Janet Wang

I create social patterns: by appropriating the vernacular of decor motifs, and replacing the historical and idyllic imagery with contemporary narratives of identity and place, my work reads like a traditional pattern from afar, while revealing its true speculative nature up close. My current project, “Ports of Entry,” examines the speculative nature of migration, the patterns found in the histories of labour, movement and settling along shorelines. The decorative language will highlight the interiority of privilege, whilst exposing this in an urban context. The shoreline represents a limit that is constantly in flux, evolving and shifting in response to industry and development.

I strive to practice sustainably, to reduce waste and toxicity. I work in mediums such as egg tempera, making my own paints, and have been foraging natural materials to create ink. I will explore the local flora of Toronto Islands pigment sources, as well as create imagery based on the economies and settlement of the shorelines. My current research explores the connections between immigration, labour and landscape. I will delve into the shoreline as symbolic of the liminal desires that drive (im)migration. I hope to continue this thread by situating my research and practice within a new landscape, examining the phenomenological and physical impact of the environment on the inhabitant and labourer.


Janet Wang is a visual artist working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation, textiles and digital media. She received her BFA from the University of British Columbia and her MFA from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures. The artist has received awards from the Arts Council of England, Vancouver Foundation and the BC Arts Council. She is currently is an instructor at the LaSalle College Vancouver and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Comments are closed.