A few dozen gleaming aluminum pennants swing gracefully in the wind atop an organic grouping of slender metal poles, like a school of fish. As each change of wind propagates organically through the group, reflecting slightly different colours at different angles, it makes visible the fluid natural elements, as well as revealing the minor turbulence caused by the flags themselves and objects in their surroundings.
In addition to revealing the fluid force of the wind and bringing to mind the flash of fish tails, the installation has a ceremonial presence. Relating to the cultural forms of flags, navigation markers, and weather vanes, these pennants signal a momentous development in the local ecosystem: the return of spawning salmon to the nearby Still Creek.
Germaine Koh is an internationally active Vancouver-based artist whose work adapts commonplace objects in order consider overlooked details in the world around us. It playfully makes connections between technological systems, the natural environment, everyday social behaviours. Koh has been a recipient of the Shadbolt Foundation VIVA Award and a finalist of the Sobey Art Award.
Germaine Koh is an internationally active artist and curator based in Vancouver, in the ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her work adapts familiar objects to create situations that look at the significance of everyday actions and common spaces, and which encourage connections between people, technology, and natural systems. She is currently working on a public art commission for the Topaz Skatepark in Victoria. Her ongoing projects include Home Made Home, an initiative to build and advocate for alternative forms of housing, and League, a participatory project using play as a form of creative practice. From 2018 to 2020, she was the City of Vancouver’s first Engineering Artist in Residence.