Biennale Snapshots

Vivian Fung, Canada


Title: Biennale Snapshots 
Artist: Vivian Fung (b. 1975, Canada; living and working in the United States)
Medium: 25-minute orchestral composition
Location: World premiere at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver (September 26 and 28, 2015)



With partial funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation, the Vancouver Biennale commissioned the JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung to write a large-scale, five-movement orchestral work, approximately 25 minutes in duration, in celebration of the 2014 – 2016 Open Air Museum installations. The world premiere was given by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), led by conductor Bramwell Tovey, at the VSO’s season-opening concerts (September 26 and 28, 2015) at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre.

“This project will mark an important milestone for me, because it will be my first purely orchestral commission of this magnitude: all my previous orchestral works have been either concerti, or shorter works for orchestra.  This will also be my first collaboration with the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Biennale, and Maestro Bramwell Tovey.  As such, I hope to create a new work that will highlight the strengths of the Vancouver Symphony, as well as the Vancouver Biennale’s celebration of contemporary art.   I am privileged to be the first composer to be involved with the Vancouver Biennale, which has until this point focused on visual art.” –  Vivian Fung

Starting with quiet, whispering tones reminiscent of Sumakshi Singh’s meditative Breath Song, the composition moves to an earthy colourful palette of undulating chords inspired by the environmentally conscious Blue Trees of Konstantin Dimopoulos. The third movement has a grungy urban-music quality, with the fantastical street art of OSGEMEOS Giants as the inspiration point. Ren Jun’s elegant Water #10 inspires the next movement, very fluid and amorphic, like water suspended in air. The conclusion is a forceful burst and loud call to action, as influenced by the defiant F Grass and social activism of Ai Weiwei.



Pictures and Snapshots: La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

Biennale Snapshots – Full Orchestra

For complete details for each movement of the composition, please visit Vivian Fung’s website.

Vivian Fung Introduces Biennale Snapshots

The VSO and Maestro Bramwell Tovey in Rehearsal for Biennale Snapshots


Press Coverage

Boulevard October 2015

Vancouver Sun September 2015

Georgia Straight September 2015

Montecristo Magazine September 2015

Montecristo Magazine Summer 2015

Georgia Straight  March 2015

Vancouver Sun March 2015


Press Release

Press Release for Composition In 5 Movements