Germaine Koh: Home Made Home

Germaine Koh's overarching goal for her Kelowna Art Gallery installation is to help people “imagine other models for living.”

Germaine Koh

What’s the appeal of a micro-home? You have to get rid of tons of your possessions and then squeeze into a tiny boite of a living space, and why? — just to lessen your carbon footprint? Or would a smaller living space actually provide you with more freedom? This is the kind of hard thinking many people are wading into with the increasing creation of tiny living units, both here in Kelowna, as well as elsewhere.

Vancouver-based artist Germaine Koh has been giving the topic a great deal of thought, and in 2014 launched her Home Made Home project. Her overarching goal for the project is to help people “imagine other models for living,” that will bring greater freedom to their lives. Koh’s Home Made Home is a wide-ranging project, and the Kelowna Art Gallery is currently exhibiting two pieces that introduce the gallery installation component of this project.

Regular visitors to the Gallery will look up and probably smile as they enter the building and see the façade of a cute little cottage installed up in the overhead niche above the entrance to the main exhibition space. Maybe this piece (titled Infill) will get visitors thinking about tiny living spaces that could be fit in here and there within the urban built environment.

Inside the Mardell G Reynolds gallery space is Koh’s other work built for this solo exhibition, titled Core. It is a seven-foot-high wooden piece made from three modules attached together. One end reads as a kitchen, the other as a bedroom, with the centre unit having washroom facilities plotted in. As a whole, Core reads as a cross between something one might see in a few years at IKEA, and a blown-up Barbie dream home.

Koh refers to both these works as “social sculptures,” and does not intend them to be floor models as much as vectors, pointing gallery visitors to new ways of thinking about living small. The idea of a micro-home is not just about de-cluttering and squeezing self into a small living space, it is about living more out in the community. You could use your home as a base, but not stay inside so much — a different life style, more European, and in fact, if you spend less on a home, there might be more in the budget for travel.

Koh’s work is not meant to be didactic, in fact, a subtle and dry humour runs through it. For example, little slotted hand holds have been cut into the ends of two of Core’s modules, as though they could be picked up and carried like toys.

Germaine Koh was born in Georgetown, Malaysia. She has been a Canadian citizen since 1976 and has exhibited widely, both in Canada and internationally. Koh has a BFA from the University of Ottawa (1989) a BA in the theory and history of art (University of Ottawa) and an MFA from Hunter College, New York from 1993. In 2010 she was awarded the VIVA award from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation in Vancouver.

Come and see for yourself to open up your imagination to the world of the micro home. Germaine Koh’s exhibition Home Made Home will be on view at the Kelowna Art Gallery until Feb. 12.

Just Posted

Okanagan College business program compounds opportunites for finance students

The college has recieved Chartered Financial Analysist credentials for finance students

Kelowna torchbearers announced for Canada Games

The torch will be passed to Kelowna Nov. 30

Kelowna RCMP issue tickets during Hells Angels annual Poker Run

The 90 participants were held up in Glenmore

Kelowna’s Little Owl Academy recieved award of excellence

They are one of the recipients of the Child Care Award of Excellence from the B.C. government.

Triple O’s hosts their nineth annual KidSport Day fundraiser

A ‘Stadium Burger’ has been created for the event

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Don’t feed birds in the parking lot

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

Most Read