Gu Xiong and his daughter Yu Gu both participated in the exhibition Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This exhibition explores three urgent questions through the eyes of some of the country’s best emerging and established artists: where has Canada come from, what is it now, and where is it going?
This exhibition attracted close to 4700 visitors for the opening ceremony and continues to attract tourists and local residents of Ontario every day. In addition, multiple local and international newspapers such as Canadian Art, The Globe and Mail and The Star featured the exhibition. For more information about please see the AGO’s official website.
The following is Gu Xiong’s statement for Every. Now. Then.
Niagara Falls is such an iconic Canadian place, but few know about the seasonal migrant workers who harvest produce in the region, or appreciate their contributions. At the busiest times of the year, these people work twelve to fourteen hour days, seven days a week. It reminds me of my time during China’s Cultural Revolution when I was sent to the countryside to labour on the farms.
I think about these migrant workers’ sacrifices. Many come from Jamaica and Mexico, so they leave their families for eight to ten months of the year, just to be able to earn a living and send household items to loved ones back home. The labour of migrant workers illuminates the falls-far more so than the dye used in “souvenir water,” or the spotlight directed at the falls.