Occupying Chinatown

Paul Wong

Description & Details

Paul Wong’s Occupying Chinatown, a beautifully detailed, limited edition hardcover book, fully bilingual in English and Simplified Chinese, focuses on several of Wong’s major artworks exploring Chinese Canadian identity and his engagement with Vancouver’s Chinese communities. With full colour photos and documentation of Wong’s artwork as well as three original essays, Occupying Chinatown is an evocative exploration of language, amnesia, and cultural displacement, inspired by 900 letters sent to Suk-Fong Wong, Paul Wong’s mother, over the course of 65 years.

Occupying Chinatown features original collages, reproductions and stills from several of Wong’s significant works including Father’s Words, based on his mother’s letters; Ordinary Shadows, Chinese Shade, a 1988 video work exploring Wong’s first trip back to China; Mother’s Cupboard / 媽媽的藥櫃, a series of prints featuring his mother’s treasured jars of traditional elixirs and ingredients; and Saltwater City – Vancouver /咸水埠温哥华, a neon piece installed in several locations throughout Vancouver.


  • Edited by Paul Wong
  • Contributions by Christopher Lee, Debbie Cheung, Paul Wong
  • 180 pages

About the Author:

Paul Wong is a media-maestro making art for site-specific spaces and screens of all sizes. He is an award-winning artist and curator who is known for pioneering early visual and media art in Canada, founding several artist-run groups, leading public arts policy, and organizing events, festivals, conferences and public interventions since the 1970s. Writing, publishing and teaching have been an important part of his praxis. With a career spanning four decades he has been instrumental proponent to contemporary art, dealing with themes of the immigrant identity, the power of the media, memory and death

Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, in 1954, Paul Wong has shown and produced projects throughout North America, Europe and Asia.