Joy Wong & Vladimir Kanic: Breath of Origin

On-site exhibition view. A fervid Surface, 2021, Joy Wong (left); Book of Waves Pt11, 2022, Vladimir Kanic (right)

Breath of Origin

Industrial Arts is delighted to announce the art exhibition Breath of Origin, showcasing the captivating works of artists Joy Wong and Vladimir Kanic, curated by Yuluo Anita Wei.

Exhibition Dates: April 21 – May 19, 2023
Opening Hours: Daily, by appointment only. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition please email
Location: 333 Denison St, Unit 3, Markham, ON L3R 2Z4

On-site exhibition view. Untitled, 2023, A fervid Surface, 2021, Joy Wong (front and back); Book of Waves Pt11, 2022, Book of Waves Pt10, 2022, Vladimir Kanic (centre)

What happens when artists derive inspiration from a meal at a Chinese restaurant? Breath of Origin is an immersive dual-artist exhibition that unites the innovative sculptural works of Joy Wong and Vladimir Kanic, offering a thought-provoking answer to this question.

Wong’s Fermentation Series delves into the rich tapestry of colonialism, food culture, migration, and the human body. Inspired by the hóngchájùn 红茶菌, also known as kombucha (“red tea fungus”), their sculptures, meticulously crafted from organic materials, encapsulate the process of fermentation — a transformative, bubbling metamorphosis that echoes the ever-changing nature of human existence and cultural exchange. Their work celebrates the resilience and adaptability inherent in both the natural process of fermentation and the human experience. By focusing on the culinary heritage of Chinese culture, Wong encourages viewers to consider the origins of their own identities and the role that migration and colonization have played in shaping the diverse tapestry of collective and individual life experience.

Kanic, on the other hand, challenges the conventional notion of control by completely relinquishing it in his approach. In an intriguing exploration of human and more-than-human organisms, Kanic’s living sculptures incorporate oxygen-producing algae, drawing inspiration from the seaweed commonly found in Chinese restaurants. They create a symbiotic relationship on-site, fostering interspecies communication based on the exchange of gases. As spectators interact with these surroundings, they contribute to the art’s transformation, turning it into a time-based media piece that evolves over time. As a reminder of the nature of consciousness, this unique interaction raises thought-provoking questions about the binary of life and death, as well as prompts viewers to reflect on the ways in which culture, nature, and our own sense of control intersect.

The exhibition encourages visitors to explore the common threads that link the innovative works of Wong and Kanic. As you immerse yourself in the evocative installations, consider the ways in which our shared history and the natural world around us shape our understanding of who we were, who we can become, and most importantly, who we are.

Yuluo Anita Wei