City of Vancouver introduces 15 temporary artworks into the urban landscape


Fifteen Artists commissioned to produce artworks for video screens, photo murals and transit shelters on the theme of Coastal City

VANCOUVER, BC – A new series of temporary public art projects launches on May 16 with new works appearing monthly through October 2016. The City’s Public Art Program is marking its 25th anniversary with a series of two-dimensional artworks that celebrate and investigate the “Coastal City” – the border between land and sea, the designation of boundaries and life in a region near the shore, the changing land and ocean-scape, the influx of people and goods, the unique ecosystems, challenges and opportunities – the circumstances that make coastal cities such as Vancouver unique.

The fifteen artworks are a diverse mix of unique artistic approaches ranging from digital and painterly abstraction to documentation of urban faces and spaces; from highlighting lifestyle choices to social alienation; and from specific histories to imaginative interventions. All are rooted in this place.

Four projects, by  Deanne Achong, Paul de Guzman, Amanda Arcuri & Elisa Yon, and Nicolas Sassoon, will launch in May in transit shelters, on urban LED screens, at the Canada Line City Centre Station, and a new venue on the glass exit structure on the QE Plaza.

Learn about these artists, their projects, and the eleven upcoming commissions below.

Find us on Facebook and on Twitter. Be a part of the digital conversation about these works by using the hashtags: #VanCoastalCity and #VanPlatformArt

City of Vancouver Public Art Program | Platforms: Coastal City Series | Pier D, 2016 by Deanne Achong| Showing on the east window of the Canada Line Vancouver City Centre Station in Vancouver BC, May to October, 2016

Deanne Achong’s project Pier D is a photomural on the east window of the Canada Line Vancouver City Centre Station from now until October 2016; thanks to InTransit BC.

On the afternoon of July 27, 1938, a four alarm fire broke out on CPR Pier D.  This artwork is a visual contemplation of that historic moment in the context of the port as a vital feature of the city and central to the downtown commercial hub. The mural is defined by three ‘portholes’ that present two altered archival images focusing on the fire plus a central contemporary image shot by the artist looking at where the pier used to be. A QR code is also part of the imagery. Scan the code to view dynamic content that changes daily and functions like a serialized diary of the era, with brief personal accounts and images from archival and fictional sources.

BIO: Vancouver artist Deanne Achong works largely in new-media and draws from history, popular culture and literature. In 2015, she exhibited The Obsolescence Project at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and presented her app Lusca at Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) Festival in Bergen, Norway.  |


City of Vancouver Public Art Program | Platforms: Coastal City Series | Alien Terrarium, 2016 by Elisa Yon and Amanda Arcuri | Showing at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza in Vancouver BC, May to October, 2016

Elisa Yon and Amanda Arcuri have transformed the glass exit structure on Queen Elizabeth Plaza into an Alien Terrarium – on display from now until October 2016.

The artwork is a classical still-life composition made up of plants that have come from elsewhere. One of the effects of living in a coastal region is that many invasive plant species enter the ecology from other parts of the world. Alien Terrarium invites viewers to be immersed in an “alien” world and consider relevant themes of migration, integration and survival. (Coincidentally, May is Invasive Species Action Month in BC.)


BIO: Amanda Arcuri is a photography based artist from Toronto, Ontario, where she studied photography at Ryerson University and completed her Masters of Applied Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Arcuri creates altered and dramatized landscapes with light or materials within the greenery.


BIO: Elisa Yon lives and works in Vancouver. Her practice is rooted in architecture and design and combines notions of public space, community based art practices and public art. She completed a Master of Applied Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012.


New artwork by Paul de Guzman that mimics a travel book can be found in 20 transit shelters from May 16 to June 12.

Vancouver Coastal: a nomad’s guide to the floating world pretends to be a travel guide and a work of speculative storytelling. The image of jetsam washed up on the shore, supplemented by a visual quotation from a classical Japanese print, references contemporary nomadic life and the historic romanticism associated with it. Recent global events involving industrial and natural disasters, upheaval and migration, extreme weather patterns elsewhere and on our own West Coast shores leave an archaeological array of accidental artefacts washing up on shorelines along the Pacific. The shoreline is the point of transmission of cultures and objects and stories. Regardless of whether these stories are truth, fiction or somewhere in between, they nonetheless allow us to share our experiences.


BIO: Dividing his time between Manila and Vancouver, Paul de Guzman’s autodidactic artistic practice can be defined as post-studio and nomadic, characterized by a concept-driven approach across a variety of media and an interest in the dynamics of social interactions, urbanism and post-colonial concerns. He has participated in artistic residencies at Stichting Duende, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and the Darling Foundry, Montréal (Canada). recent exhibition venues include the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels (Belgium), l’Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble (France) and ArtSpace in New Haven, Connecticut (USA).  |


City of Vancouver Public Art Program | Platforms: Coastal City Series | Ripples, 2016 by Nicolas Sassoon | Playing on urban screens in downtown Vancouver, BC

Nicolas Sassoon has created three digital abstractions using high contrast black and white animation – on view from May 16 to June 12. His works will be seen on the outdoor urban screens at Robson & Granville, CBC Plaza, on the upper west face of the Telus Gardens building, Terry Fox Plaza at BC Place, and on interior screens at Vancity Theatre and Pacific Cinematheque.

At first glance, the works may seem like static on old tv sets. The artist plays with this association with the wave-like electrical interference of the past and explores the line between digital and organic patterns.  These allover screen patterns are meant to be immersive encounters with the digital realm,  artificial visual effects that evoke atmospheric forces, in this case, like the play of light and dark on the water and the hypnotic visual effect of rain and wind on the water.


BIO: Nicolas Sassoon uses computer-based processes to render abstract visions of architecture, landscape and domestic environments. His work explores the contemplative dimension of the digital, as well as how computer-generated space can be inscribed within the physical realm. He has exhibited his work in Canada, the US, Mexico, and Europe. Nicolas is founding member of the collective WALLPAPERS.  He holds a MFA from École européenne supérieure de l’image (EESI)in Angouleme, France.  |

Other artists to look forward to in the Coastal City series are:

Ryan Peter, Jayce Salloum, Krista Schoening and Coley Mixan (Seattle), Kyla Mallett, Castle/Ingram/Grünenfelder, Emilie Crewe, Lisa g. Nielsen, Curtis Grahauer, Jason Nielsen, Ben Bogart and Laiwan.

These public projects are opportunities for residents and visitors to discover unique images and perspectives on urban life from members of Vancouver’s vibrant creative community. The artworks complicate the experience of public space by adding curious images that are not driven by advertising or information signage.

The Coastal City artworks were proposed by artists in response to an open call. The goals of these temporary artworks are to:

  • Provide public art opportunities for artists who work in two-dimensional imagery
  • Aspire to high caliber artworks in the context of international art practices
  • Contribute to a stimulating public realm and enrich the experience of the city

Details about Vancouver’s Public Art Program can be found at

The Public Art Program has facilitated over a hundred projects in twenty-five years, spanning large-scale permanent installations, design-team collaborations and artist-initiated artworks. Visit the online archive for more information about projects:

Culture - Public Art - 25th Anniversary - 25in25 series - logo - footer - colour

Media inquiries and images:

CITY OF VANCOUVER  |  Public Art Program
604 873 7947

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