] Absence | Presence [

Performance: 2 hours at Granville Island, Vancouver, 2010



Chun Hua Catherine Dong is destroying a gallery wall in Vancouver

Chun Hua Catherine Dong is destroying a gallery wall for a performance

Gallery wall is destroyed by Chun Hua Catherine Dong in her performance in Vancouver

During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I started to push a 12′x 8′x 42″gallery wall along streets of Granville Island for days. On the wall, printed so as to be unremarkable except by flash photography, is the text: “I feel homeless in your presence/I will be at home in your absence.” This work demonstrates that I destroy the this wall with an axe after the performance.

This performance is a response to the British Columbia government’s funding cuts to the arts. As a result of massive funding cuts, many galleries have been forced to close, and art is losing its home in B.C. The gallery wall, once a space of opportunity for artists, has had to be moved outside. This performance represents this sense of loss.

This hardship not only results in a tremendous loss to the arts in BC arts, but also raises more questions for artists. Can art survive without walls? Do we artists really need a gallery? The wall sometimes does not facilitate art but acts as an obstacle to divide art and artists. What if we artists try to push the gallery wall to the outside voluntarily, rather than being forced to move out because of politics? What if we artists try to move this obstacle in order to create more space for ourselves, rather than restricting ourselves within its boundaries? No matter whether the wall is forced outside or whether it needs to be pushed by artists ourselves, the performance presents this opposition, confrontation and struggle. For more information about how I push the wall on streets, please visit

photo credit: Hua Jin