The second floor ended up drawing a close parallel with the ideas presented on the floor below, even though it was supposed to be a completely separate exhibit. A variety of artwork was presented however one artist soared above the rest with both his art style and installations. Ken Lum, a native to East Vancouver had a number of photographs as well as a larger room devoted to his art installation of a neon sign detailed by the Vancouver Sun here. There was a computer set up in the room that allowed you to look at various articles about the piece and I noticed that the majority of the negative response was due to a lack of information on what the installation is meant to represent. This video that was in the room did a great job of showing that the art was not designed by him to be religious, in the video he actually mentions it is both religious and sacrilegious at the same time.
The negative comments stating this was promoting Christianity seemed to be a little bit misinformed and misplaced after watching the video.
The most outstanding of Lum's installations in the VAG were his room of mirrors and his wall of mirrors. When I entered the room of mirrors I was filled with a little bit of a joking feeling, figuring it would be similar to the one at the PNE (in which it is possible to run through, though they advise you not to). Instead, Lum's room of mirrors was utterly disorienting, to the point where on the first pass both my mother and girlfriend had to exit the way we came in after getting turned around in the corridors. I decided to go back in and they came through the exit side so we could meet in the middle and they could lead me back. On the way back out my girlfriend managed to mistake a mirror for the exit and walk full force into it. Quite bizarre and intriguing at the same time.
Lum's wall of mirrors consisted of a length of mirrors with reverse text printed on the wall across forcing you to read the text on the mirror in front of you. To read, it was necessary to move along the mirror as your own body obscured a portion of the words. Once you reached the end, the hallway turned in on itself and eventually after a series of mirrors it became a dark tunnel. Upon entering the tunnel you came into the room behind the mirrors you were just in and then had the chance to observe other people reading with the mirror. It was very strange, but fascinating.
All in all the VAG has a great series on right now and I would recommend that anyone in the Vancouver area drop in to check it out!