Lainey gossip red carpet
Aug 23 2016 // Contemporary Calgary

9 Questions with Lainey Lui

We sat down with Lainey Lui to pick her brain about art, the significance of culture in Canada, what she loves to do in Calgary, and of course, what to wear and how to prepare for LOOK2016. Here are her thoughts:

1. What is your connection to contemporary art? Has there been an artist, piece, or destination that impacted you in any way? 
I like the attitude of contemporary art. That it challenges the definition of what art is and who it’s for. I’m drawn to contemporary artists who reject the idea that art is privileged. My favourite contemporary artist is Nina Chanel Abney. Her work is beautiful and provocative without being precious. Her pieces challenge our ideas of race and politics while also embracing pop culture and gossip, which tells me that she participates as well as she observes.
2. What do you think destinations like Contemporary Calgary (or Vancouver Art Gallery, AGO, etc.) do for Canada's cultural health and legacy? 
The significance of the artistic presence cannot be overstated. Art is often first to challenge social injustice and, above all, art demands freedom – of imagination, of identity, of expression. Canada’s soul would fundamentally change if arts and culture were not given space to thrive and expand.
3. In what ways are you an artist? 

I don’t know if I’m an artist. I write. And some of the world’s most important artists are writers (Alice Munro, Zadie Smith, JK Rowling). But I can’t categorise myself with them. If I am an artist, it’s because I’m a storyteller.
4. If money and access were no object, what one piece of art would you like to have? 
Kandinsky’s Couple Riding.
I saw it in person at the Guggenheim a few years ago. The colours explode with such personality. And in spite of all that, the lovers are so wrapped up in each other they’re facing away from the spectacular view. I like to think of it as the old time Russian version of “make out point”. 

Wassily Kandinsky, "Couple Riding", 1906
Oil on canvas
50.5 x 55 cm
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, German
5. What do you love to do in Calgary?
Eat! I had my first ever bison heart steak at CHARCUT and it changed my life. Can’t wait to go back.
6. What is it about LOOK that made you want to be a part of the evening? 
LOOK is a party. I’ll never turn down a good party. Especially when that party supports the creative community. Also, Calgarians are BIG gossips.
7. As a fashion lover, can you provide any advice to attendees putting together looks for LOOK? 
I always build my best outfits around hair and shoes. If your hair and shoe game are working, it almost doesn’t matter what happens in between.
8. Are there any Canadian fashion inspirations our attendees should check out for ideas? 
Drake. I’m still looking for the perfect fluffy grey turtleneck. 
9. You do a ton of red carpets and events like LOOK - best piece of advice for a long night?
Get in a disco nap, always. Position yourself for mingling and conversation where the food comes out. You need sustenance. And that’s where I’ll be. Also a glass of water in between every drink, so you don’t end up the fool.