"Haida Manga" style public art piece unveiled at YVR outlet mall

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A blend of Indigenous art with Japanese manga dynamism isn’t something you see everyday — but there’s a high change you already have.

At both Kensington Park and the UBC Thunderbird Winter Sports Arena sit public art pieces by award-winning Haida Gwaii artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

The newest art piece was unveiled on June 14 at McArthurGlen Outlet Mall at the Vancouver International Airport.

The 12-metre-long public art piece is named “SEI” after the sea whale, and took a total of 18 months to complete. The highly polished stainless steel statue is made with a copper leaf underbelly and a silver-arched back.

“Public art is where the voice of a single artist is exchanged for the chorus of many. SEI was designed to be accessible, interactive and engaging for vast numbers of people over great spans of time,” said Yahgulanaas. “SEI is now beginning a journey that depends on those observers to find meaning and direction.”

The piece is described to be connected to its surroundings: the sky, buildings and crowds of people.

SEI is not the only art piece at YVR influenced by Haida Gwaii. The all-famous Jade Canoe sculpture that sits inside — and is also featured on $20 bills — represents Haida Gwaii heritage as well.

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Image: McArthurGlen Vancouver / Facebook

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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