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Explore Surrey's geographic landscapes through three videos by local artists.

Three artists, Veeno Dewan, Nimi Langer, and Maya Ersan were invited to each create a short work responding to the City of Surrey's geographic landscapes. Their video and animated travelogues explored Surrey as a site of rapid development and juxtaposed historical, suburban, urban, and rural landscapes. It was shown as a vast metropolis, yet a place rich with nature, children and cultural and ethnic diversity.


Veeno Dewan’s Doku’ment Surrey presents a multifaceted snapshot of contemporary Surrey and its natural and human geography. Using time-lapse traveling road shots, viewers are taken on a surreal high speed journey around the City and its neighbourhoods... Viewers may find themselves thinking: "I know this…but where is it? Or: "I pass by this every day, but I’ve never seen it like this before." Veeno Dewan seeks to show beautiful as well as raw images of Surrey.

The Class from 5 to 9

In the video The Class from 5 to 9, Nimi Langer presents the awakening of Surrey BC from the point of view and thoughts of Ms. Holman, an elementary school teacher, during her commute to school. The morning events the teacher encounters are filmed and layered with the teacher’s and students' voices that follow the teacher outside the school. Together with the imagery and music, the video presents a subjective statement on the uniqueness of Surrey as a city and as a home.


Maya Ersan’s animation is inspired by conversations with people who have not grown up in Surrey and therefore have to negotiate a complicated emotional relationship with their new landscape. She says, "I intend to walk around Surrey and talk to people who have recently immigrated to Surrey, asking them their memories about their first toy. My aim is to investigate these objects as portals into places and times remembered. As a recent immigrant myself, I find that the closer I look at what it means/feels to be culturally and geographically separated from where I experienced my childhood, the closer I become to what my immediate surroundings mean emotionally. Geographical displacement creates an absence of a connection from the past to the present. It's not automatic for me to imagine myself walking down these streets for years to come because I don't have an image of myself running through them as a little girl."

About the Artists

Veeno Dewan

Veeno Dewan was born in the East End of London in the United Kingdom. The child of South Asian immigrants, he grew up as an artist with a strong drive to document, explore, and disseminate the immigrant ‘Stranger in a strange land’ experience common to so many first and second generation children of immigrants in the West. Combining a career as both an artist, journalist, and filmmaker for institutions such as the BBC, Channel 4, and as an independent, have given Veeno much scope to travel, redefine, and explore the boundaries of the truly cross cultural society. Veeno has exhibited his photographic, small installation, and video artwork in the UK. He moved to Canada in late 2002, and formed a progressive independent TV and Film Company and has become active in the Vancouver arts scene. He is a board member of the Video In Arts Collective and has served in an advisory capacity for the CBC. In 2005, Veeno is embarking on a number of new arts-driven projects.

Nimi Langer

Nimi Langer creates both art and commercial video works. His experimental documentaries have been exhibited in Europe and Canada. He studied law and theatre at the Hebrew University in Israel, and film in Tel Aviv and Vancouver. In 2003, together with a group of new media artists, Langer founded the Disasteroids, an artist collective, committed to promote an experimental approach to collaborative artmaking. Langer is also a partner in City Talks Inc. and works as the director of its documentary-style walking tours.

Maya Ersan

Maya Ersan was born and raised in Istanbul Turkey, and has been living in Vancouver since 1998. She is currently co-directing a community art project named Our Community Story that focuses on the living history of the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Since Graduating from the Emily Carr Institute in 2003, she has worked on projects in Canada and Turkey. The 2003 Istanbul Biennial, a four month work-study at the Banff Centre for the Arts, an experimental residency project, "ETAY" in Montreal in February 2005 are some of the experiences that have led her to her current medium; time based collage and stop motion animation. Her latest short piece çay içerken - in between sips has shown in Vancouver (Video-In Studios) and New York City (Ph Gallery & Rush Arts Gallery).

Read the exhibition brochure.

Image credit: Video still of The Class from 5 to 9 by Nimi Langer.