Our Exhibits

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents exhibitions of work by artists ranging from historic masters to leading-edge contemporaries. These include major thematic exhibitions, presentations of solo artists and smaller, more focused showcases. In a typical year, 2 to 3 exhibitions are borrowed from other institutions and 10 to 12 exhibitions are developed in-house, drawing on our permanent collection and loans of works from around the world. In addition, the Gallery tours a few of its exhibitions each year.

Past Exhibitions

Offsite: Asim Waqif

November 10, 2017 to April 15, 2018

Asim Waqif, Salvage, 2017
site-specific installation at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite
Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Asim Waqif
b a a n s, 2005
site-specific installation at KHOJ, Delhi
bamboo, rope and mango-wood
Courtesy of the Artist

New Delhi-based artist, Asim Waqif creates Salvage, an immersive architectural experience built out of materials collected at repurpose stores, transfer stations and landfills in the metro Vancouver area. The structure is assembled using timber, roofing, doors, window frames and sections of walls salvaged from recent demolition sites in addition to electronics, cabinets, bails of recycled cardboard and containers discarded from local residential, business and institutional buildings.

Waqif further develops a sensory experience by incorporating an interactive acoustic system using simple off the shelf equipment such as microphones, effects pedals and speakers. Visitors are encouraged to move through the installation maze allowing them to actively experience the architecture.

According to the City of Vancouver statistics, residents, businesses and institutions threw away approximately 351,000 tonnes of garbage in 2015. Most of this “waste” is valuable resources that could have been conserved, reused, recycled, or composted instead of sent to the landfill or incinerator. Waqif’s site-specific installation combines architecture with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban design and the politics of urban waste management. Concerns of the environment and social responsibility weave through his work and for this project he has produced research on the City of Vancouver’s current system of waste management and its shift towards a circular economy that uses waste as a resource and vision to become a zero waste municipality by 2040.

About the Artist:
Asim Waqif (born 1978, Hyderabad) studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, and shortly after graduation he turned his focus to a dedicated art-practice. He has worked in sculpture, video, photography and site-specific public installation. Many of his permanent sculptures and temporary installations in India and throughout Asia, including exhibitions at Khoj, New Delhi (2008), Hong Kong Art fair (2010), have been constructed with bamboo. Considered a pedestrian material in India because of its abundance, Waqif draws on the multiple ways in which bamboo is used in India, including scaffolding for construction projects, etc.

The use of bamboo underscores Waqif’s interest in innovative constructions using traditional, local materials (vernacular architecture) as well as his ongoing concern for environmental sustainability. However following invitations to create site-specific works in Europe, where bamboo is not a common material, Waqif turned his attention to the solid waste management systems in the cities he visited. This led to the use of more unconventional materials such as discarded wood panels, wiring, metal, steal and plastic waste. He has created site-specific installations for the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France (2012), the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, Australia (2013), among others.

Many of Waqif’s projects respond to an absence of a tactile, experiential aspect to contemporary art by establishing an element of interactivity inside a living, evolving, organic environment. More recently he has starting weaving mechanical and electronic panels into the mazelike structures to cultivate a multi-sensory experience with sound, light and movement.

Offsite: Asim Waqif is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery's Institute of Asian Art and curated by Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art.

Asim Waqif is the 16th installation in the Gallery’s Offsite series. Offsite is located at 1100 West Georgia Street between Thurlow and Bute Streets, west of the Shangri-La Hotel.

Generously supported by:
Sherry Killam


A program of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s
Institute of Asian Art.
Founding Corporate Visionary Partner
for the Institute of Asian Art
Visionary Partners:
Liu Bao, Wang Ying and Liu Manzhao

With appreciation to members of the IAA Development Committee

City of Vancouver
Offsite is funded by the City of Vancouver through the Public Art Program. The Gallery recognizes Ian Gillespie, President, Westbank; Ben Yeung, President, Peterson Investment Group; and the residents of the Shangri-La for their support of this space.