When artist Bau-Xi Huang immigrated to Vancouver at 23, he took a job at a cedar shingle mill. During the day, he’d work for less than minimum wage, while at night he’d create wall-sized abstract paintings. Despite winning numerous art prizes, Huang struggled to find a gallery that would display his large canvases, so he took a leave of absence from work to open his own gallery. The opening was a smashing success; unfortunately, Huang’s boss fired him after reading about it in the paper. Without a job to return to, the young artist poured everything he had into the gallery. Today, Bau-Xi has grown into a tri-city art empire with a location in Vancouver, two galleries in Toronto, and the recent acquisition of the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle. The first Toronto location (across from the AGO) has long been a cornerstone of the local arts community—painters Jack Shadbolt and Guido Molinari often hung out here, with the latter even helping landscape the backyard.