Place des Arts is exploring nature in three upcoming exhibits, with each artist using a different medium to showcase unique ways of viewing the environment around us.
Lone is Vancouver-based photographer John Lee's exhibit of mainly landscape photos. The minimalist pieces - a tiny tropical island perched on wide sea and under an expansive blue sky, or a solitary bench backed by a moody bank of grey clouds - evoke a sense of stillness.
"I like the fact that people tend to start further away from them and move in closer," Lee said, because what initially seems like a simple "zen" photo is, in fact, full of rich detail.
Part of the intrigue of Lee's photos comes from the way the subject is placed far from the centre of the frame. It's an approach that grew out of Lee's commercial work, which demands clean space for headlines and copy, but it's a look he's always been drawn to.
"I'm always happy to move the subject around for space," Lee said. "It's still about the subject but it's also about the subject's place in the bigger scape. The subject becomes the sky, even though there's a mountain in it."
Viewers will see a mix of landscape locations as well. Some, like the tropical photos, are from vacations while others were snapped during travels based on work or pleasure. Some photos can be snapped in the moment but there are times when Lee returns to a location to wait for just the right conditions before he begins shooting.
"I tend to shoot what I see but I'm fairly conscious of trying to be in places at certain times of the day so hopefully I'm not waiting too long," Lee said.
In addition to the landscape pics Lee will also be adding a series of anaglyph 3D photos to the show.
Lee started experimenting with 3D photography after reading his girlfriend's textbook on 3D filmmaking for a course at Emily Carr. For the Place des Arts show, Lee will be hanging four large 3D photos and as many smaller ones as he can fit in, he joked.
"The challenge I'm faced with those is trying to make them look like a nice piece of art without the glasses, and looking with the glasses is kind of a bonus," Lee said.
'"The goal is to make the tones a nice black and white photo, and when it's 3D it's a bonus for the viewer."
It's an effect that is sure to continue the theme of drawing the viewer in closer to see the detail of Lee's minimalist photos.
Also showing at Place des Arts are Marilyn Chapman's Fragile Entanglements, a series of acrylic paintings portraying an abstract representation of interdependent ecosystems.
The paintings, full of vivid colour, tell the story of the connective flow of life and the symbiotic relationships so easily taken for granted in nature.
Eileen Fong, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1968, shows Black, White and Colours.
The blend of east and west depicts Fong's love of Canadian nature using Chinese brush painting and mixed media, allowing her to explore the modern potential of an ancient art.
The exhibits open on April 5 at Place des Arts (1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam), with a gala opening reception April 5 at 7 p.m. Lee's exhibit runs to June 2, while Chapman's and Fong's run until May 5.
Visit www.placedesarts.ca for more information.