Location: Carl Zehr Square, Kitchener City Hall

The Well is a durational performance by emerging artist Zhaoyi Kang in which he builds a temporary wall around himself by meticulously stacking hundreds of bananas. The work derives from “banana” as a metaphor for Asian immigrant in Canada. As a Canadian citizen but born in Beijing China, the distinction of identity is a problematic one for Kang; no longer Chinese enough for those in China and, with imperfect English, not yet a native Canadian. The Well is a stand-in for the predicament that the artist faces. Being trapped in The Well during the performance is a metaphor for the artist’s trapped identity at a time of transition from one culture to another. Please take a banana.

Zhaoyi Kang is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto pursuing a double major in Studio and Economics. Kang is interested in multi-media including performance, photography, drawing, and sculpture. As a young contemporary artist, Kang likes to use artwork as a powerful tool to reveal social problems. He tends to manipulate common objects into conceptual performance and installation.

Kang’s studies are influenced by Tanya Mars, performance artist and associate professor at U of T. Kang is also a member of the Doris McCarthy Gallery advisory committee.

Curated and produced by Idea Exchange Art + Design, Cambridge. 

Image: Zhaoyi Kang, The Well, 2016. Photo: Tian (Sky) Lu.