Stories that animate us

February 20, 2021 - September 6, 2021

Jérôme Havre, Cauleen Smith and Camille Turner, Triangle Trade, 2017, HD video, Courtesy of the Artists

Storytelling—its scope and ongoing significance—lies at the heart of Stories that animate us, a dynamic and compelling exhibition developed formally and thematically in conversation with Sun Xun: Mythological Time. Highlighting a rich selection of works on paper and animations, Stories that animate us draws from a diverse range of oral histories, narratives, knowledge systems and cosmologies.


Whether evoking the spirit world, delving into the depths of their imagination or endeavouring to make meaning from historical and current events, the featured artists reflect on such existential themes as culture, community, memory, morality and identity in order to speak to the past, present and future. Stories that animate us invites the public to reflect on the importance of storytelling in their lives while asking: What stories inspire you? What stories need to be told and which will you pass on?


Featured artists include Robert Davidson, Francisco de Goya, Jérôme Havre, David Hockney, Cindy Mochizuki, Ed Pien, Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo, Marina Roy, Royal Art Lodge, Cauleen Smith, Amanda Strong, Camille Turner, Howie Tsui and Joyce Wieland.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Zoë Chan, Assistant Curator and Diana Freundl, Interim Chief Curator/Associate Director

  • Amanda Strong
    Flood, 2017
    Courtesy of the Artist

  • Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo
    Santo Marero, 2020
    mixed media (pencil crayon, conté, acrylic
    ink, watercolour, oil paint, collage) on Mylar
    Courtesy of the Artist

  • Marina Roy
    The Floating Archipelago, 2015/2021
    Courtesy of the Artist