Occupying Chinatown, by Paul Wong
Bibliophiles, art- and history-lovers alike should appreciate the beautifully bound and bilingual (English and Simplified Chinese) collection of full colour images exploring themes of Chinese-Canadian identity and Wong’s involvement with the Vancouver Chinese community, plus three original essays penned by the local multidisciplinary artist.
身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown was Paul Wong’s year-long artist residency at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden that launched in Spring 2018. Wong created a series of multidisciplinary artworks based on 700 letters in Chinese sent by 90 writers to his mother, Suk-Fong Wong.
His residency evoked memories and loss for the generations of Chinese-Canadians who built a community within a segregated Chinatown. Occupying Chinatown featured collaborative contemporary works of art with various artists, engaging visitors and community with diverse programming, workshops, performances, and events.
About the Artist:
Paul Wong has been creating daring work for over 40 years, pushing the boundaries of conventional cultural stereotypes and art. He has produced large-scale interdisciplinary artworks in unexpected public spaces since the 1970s. His work subverts stereotypes in form and content. Many works are bilingual and trilingual, meshing English, Cantonese, and Mandarin codes. Works include: Ordinary Shadows, Chinese Shade (Cantonese and English) (1988); Chinaman’s Peak: Walking the Mountain (1992); Blending Milk and Water: Sex in the New World (1996); Widows 97 (1997), Wah-Q: The Overseas Chinese (1998) and Refugee Class of 2000 (2000).