kong.

Following Diana and Howie’s conversation, Howie will provide a tour of his backyard nursery and introduce his flora and fauna, in particular the development of his Bonsai trees-in-training. Shaping and styling Bonsai trees is a recent passion of Howie’s, one that he has been able to devote more time to while sheltering at home as a way of realigning himself with the current pace of life. Howie will also demonstrate the process of wiring and shaping a Bonsai specimen.

Questions? Submit them when you register or during the Zoom presentation using the Q&A function.

This discussion will be moderated by Melissa Lee, Director of Education and Public Programs.


Vancouver-based artist Howie Tsui (Tsui Ho Yan / 徐浩恩) was born in Hong Kong and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and Thunder Bay. He works in a variety of media to construct tense, fictive environments that subvert canonized art forms and narrative genres, often from the traditional Chinese literati class. Tsui synthesizes diverging socio-cultural anxieties around superstition, trauma, acculturation, and otherness through a distinctly outsider lens to advocate for liminal and diasporic experiences.

Diana Freundl is Interim Chief Curator / Associate Director at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has curated and co-curated many exhibitions at the Gallery, including major retrospectives Bharti Kher Matter (2016); Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art (2014); Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver; Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy (2017); 空 / Emptiness: Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan (2018) and Moving Still: Performative Photography in India (2019). She has been the curator of the Gallery’s public art space, Offsite, since 2013, and has presented several site-specific installations from artists including MadeIn Company, Reena Saini Kallat, and Asim Waqif among others. Prior to joining the Vancouver Art Gallery, Freundl was living and working in mainland China and Taiwan from 1998 to 2013. She studied at the Tsinghua University of Art and Design in Beijing and has an academic background in comparative religion and journalism.