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Retail Therapy & Fine Art: Simon's and Brendan Tang's Raincity Robot


Retail Therapy & Fine Art
Simon's and Brendan Tang's Raincity Robot
at Square One, Mississauga

Simons is a fashion retailer with an incredible 175-year history. Based in Quebec City, the venerable business opened its first story in Ontario - its 12th store and third outside Quebec - in Mississauga at Square One earlier this year.

Raincity Robot by Brendan Lee Satish Tang
But this isn't a story about fashion - it's about art, something the Quebecois retailer believes in supporting. In particular, the company makes a point of supporting Canadian talent.

As such, they commissioned ceramic artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang for a piece to display in the new store. Raincity Robot is the result, a 10 1/2 foot tall fibreglass sculpture that sits at the top of the escalator.

Brendan is quoted in Canadian Interiors describing his piece.

"My artistic practice embodies the influencers, tensions and contradictions that define the postmodern world. I hope that my piece will not only be a source of pride and engagement for Simons’ customers and employees, but will add a new voice to the public art dialogue of Mississauga."

From a company statement:

Juggling futuristic and traditional ideas, Raincity Robot brings to light the tensions and contradictions that characterize contemporary culture. The Chinese vase recalls the four sisters smokestacks of the old Lakeview Generating Station, while robotic limbs inspired by barnacles make up the base, a nod to Mississauga’s high-tech industry and the city’s lakeside location.

Brendan LS Tang is a Canadian artist born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents. His reconfiguration of traditional art and use of mixed media explore the notions of tradition, cultural appropriation, and hybridity. Internationally recognized, Tang's work is found in the permanent collections of many top museums.

Raincity Robot is the latest in Brendan's Manga Ormolu series, that combines elements of the traditional 17th century ormulo, or gilded vessel, and modern Japanese manga.

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