Good design knows no bounds, but it certainly thrives within the borders of Vancouver’s East Side 
SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

Inside the studios of East Vancouver

If East Vancouver is a reef, Kuh Del Rosario is a polyp, tucked in a tiny studio in the basement of a multi-story creative hub on Powell. 

But the mixed-media sculptor, with her vocal following of fellow artists, has left a bigger imprint on the city than her square footage would belie. 

As the former treasurer of Dynamo, she helped manage 11 studio spaces and a project space for music, film, and art events. She also collaborated on SHIP – a project that seeks out artists that have yet to be shown in Vancouver. 

“I think that you have to [give back]. Especially in the city; it’s just par for the course to function in the community that you also support.” 

And that extends even to her artwork. The Manila-born artist expresses a unique, sometimes uncomfortable sympathy for her urban surroundings, finding inspiration in the bits and pieces that others have thrown away.

“My work was initially inspired by the Philippines. There is an abundance of trash and urban detritus that happens in places where there’s a lot of people. It was really striking to me when I went back for the first time. It was a shock,” she recalls.

Dollar stores, Home Depot – anywhere there are stacks of single-use objects, Del Rosario will hunt. 

Her studio is full of colourful collisions and, as a comment on how unnervingly biological her creations have become, Del Rosario has recently begun adding nature back into these discourses; her current series features small-statured coalesces of latex and Styrofoam, coated with microscopic Borax crystals she learned how to grow herself…

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