Sonny Assu is Ligwilda’xw of the We Wai Kai First Nation from Cape Mudge, British Columbia. Through museum interventions, large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, printmaking and paintings, Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop art sensibility in an effort to address contemporary, political, and ideological issues.
His work often focuses on Indigenous issues and rights, consumerism, branding and new technologies, and the ways in which the past has come to inform contemporary ideas and identities. Assu’s projects emphasize the intersections and boundaries of traditional Indigenous art within the larger realm of contemporary art.
Assu infuses his work with wry humour to open the dialogue towards the use of consumerism, branding, and technology as totemic representation. Within this, his work deals with the loss of language, loss of cultural resources and the effects of colonization upon the Indigenous people of North America.