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Brendan George Ko, Zebrafish, 2013. Image courtesy of SickKids.

Zebrafish & Boy

December 9 - December 9, 2018

Brendan George Ko

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The work presented here was developed and produced as an artistic interpretation of the hospital’s vision for child health care, research and learning. This component of the exhibition BUILDING FOR WELLNESS is presented by Harbourfront Centre as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary focus.



This work features approximately 90 separate fish tanks with various stages and species of zebrafish. The fish itself is small, transparent (Casper strain) and seemingly ordinary, but its significance is huge: in research it advances our understanding of cell regeneration, cell mutation, embryonic development and cancer.


This work combines the image of a lifeless simulation machine with the image of a child, full of life. Although artificial, the machine has a life of its own by simulating a living being and teaching people to save lives.
Artworks courtesy of SickKids, Toronto.


Art at SickKids is an integral part of child health care, research and the learning experience. Brendan George Ko is among three Canadian artists from the Ontario College of Art & Design University, who were invited to produce new work that will inform, educate and entertain its visitors and staff based on the vision, mission and values of SickKids. The commissioned work was installed for public display at the newly completed Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning in 2013.




Working primarily in photography and video, Brendan George Ko is currently completing his Masters of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto. He is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design University, where he received his BFA in Photography. Ko’s work has been exhibited both locally and internationally and has been featured in the Magenta publication Flash Forward, the exhibition Hey! Hot Shots (Jen Bekman Gallery, New York, 2012) and SNAP! the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s annual photographic fundraiser. He is represented by LE Gallery in Toronto. Look for new commissioned work by Ko in the group exhibition NO FLAT CITY presented by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for the summer of 2014.


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