Vancouver artist Paul Wong to begin year-long residency, 身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown

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      On Sunday (April 22), the City of Vancouver will officially apologize for its role in past discrimination against Chinese Canadians.

      The apology is part of a Chinatown Culture Day event that will include the launch of Vancouver artist Paul Wong's year-long residency at Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown.

      Wong's residency will include exhibitions, screenings, workshops, collaborations with artists, performances, events, a website, and a book.

      Wong, whose career spans over 40 years, will discuss his residency, entitled 身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown, at B.C. Artscape (427–268 Keefer Street) from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on April 22.

      His 1988 video Ordinary Shadows, Chinese Shade (in Chinese with English subtitles), which explores being second-generation Chinese Canadian in both Canada and China, will be screened at the garden and available online from April 22 to June 11.

      Among the works he will be creating include a neon sign called 咸水埠温哥华/Haam Sui Fow Wun Goh Wah, which will be mounted on the garden's exterior southern wall above the Moon Gate. The sign, which reads Saltwater City (咸水埠/Haam Sui Fow) and Vancouver (温哥华/Wun Goh Wah), honours Chinatown's Toisanese pioneers.

      He will also create a multidisciplinary series based upon 700 letters written in Chinese that were sent to his mother, Suk-Fong Wong, from 1946 to 2016 by 90 writers.

      Meanwhile, Paul Wong Projects/On Main Gallery at B.C. Artscape will be adjacent to and collaborate with Pride in Art Society's Sum Gallery, a new multidisciplinary gallery dedicated to works by queer artists. On May 12, Sum Gallery will launch its first exhibition, which will feature work by Vancouver artist and filmmaker Karin Lee and is curated by Wong and Queer Arts Festival executive director SD Holman. 

      Among the numerous awards he has won, Wong, who is recognized as a media-art pioneer, won the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts in 2016. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook