Andrew Monro is Apt613’s correspondent at Impact Hub Ottawa, writing about the many innovators that call Hub home. Hub is a co-working space at 123 Slater Street for projects with a positive local and global impact.
“It’s gonna be majestic.”
There’s something big going up on the wall at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) that has broken new ground for what was thought feasible for public artwork.
The best part? It’s all being done by people from right here in Ottawa.
The 100 foot tall wall at CSTM near the entrance, which has previously looked dull and boring, is getting a major makeover as the canvas for a mural by local artist and Hubber Eric Chan, known by his professional name, Eepmon. What makes this artwork particularly special is that Eepmon is doing it in collaboration with local social impact technology company, Kind Village.
Eepmon is an Ottawa native and digital artisan, focussed on the intersection of fine arts, digital technology, and social entrepreneurship. He has collaborated on and worked with various projects, in both art and technology, with firms and galleries across North America, UK, and Asia. He says “technology provides a new area for innovators and artists to experiment and develop new modes of creative expression.” He sees the computer as an artistic tool, just like the paintbrush, and with a desire only a truly passionate artist could have, sets out to generate dense, dynamic and beautiful digital graphic compositions that attracted clients like Marvel Entertainment, Canada Goose, and Microsoft Xbox. His path to becoming an artist was unorthodox – marrying his creativity with a love of digital tech. Recalling his early forays into digital art and video games, “it blew my mind that I could draw Mario in the same pixelated style as it was in the game.” Technology has since become a core part of Eepmon’s ‘paintbrush.’
Kind Village is a social enterprise that focuses on how technology can be used to positively influence society, with the aim of helping businesses and charities make a big difference on the world. As Tanya Woods, Kind Village’s Chief Impact Officer notes, they’d heard about the wall at CSTM, and had introduced Eepmon to the museum as the right artist to undertake the work. For their part, they began by interviewing people around CSTM, asking about what they might want to see on the wall, and the things they care about and finding inspiring. “It was mind-blowingly insightful,” Tanya says. “It was the starting point for a bigger conversation, for people to come in and discover something new [at CSTM], no matter how many times you visit.” One of the big challenges for the collaborators was how they could channel values and ideas that Canadians cherish, as well as identifying key issues and what community objectives could be created to support these values, and how they could give these aspects their ‘moment’ in the artwork.
They are currently putting the finishing touches on the mural, which at completion will be 100 feet wide and 16 feet high, designed as an abstract visual narrative about Canada’s role in science, technology, and innovation. The aim, as envisioned by Eepmon and Kind Village, is not just to have it highlight science and technology, but how these elements influence modern society. This is where this collaborative effort is rather unorthodox, as normally if you want to do something in the area of science, you would usually engage a scientist in the work – instead, they are showing that social entrepreneurship also has something worthwhile to contribute to the conversation as well.
If you are curious to see what the mural is going to look like, stay tuned for the unveiling on November 17. For more information and updates, follow Eepmon and Kind Village on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.