Vancouver is playing a central role in crossing the boundaries between Eastern and Western art. These boundaries are being eliminated as an increasing number of people from the Pacific Rim emigrate to Vancouver, bringing with them a desire to express their culture and customs visually through art. Several galleries and museums throughout Vancouver have taken on the role of representing Asian art and artists. One such gallery is the Vancouver and Hong Kong based Art Beatus.
Art Beatus is at the forefront of representing contemporary artists from Asian countries or of Asian descent living in the West. In the last few decades, there has been increased interest in the collection and study of Asian art in both the East and the West.
This interest has created unprecedented access to contemporary and traditional Asian art not seen in this city before.
Taking its name from Latin, meaning pleasure and happiness, Art Beatus’s mission is to “promote cultural exchange and with it encourage healthy social development as we move into the next century.” Opened in Vancouver in 1996, Art Beatus originated in Hong Kong. Founded in 1992 by Mr. Dick Chen, the first Art Beatus became a forum for Chinese and international artists to showcase their work. When the second gallery opened in Vancouver, the idea of a cross-cultural exchange, a bridge between East and West, was securely established.
The patroness and chairwoman of Art Beatus, Ms. Annie Wong Leung Kit Wah, daughter of noted Hong Kong philanthropist Dr. Leung Kau Kui, sees the gallery as a “discussion of different art practices” and a forum to see “Chinese art recontextualized on an international basis . . . which challenges the established [Western] art world.”
The gallery plays a fundamental role in creating an interest in, and accessibility to, the Asian and international art scene. Art Beatus acknowledges the need for cultural diversity and pluralism in a world of ever-increasing globalization. The gallery establishes a visual dialogue between many cultural groups. Focusing mainly on contemporary Chinese artists, the gallery attempts to move us into the 21st century, displaying Eastern art techniques and philosophies to Western eyes. Art, and thus the gallery, is a perfect vehicle for either a deconstruction of traditional values or a simple expression of individual cultural experiences.
Art Beatus offers lecture series, tours and seminars to give clients a better understanding of Eastern art. Art Beatus is open from 10 a.m.6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and by appointment.