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Artist Category: Age 13 to 18


Fred strives to design physical spaces that can provide people with “a sense of home”, influenced by his experience as an immigrant and inspired by architecture and concept art. After facing 7 years of bullying and oppressive institutional structures in elementary school in China, Fred and his family moved to Vancouver. After arriving in Canada, Fred was encouraged by his family to explore his passion for art and design as he redeveloped his self-esteem and confidence. When Fred eventually adapted to his new environment in grade 9, he decided to pursue his passion and love of environmental design.

Artist Statement

“Komorebi” is a Japanese term that describes sunlight streaming through leaves, resulting in dappled sunlight on the forest floor.

Each leaf is a primary organ of photosynthesis and oxygen production, supporting countless species in the ecosystem. Similarly, each human takes on their role in the functioning of society.  Leaves serve as a visual for embracing individuality as we strive towards an inclusive, diverse world.

My work is influenced by my experience as an immigrant in contrasting educational systems in China and Canada. Throughout elementary school in China, I had to follow strict rules; students dressed in identical school uniforms, had identical hairstyles and sat in militaristic rows in bare concrete rooms. By removing individuality to enforce uniformity, our academic performance became the judgement of not only our grades but our entire worth. It degraded my mental health and gave me severe insomnia, which was compounded by bullying.

It was not until I came to Canada that I witnessed an acceptance of diversity. I saw people celebrating individuality, and it broke through my original perception of the world. Just as leaves are crucial for the vitality of plants, diversity is crucial to resilience and innovation in societies.

Instagram: @w.y_wfreddy.2022_

X: @FredWan33600111

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