In Search Of The Perfect Site

Tuesday October 22nd, 2013
Luis Fernando Pelaez

Pictured above: Colombian architect and artist Luis Fernando Pelaez observes the magnificent view at Kits Beach. Photo: Camila Ramos Bravo


“Public space is social space, civic space that covers all areas: urban, sculpture, architecture . It also has a function over time: to consolidate historical references. I think working on this is contemporary art’s task: to build the city, to announce the city of the future. I believe in art and for the artist to be part of the collective voice.” – Luis Fernando Pelaez (Translated from


Last month we introduced you to Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa as he toured Squamish and Metro Vancouver in search places and spaces to situate one of his incredible sculptural works. This month, we were pleased to welcome Colombian visual artist and architect Luis Fernando Pelaez to do the same.


Inspired by photography, film, and poetry, Pelaez’ public art installations construct visual metaphors and address themes such as memory, travel, and time. His work has been exhibited in cities the world over. In addition to his participation at the 25th São Paulo Biennial, Pelaez was awarded first prize for Plaza de Cisneros in the Quito Pan-American Biennial of Architecture in 2006, and is a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Public collections at the Arts Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C., 
the Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brazil, and the Luis Ángel Arango Library in Bogotá, Colombia feature Pelaez’ work.


Luis Fernando Pelaez, Barrie Mowatt

Enjoying Vancouver Biennale legacy sculpture “Echoes” by Michel Goulet with Barrie Mowatt at Kits Beach. Photo: Camila Ramos Bravo


As Pelaez is not an English-speaker, we paired him with our Spanish-speaking Artist Residency Program Manager, Camila Ramos Bravo who showed him around town. During his tour of Vancouver, he explored the Museum of Anthropology, Stanley Park, Michel Goulet’s “Echoes” at Kits Beach — an installation and public beach that he absolutely loved – and connected with the team at the Colombian Consulate.


The opportunity to introduce some of the world’s best artists to Vancouver is one of the best parts of our job. Pelaez is now tasked with creating a proposal based on his visit and the incredible opportunity that the Vancouver Biennale provides. Imagine the possibilities!


Luis Fernando Pelaez surveying a site at Vancouver's Kits Beach. The possible site of a new installation? Photo: Camila Ramos Bravo

Luis Fernando Pelaez surveying a site at Vancouver’s Kits Beach. The possible site of a new installation? Photo: Camila Ramos Bravo

Like what you see?