Under Construction: Vancouver/Hong Kong

Susan Gransby

March 7 to April 28


Printmaker Susan Gransby has created this multimedia    work rooted in the interconnected cultures of Vancouver and Hong Kong.  Presented as two series of collages and prints, the exhibition reflects on the outward transformations of these two dynamic cities.



Urban and industrial structures and architecture have always attracted me. Sometimes it’s a single object, such as a crane on the Fraser River or a scaffold on a Hong Kong construction site. Other times I enjoy picking out favourite fragments of a building or district and floating them in imagined spaces. Curator/historian Roger Boulet once described my work as “a refreshingly uncomplicated vision with a relaxed and easy intimacy.”

The ‘Bamboo Series’ originated with black and white photos I took of bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong.  It explores past and present through contemporary and historic references to both East and West.  Themes of art, craft, architecture and heritage are embodied in montages juxtaposed and layered not only physically but also in space and time.  An intuitive response to the material portrayed (bamboo) led to a subsequent examination of its history and its use and misuse throughout the centuries.  Oriental concepts of space and composition are used alongside my ongoing interest in colour and pattern, while contrasting materials such as handmade paper and transparencies, ink and photography, refer to both ancient and contemporary art.

Similarly, the ‘Docks Series’ is based upon my explorations of Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet harbour and various Fraser River docks and sawmills.  The works are a result of editing infinite choices down to a few elements that describe the subject’s basic atmosphere; bits and pieces picked out of the jigsaw puzzle that constitutes my urban environment.  All these images and impressions are filtered through both recollection and imagination, thereby changing to reflect my personal experience of them.




Susan Gransby was born in London, England and lives in Burnaby. She graduated with Honours in Printmaking from the Vancouver School of Art in 1979 and in Philosophy from UBC. Her etchings, linocuts, monotypes and mixed media works have been exhibited across Canada and the U.S. and in Japan, Spain, Finland and Peru. They are in many private and corporate collections including Vancity, TD Bank, IBM, NCR, The Salient Group, and CP and Westin Hotels as well as such public collections as the Canada Council Art Bank and the Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and SFU galleries. The former journalist also writes, edits and curates.