K. Jake Chakasim: Host(age)

Display Date: 
June to September, 2024
The Rooms front lawn

Located on The Rooms lawn, this outdoor sculpture delves into how history shapes—and sometimes erases—our understanding of the past. Chakasim uses plastic materials to weave often-overlooked narratives into his work. By merging traditional architecture with modern technology, the sculpture encourages us to reflect on the connection between the past and present.

The sculpture resembles a fish flake—a platform for drying salt fish. Flakes once dotted the shorelines of many fishing settlements in this province. The flake is connected to The Rooms’ architecture, which references a fishing stage—a structure near the flakes where people gather to “make” or process fish. The form underscores The Rooms' role as a place to discuss diverse stories, and a place which cares for the province’s art gallery, museum, and archival collections.

About the Artist

Architect K. Jake Chakasim is Cree from the Mushkegowuk Territory in Northern Ontario, also known as Treaty 9 or the James Bay Treaty. His interdisciplinary approach is informed by architecture, engineering, and Indigenous planning principles.

Originally commissioned by the Bonavista Biennale in 2023, this work was created in collaboration with students from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University: Lauren Liebe, Otmar Melhado, and Justin Liu.

Image credit: K. Jake Chakasim, Host(age), 2023, PVC pipes, plastic pallets, rebar, plexiglass panels. Commissioned by Bonavista Biennale. Installation view, 2023 Bonavista Biennale: Host. Photo: Brian Ricks. Courtesy of Bonavista Biennale.