Vancouver-based printmaker Marlene Yuen’s explorations of Chinese Canadian labour histories have through the years taken the form of intricately produced print and paper-based media. Through ‘zines, comics, lovingly crafted artists books and – new for this exhibition – site-specific artworks, Yuen’s body of work comes off the pages and onto the walls. In precise and attentive craftsmanship, Yuen brings dimension to both the known and the overlooked histories of immigrant labour. Drawing from oral histories and archival research inspired by Yuen’s own family history, Cheap! Diligent! Faithful! acknowledges the complexities of labour and immigration in this country – and lifts up the small, remarkable details of lived experience.
The exhibition includes the launch of Yuen’s new publication that explores the graphic and cultural history of Ho Sun Hing Printers which closed in 2014, after 106 years of business in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Marlene Yuen is a Vancouver-based artist who received her Bachelor’s of Studio Arts in 1998 from the University of British Columbia. Marlene has exhibited at galleries, artist-run centres, and cultural events in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan. Although she is a multidisciplinary artist, her current focus is on handmade books; her artist books have been retained in special collections nationally and internationally.
Currently, Marlene is focusing her subject matters on Chinese Canadian labour history and preservation of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. Her newest artist book explores Vancouver Chinatown’s last print shop, Ho Sun Hing Printers.