CreateSpace Public Art Forum 2022

An artistic response to the 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a national forum virtually convening participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. Participants were presented with online talks themed around public art practices, studio tours by artist facilitators, a Keynote Event by artist Lori Blondeau, and opportunities to engage with fellow peers to inspire their final creations.

Project at a Glance

Location: North York, Ontario

Artist: Liz Tsui

Year: 2022

Program: Artist Capacity Building


CreateSpace participants


artist facilitators


keynote speaker

Artist Statement

Thinking about the barriers posed by language, this art object responds to the tradition of making cards in grade school when certain holidays roll around such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas. Being a second-generation Canadian, I often struggled with this practice because one of my parents does not read or write English and since I was not proficient in Chinese writing it was a hollow gesture to make greeting cards that are not customary in Chinese culture. As such, I’ve reimagined what a card might look like for immigrant Chinese parents. Traditionally, 紅包 (red envelopes) are only given to youths and children for special occasions such as their birthdays, new year’s wishes, and Christmas. In many cases, the envelope serves the purpose of a card. This project sought to hybridize these customs for a diasporic audience and is the first in a series. The text on the envelope and written on the card translate to “Happy Birthday” as the most universal purpose for this project.

About the Artist

Liz Tsui

Liz Tsui

Liz Tsui is an emerging artist and curator based in Tkaronto/Toronto who received her BFA in 2021 and is currently continuing her studies toward a MA in Art History at York University. Her artistic practice and research interests are grounded in technology, popular culture, and the Asian diaspora. She is interested in the manipulation of humorous content and dissecting it to critique the cultural context that situates it as disposable culture, responding to the fluctuations of social media, and emulating fads. Her artwork is often derivative of memes: currently in the form of 3D print, ultimately casting the object in bronze. Memes are of particular interest as a virtual phenomenon because the content they translate is tailored to the user and their activities online. Using this information as a foundation, Liz seeks to uncover erased histories surrounding migrant and diasporic communities in Canada.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Liz is constantly learning how to manipulate new types of media. Her most recent interest is in the integration of 3D printing, painting, and woodworking to create sculptural forms that blur the line of artworks and functional objects. Through this shift in perspective, she hopes to generate dialogue between the mundane quality of her work and spectators to encourage a sense of intimacy with art objects.


CreateSpace Public Art Forum

STEPS Public Art believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. In support of this important work, we facilitate artist capacity building programs that foster inclusive public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum is a digital forum that virtually convenes participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. This forum fosters connections, builds understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking artists with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices. Visit the online gallery to view all artistic responses by the 2022 forum participants.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum is supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts and CIBC.

Logo banner with Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts and CIBC logos

Ready to get your project started with STEPS?

Share This