When Lani Maestro’s first visited Canada in 2008, she was shocked at the squalor conditions of East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside. Many tourists and international students have had the same reaction to this seedy section of town that is known as the worst area in all of Canada. To Lani Maestro’s dismay, it is relatively unchanged, upon her return to Canada two years later. Her newest artwork her rain, showcased from October 16 to December 4, 2010 at Centre A: Vancouver Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, reflects the inner agony and distress that she felt and still feels about these conditions.
As Centre A is located on the corner of East Hastings and Carrall Streets in Vancouver, her rain captivates the pain of the area. In fact, one can plainly look in through the windows of Centre A for a glimpse of Lani Maestro’s work. Due to the environs, a visitor to Centre A can also plainly see the unfortunate subject of her rain. The sculpture entitled No Pain Like This Body contains powerful words excerpted from the book of the same name by the late author Harold Sunny Ladoo.
Lani Maestro hails from the Philippines but resides in both France and Canada. Her work has been shown all over the world, with her most notable acclaim being the Biennial Prize won in 1986 for her piece in Segunda Bienal de la Habana in Havana, Cuba. Her style of art is most often a simple social statement, created so that the message is rendered to have an emotional impact on people.
Once again, Curator Makiko Hara has put together a great Asian art exhibit with the support of funding from Arts Partners in Creative Development and the Canada Council for the Arts. her rain is officially opening on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm at Centre A. As well, Lani Maestro will give a Public Lecture on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Emily Carr University in Room 301, South Building.