Proverbial Botany

The audio work Proverbial Botany is a collaboration between Brigitte Potter-Mael, Andreas Kahre, and Derek Tan. It involves Potter-Mael’s interviews with twenty adult ESL learners (MOSAIC Language Centre Vancouver) commenting on plant-related proverbs in their original language and English translation. Colouring the raw footage of the speakers’ comments with sounds from nature and chords from his cello, Kahre has composed a richly woven piece that contributes beautifully to the exhibition. Derek Tan has animated text to reflect the content of the audio work. The authors’ heartfelt thanks go to the twenty foreign-language speakers, for sharing their cultural diversity and their enthusiasm:

Bahar Rabar
Roxane Palejko
Fu-Yan Lu
Abbasali Lotfi
Susan Park
Farhana Sultana
Jie Shen
Lisa Zorig
Kimia Rezania
Sara Rezaeiara
Eunjung Lee
Youngii Kim
Fannie Zhou
Luis Garske
Yi Jun Gu
Tomoko Matsuoka
Ruben Dario Pereyra
Cheng Long Yin
Xiao Hua Pang
Susana Sanchez Roca

Andreas Kahre is an interdisciplinary artist and designer whose work combines images, sound and text in a variety of configurations. Born in Germany in 1959, he has lived in Canada since 1979, where he studied visual art, art history, and film at the University of British Columbia. Based in Vancouver and on Gabriola Island, he has been working as a freelance artist, musician, writer, and designer since the 1990s. His work encompasses interdisciplinary performances, audio art installations, and collaborations with theatre dance and new media artists. Andreas was one of the director/curators of the Western Front artist-run centre in Vancouver for more than ten years. He teaches Sound at FIC, Simon Fraser University, is the Editor of Dance Central at The Dance Centre in Vancouver and the founding artistic director of the Gabriola Institute of Contemporary Art artist-run centre.

Derek Tan was born in Vancouver and grew up in Burnaby next to the lakes and the Trans-Canada Highway. He studied biology and art history at the University of British Columbia, with additional training at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He has worked as a photographer, illustrator, and multimedia designer. His art investigates the conflicting, unrecognized, and implicit ways in which our lives are bound up in the natural world.