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City of Richgate: Research and Creation within Community Engaged Art Practices

The City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada is a city that has recently come to represent east meeting west, the Pacific Rim meeting Canada, farm-land meeting urban landscapes. The ‘City of Rich Gate’ is a Chinese translation for the name of the city of Richmond. The City of Richgate Project provided a platform for community-engaged arts practices addressing issues of identity, place and community linking cultures, geographies and socio-cultural backgrounds leading to opportunities for personal and cultural transformation. Working with six immigration families in the Richmond area, artists, Ruth Beer and Gu Xiong, and art educators Rita Irwin and Kit Grauer, organized this project in order to evoke discussion on hybrid notions of place, history, identity formation and cultural transformation. The work created for the City of Richgate project aimed to inspire dialogue and reflection in Richmond, British Columbia as well as in China with exhibitions and lectures held in both locations.