Gabi Dao questions the conditions of aesthetic experience through reflections on the nuances of identity, personal histories, and memory. Her work includes sculpture, installation, lighting, and sound. She also co-organizes independently produced exhibitions, readings, musical performances, parties, and other happenings at a shared studio and project space called Duplex. Her past projects have been exhibited at Dynamo Arts Association, 221a, and Intersite Visual Arts Festival at the National Music Centre. She currently has work in the three-artist exhibition Noise gives the listener duration as an artifact at Artspeak in Vancouver.
1. Lord Narf's SICK EP
Dark beats with paced-out flows foreground slightly spaced-out raps that seep out through a thick cloud of blunt smoke. Lord Narf’s nine-track EP SICK is addictive. I’ve got aural greed for each of her tracks. Each song is well rounded and distinct from one another, but a loose sense of narration and a sweet, bossy lady attitude carries on throughout. I definitely recommend a download from her Bandcamp. Particular highlights are Face Fall Off and Can’t Breathe.
2. ISpice Szechuan at the Aberdeen Mall
The food court here is worth half our Canada Line ride alone. For $7.95 you get a generous bowl of spicy dan-dan noodles topped with ground pork, no frills. Pleasantly tongue-numbing chilies won’t necessarily give you the sweats, but can deliver a decent amount of heat on a cold, wet Vancouver day. If you want to show off to your friends, you can get the chili sour soup with glass noodles; it is literally red-hot. Don’t forget to visit the new gallery Plaza Projects when you’re well and fed.
3. Public oral hygiene ritual: toothpicks
Sadly dental care is not covered under MSP in BC and in order to avoid a trip to the dentist, I’ve recently become obsessed with having toothpicks ready at hand. There are many types of toothpick. I’ve discovered a fairly engineered variety with one angled end and one bristled end in certain drugstores. There are flavoured ones (cinnamon, tea tree, mint, etc.) that as a bonus freshen your breath. My favourite kind is the double-ended one made of bamboo that is often found in Chinese restaurants. Tapered, sharp, yet gentle and strong, it won’t splinter in your gum, I promise.
4. Texting with my mom
My mom has become really text savvy over the years. She has such a funny text language vernacular that is completely her own. Most of her text messages come to me in a series of about five to seven messages at once. "You" has recently become "u", some emojis have recently entered the mix, and I’ve spotted a few "lols" in recent conversations as well.
5. Pot belly
Dispel the myth of the starving artist with a body positive embrace of the gut.
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