November 1, 2019

Coming Soon! is the Public Art Every Construction Site Needs

Click for video intro to Diyan Achjadi’s “Coming Soon!” public art project.

If you’ve already seen these posters around Vancouver over the past year-plus, then your Vancouver street cred is showing…

Coming Soon!” is a series of hand-made prints from artist and Emily Carr University instructor Diyan Achjadi, commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program.

Installed on fences and hoardings that surround construction sites in the city, these prints were created by Achjadi as she began to take note of the way construction sites interrupt pedestrians on their day-to-day travels.

As she says in a video produced for the project, she started to ask questions about these spaces, one of which was: can a hand-made artefact interact with commercially-made spaces that are about desire and selling things, and present images that aren’t about commerce, capital, or selling anything?

Wheat-pasted onto the temporary walls that are often otherwise bare of imagery (or filled, over time, by construction notices, random commercial-oriented advertisements, and graffiti), Achjadi’s prints elevate these highly utilitarian spaces, by suggesting the possibility that the somewhat secretive act of construction — where walls obscure the act of destroying the past, and the process of creating something new — can actually be beautiful. Perhaps the process of waiting for change (and stepping through it) can impact the majority of the public as much as the outcome.

At least, that’s what it suggested to me as Achjadi’s work stopped me in my tracks on Hallowe’en night — pics of her prints at 700-block East Broadway @ Fraser Street below.

I don’t have a stake in what’s going in here (“Midtown Central, 35 Modern Homes — Now Selling!“), but in the meantime, I love what they’ve done with the place.

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You can also see Achjadi’s complete works for this project at her Coming Soon! website.

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