Members’ Gallery

Anran Guo:
Proactive Cynicism

APR 14 – MAY 26, 2023
Reception: APR 14, 2023, 7 - 10 pm

Nichol Marsch. Fall (2022), print. 


“Other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them.” — Diogenes.

It is human nature to turn away from information or situation that are sad, dark, and cruel. Most people can easily spend hours on their phone smiling and watching cute kitten and puppy videos, but be disturbed and repelled when watching the documentary of newborn male chicks being shredded.

Nothing will be changed if people look away. Humour and metaphor provide the best weapon and shelter to ease the struggle and exhaustion from resistance and open passways for expression and communication. Daily objects bridge disturbing facts with their shared familiarity and original functional intentions, slip in alarms to self-deception.

From the garbage bin trap and the soccer ball with caster wheels, duck decoys with rolling eyes to watering fake grass. Proactive Cynicism develops discussion about sugar-coated social hypocrisy by employing the methodology of humour, showcasing visual fables created by Anran Guo from daily objects, and investigating social overtones and cultural implications that the daily objects carry. Confront the viewers to question the existing norms and self-fabricated deceptions.


Anran Guo is a queer female artist currently based in Hamilton. She grew up in China and immigrated to Canada in 2020. Guo holds a Master of Visual Studies in Studio Art, an HBA in Art and Art History ( jointly with Sheridan College), and a Certificate in Curatorial Studies from the University of Toronto. 

Guo is primarily focused on sculptures and installations. Her works are metaphorical and playful, offer layered readings in critiques of social and political systems. Guo’s works highlight simple or everyday objects with minimum intervention, create low-barrier conversations, and call upon the viewers to question invisible power dynamics in society. 

Guo’s works have been exhibited across the GTA, and collected by Sheridan College.


3 yellow duck wood sculpture floating on a blue fabric of what represents a body of water.
Anran Guo. Everything is Fine. Installation. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.
an installation with a trashcan tied with a rope extended to the other side of the exhibition space
Anran Guo. Congratulations. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

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