Migrating Landscapes [ Design ]

Project Name: M[i]L
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Typology: Competition
Size: 4 sq.ft
Date: 2012
Project Team: Jay S. Lim

Photos by: Mei Chow

In 2012 the Migrating Landscapes Organization held a national competition to find emerging architects and designers to represent Canada at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The competition sought to explore the 'unsettling' nature of migration in the form of an anonymous video, a landscape (made of wood) and an installation."M[i]L: I am..." was selected and displayed at the Ontario Regional Exhibition in February 2012. This project represents the multi-generational migration story of Jay Lim and his family from China to Malaysia and finally to Canada.

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Excerpt from the competition video:

"I am Chinese but I've never been to China. I am Malaysian but I was not born there. I am Canadian but I'm not from here. I am the third generation of my family to live in a country different than our birth. Each Migration sparked by the hope of a more prosperous future. Each Transition forcing the adaptation of a new culture...
...The proposal shows three tera-formed layers that represent the three separate journeys of my family. Each growing from the previous, creating a landscape that is both isolating and unifying. An aperture in the pathway highlights a solitary figure that represents a hope for an unknown future. Within the landscape sits 8 wax pieces which represent the ice + barriers we faced when we first arrived in Canada. Although the wax is an obstacle, the number 8 is a sign for prosperity in Chinese culture. Over the 2 months of the biennale the rays of sun will melt the wax and dissolve the barriers forming a metaphorical ice surface, equalizing out the facets of the landscape. This temporal change is emblematic of ice that once caused us anxiety, yet, ultimately becoming the element that would connect us to our new country"