February 25, 2015

The Daily Scot: Vancouver Especially

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Ken Lum’s ‘Vancouver Especially’ exhibit a critique on the state of Vancouver real estate

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Vancouver artist Ken Lum, renowned for his sculpture of a large sign that says “East Van” in the shape of a cross, has created a new exhibit consisting of a small replica of a Vancouver Special, a common home design.

The first Vancouver Specials went up after the Second World War to accommodate an influx of immigrants coming to Canada looking for a better life. They were designed to maximize square footage on relatively small lots.

Lum’s exhibit, called Vancouver Especially, is a commentary on current real estate, wealth, and building style in Vancouver.

“I’m interested in trying to tap into something essential about the time we’re living in,” said Lum, “as well as the culture of the city as determined by the new money class.” …

A bit of research led him to discover that in 1970, a Vancouver Special would have cost $45,000 to buy. So he decided to build one for the same price, but at a scale that would be relative to its cost today.

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Van Special

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The exhibit opens on Feb. 21 at 271 Union Street in Vancouver.

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