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Canadian Artist of the Week
LOOK AT THIS: Germaine Koh’s Ingenious Machines And Social Experiments
February 1, 2014
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SeeSawSeat prototype (2011)

LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.

Name: Germaine Koh

Born: George Town, Malaysia; raised in Armstrong, B.C.

Lives and works: Vancouver

The work: Koh's artwork ranges from performances to interactive machines to social experiments. Her pieces often deal with the ways we move through the world and interact with other people. She told that her work “tends to use recognizable objects and familiar materials, but usually with a twist that suggests unexpected relationships.” Her SeeSawSeat above, for example, is a public bench that completely fails at its primary task — unless the sitter shares their space successfully with another person (Douglas Coupland is tilting the balance in this shot).

What she's listening to: Koh is a co-founder of the record label and management company Weewerk. "I’ve been immersed in the lovely sounds of [Weewerk artist] Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker’s solo album Prayer of the Woods, for quite a few months," she told "Plus I’m listening to pre-release songs and awaiting the full-length album by acoustic couple The Royal Oui. And because one cannot live by folk alone, those are tempered with bouts of the B.C. metal band Bison."

Jock-artist hybrid: "I’ve always been a jock as well as an artist, and for the past five years have been very involved in my local roller derby league, the Terminal City Rollergirls. A couple months ago I retired from captaining the league’s All-Star team, and am now focused on coaching the house team that I led to the league championship last year."


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