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Don Kwan

          Artist Profile 

What can belonging look like? A third-generation Chinese Canadian, Don Kwan turns to his own experiences and challenges of being a gay, East Asian artist as a way to ground in broader conversations about identity, representations, and intergenerational memory-making in the diaspora. 

Don Kwan est un artiste queer sino-canadien de troisième génération dont le travail explore le lieu, l’identité, la représentation et la mémoire familiale au fil du temps.

关日安是一位第三代华裔加拿大同性恋画家。他的作品探索历史长河中的家庭记忆、象征、身份 及地点.

photo credit . William Luk

Curriculum Vitae



Ontario College of Art 1994

Ottawa School of Art 1997

Ottawa School of Art, Printmaking Workshop 2015

Glass Casting . Loretta Studios . 2023​


2024 Canada Council for the Arts, Research and Creation 

2024 Professional Artists Fund, City of Ottawa, Ottawa

2024 Canada Council for the Arts, Visual Artists Creation Projects

2023 Ontario Culture Days

2023 Heritage Ottawa 

2022 Canada Council for the Arts, Research & Creation

2022 Ottawa Arts Council, Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award, Ottawa

2021 Creation & Production, City of Ottawa, Ottawa 

2020 Gallerie SAW Gallery, SAW Prize for New Works. Ottawa

2011 Art Flow Gallery, Contemporary Asian Artist Award

2010 Capital Xtra, Hero Award

2008 Council for the Arts Business Award


2023 Ottawa Arts Council 

2016 City of Ottawa Direct Art Purchase – Peer Assessment Committee

2015 Chinatown Mural Project

2015 Chinatown Craft Market-Chinatown BIA

2014 City of Ottawa, Underpass Mural Project


2023 Fortune, Illumination Series, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa 

2022 It’s Been A Long Year, Tom Thomson Gallery, Owen Sound

2021 Chinese Take Out Mask - ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

2021 Veneration for Mother and Father - ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

2021 Transmission – Covid 19 Series – City of Ottawa – Public Art Collection

2020 Community Quilt - Centretown Community Health Centre - Ottawa

2019 Invisible Identities-Vest- City of Ottawa – Public Art Collection 
2017 Longevity – mixed media on paper - City of Ottawa – Public Art Collection 


2023, After Exclusion, Bonavista Biennale, Newfoundland

2022 Altering Exclusion, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver

2021 Altering the Flow of Exclusion, AXENEO7, PERF, Fait Maison - Hull Quebec


2023 Quiet Resistance, Reclaiming Space, Public Art Ottawa, Sparks St. Ottawa

2022 Quiet Resistance, Reclaiming Space, durational mural, The Varley Art Gallery, Markham


2024 Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, AIR, Artist-in-Residence, Ontario


2024 Art + Spring. MAC-CAM. Arts Court, Ottawa

2024 Community Healers: Portraits and Practices Beyond the Hospital Walls. Trinity Art Gallery, Ottawa

2024 Material Memories, Craft Ontario Gallery, Toronto

2023 Seams and Strata, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Ontario

2023, Bonavista Biennale, Mockbeggar Plantation Yard, Newfoundland 

2023, Bonavista Biennale, Union House Arts, Port Rexton, Newfoundland

2023 Reflections On Exclusion, Senate of Canada - Senat du Canada, Ottawa 
2023 After Exclusion, Happy Fruit. Gallery 101. Ottawa 

2023 Textile Museum of Canada. Toronto 

2022 Capital Pride, We Demand, Disco Chandelier, Ottawa City Hall 

2022 Beyond Exclusion, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens, Vancouver

2022 Fibreworks 2022, Cambridge Art Gallery, Idea Exchange, Ontario 

2022 SAW Prize for New Works, Prix SAW de creation, Ottawa

2022 Landscape, Loss & Legacy, OAG, Ottawa Art Gallery, Firestone Reverb Series, Ottawa

2022 Breathe, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Northwest Territories

2021 Clothing the Pandemic, ICOM, International Council Of Museums

2021 Breathe, Galt Museum & Archives, Lethbridge (Sikóóhkotok)

2021 Facing It, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound

2021 Unmasking the Pandemic - ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

2021 See Me Now, Lalonde & Doyle Gallery, Shenkman Art Centre, Orleans, Ottawa

2021 Breathe - Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton, Alberta

2021 Breathe, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph Ontario

2020 Myseum of Toronto. Tea Base, Quarantine Qapsule, Toronto

2020 To be Continued – CUAG- Carleton University Art Gallery - Ottawa

2020 Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies – Banff Alberta

 2020 Luck- Ottawa University, Human Rights Resource and Education Centre

2020 Signal, Karsh-Masson Gallery, City of Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa

2019 Weaving the Web, Chinese Experience in Canada - Gallery 112- Ottawa

2018 Asian Heritage Month – Chinese Wallpaper Series, Ottawa

2017 Longevity Exhibit- Karsh Masson- City of Ottawa, Direct Art Purchase

2017 Art House Cafe Ottawa, Ontario

2014 Nuit Blanche Ottawa

2012 FestivAsia Chinatown, Ottawa

2011 1904 China Revolution Art Flow Gallery, Ottawa

2010 Wrath Gallery 101 Frames, Ottawa

2010 Chinatown Remixed Café Orient Gallery, Ottawa

2009 Chinatown Remixed Oriental Bakery Gallery, Ottawa


Queer Asian Heritage Showcase, Artist Talk, NAC. Ottawa (2024)

Conversations in Practice II: Design Studio, Carleton University Architecture (2024)

Beaux Arts Magazine, Paris, France (2023)

Riddle Fence Magazine, Newfoundland and Labrador (2023)

Espace Magazine, Edition 133, Montreal, Quebec (2023)

Emergence, Canadian Education through Art Symposium, Artist Talk, Ottawa Art Gallery, (2022)

PAL Ottawa / CARFAC artist talk with Don Kwan, Barry Ace, Jason Samilski, Ottawa (2021) 

Pace Magazine (2021)

Chinese Canadian Collective, Coping Through a Year of Covid 19 (2020)

Workers History Museum, The Wong Family, Graphic Novel Illustration (2018)

Finding General Tsao, Presentation & Discussion (2017)

Diasopra & Dialogue, King of the Yees, NAC (2017)

Ottawa Heritage Walks, Walking Tour Guide of Chinatown (2017)

Rethinking Canada 150, Networks and Nodes in Asian Canadian Culture (2017)

Lets Eat Cake, Enriched Bread Artist, Canada 150 (2017)

OLIP, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, WOW Week Walking Tours of Chinatown (2016-2019)

Shiraz Mural Project (2015)

Canadian Museum of Nature, Nature Nocturne, Event Programming (2015)

Artistic Director for Chinatown BIA & OSA Mural Project (2014)

Nuite Blanche Ottawa

FestivAsia – Artistic Director / Program Management (2013-2014)

City of Ottawa Cultural Planning Group (2011)

Saw Gallery, Board of Directors (2006-2008)

Asian Heritage Month Society





Chinese Canadian Perspectives

Ottawa Art Gallery . Board of Directors (2024)

Chinatown Remixed Art Festival, Collective . Founder (2008 – 2021)

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