The Yin & Yang of Wax

January 9 – February 27, 2018

One of my favourite things about wax is that it’s full of contradictions.

Winter is a great time to see this in action. We use wax for grip when cross-country skiing, but also for slip on downhill skis.  We apply it to speed things up, or slow things down. It can absorb, but also repel. It’s derived naturally, from plants and animals, but also synthetically, from petroleum and other fossil fuels. And of course, it’s both a solid and a liquid.

Wax can be contrary, but complementary. It’s the perfect example of yin and yang.

And it’s everywhere in our lives. It polishes and shines, from shoes to cars (wax on, wax off). It protects and preserves, from furniture to food. It’s in lipsticks and lotions, and we use it to remove hair or tame it. It’s coated on cucumbers, and made into candy. We chew it, eat it, mold it and sculpt it. Madame Tussaud even built a tourist empire out of it.

This exhibit showcases a smattering of wax and wax products used in our daily lives. What would you add to the display?