SUM gallery came to BC Artscape’s space in the Sun Wah Centre as a partnership with Full Circle First Nations Performance, the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, and multimedia titan Paul Wong’s On Main Gallery. We populate the Centre’s 4th floor, previously left in shell condition since the 1980’s when it was built.
SUM gallery was founded in 2018 as the year-round programming arm of Vancouver’s summer Queer Arts Festival. We are one of Canada’s few queer-mandated galleries.
The SUM gallery name honours our location with multi-layered meaning:
○ Originally envisioned as a Dim Sum (點心) restaurant, our space features the traditional round window, now a striking feature of our office
○ The name pays tribute to the Pearl River Delta immigrants who settled our neighbourhood 150 years ago: Sum (心) means heart in their Cantonese dialect
○ Words for queer people in Chinese include the Sum 心 character
○ SUM = summation (∑), the sum of its parts, the sum total, 2LGBTQIA+
○ Some (art)
SUM gallery is based on the sovereign, unceded land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples. SUM gallery acknowledges that it was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous Peoples, including those on whose land we are located. We are committed to continued work dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.