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Robot parts, vases and 'the cloud': This master sculptor is making a mash-up of past and future

Vancouver's Brendan Lee Satish Tang takes us through his transition from hybrid vases to a sculpture making sense of "the cloud."

'The object becomes this remix or a hybrid of having one foot in the past and one foot in the future'

Vancouver's Brendan Lee Satish Tang takes us through his transition from hybrid vases to a sculpture making sense of "the cloud". 3:34

Born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents of Asian descent, Vancouver-based artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang has created a body of work that reflects on his own multicultural experience. "I think a lot of my work is mash-ups or remixes of different things — exploring those feelings of hybridity, dualism or multiple experience happening at once," he says.

His pieces are heavily inspired by popular culture and include a mix of futuristic and traditional elements. For example, Tang gives traditional Chinese vases a futuristic update in the Manga Ormolu works by adding robotic prostheses inspired by Japanese anime and manga. The result is bold, playful and highly detailed sculptures that speak to issues of identity, cultural appropriation and the tension between technology and tradition. "The object becomes this remix or a hybrid of having one foot in the past and one foot in the future," he says.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang. (CBC Arts)

Tang's craftsmanship in ceramics was recognized with a Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award this year, but the artist is taking the opportunity to explore new territories with meatspace, an upcoming exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) in Vancouver. For this installation, Tang has created series of cloud-shaped sculptures made out of wood and black foam core. Using the cloud as a metaphor for our virtual and real lives, Tang continues to explore the intersections of different worlds and experiences. "I'm interested in creating a space where the viewer walks into that cloud that we upload all our information into, and see what that looks like sculpturally."

Follow Brendan Lee Satish Tang here. meatspace will be open at the Burrard Arts Foundation January 11th to March 10th, 2018.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Milena Salazar

Milena Salazar is a Costa Rican documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish territory. She is fascinated with portraying internal landscapes, and how artists express their imagination into the world.

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