Secret Lives and Habit@

Maddie Karaoke. Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Maddie Karaoke.
Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Illuminated living spaces seemingly on display to evening passers-by provide the inspiration for Janet Wang’s WINDOW installation, Habit@. Habit@ transforms the Roundhouse exhibition space into a portal to peek inside the domestic lives of urbanites. A series of stacked boxes of varying sizes represent apartments and condominiums. Some rooms are empty, some are occupied by characters or objects but all rooms tell a story.

The narratives are made up of a mix of Wang’s own experiences supplemented by her conjectures about the lives of others. Peering in through windows and doors, viewers will see everything from lives that can only be described as surreal, such as being stuck in space, to lives that reference iconic works from art history.

Birth Of. Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Birth Of.
Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Dali Homage. Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Dali Homage.
Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Wang holds a MFA from the University of Leeds and a BFA from the University of British Columbia. Although her primary practice is painting, she constantly strives to push her creative boundaries by exploring alternate mediums.  Card stock, paper, and collage allows her to play with a variety of textures. The stacked boxes of Habit@ have an architectural quality to them that may bring to mind the dioramas many of us constructed as children. “I wanted to have that sense of play again” explained Wang.

Janet Wang is a name that is familiar to the Roundhouse community. She has previously taught painting classes at the Centre. When asked what appealed to her about the WINDOW exhibition space, she replied that she loves the community space as it is a busy area, well used by a diverse group of people. She also enjoys exhibiting beyond the typical gallery space as it allows her to engage viewers differently. Perhaps a patron is on their way to a class and unexpectedly comes upon the space. That chance encounter provides a setting for the viewer to interact, enjoy, and challenge themselves with her visuals. Wang’s hopes are that Roundhouse guests will take a moment to slow down and take a look.

Man vs Nature. Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Man vs Nature.
Photo by Janet Wang, 2015.

Come by the WINDOW vitrine (located near the front entrance, on the wall in front of the gymnasium) November 4 – December 31, 2015 and check out Habit@ for yourself. Leave a comment and let us know what you think of chance encounters of the artistic kind. Happy viewing!


By Karen Clare, Roundhouse Blog Team. Karen has a passion for reaching out to others in the creative community, learning their stories, and sharing these tales with Roundhouse readers. @khclare

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