Habana Riviera (Havana)[detail]
7 channel video installation with sound
screen size: 42 in
Main Street (detail) Rear End (detail) Source: No Signal (detail) Habana Riviera (Havana)[detail] Habana Riviera (Havana) #1-21 (Dec. 2, 09), Full Moon Drawings Imminent (Storm) 9 Full Moon Drawings & neon Blind Man He (Havana) Hoops (Havana) Luis Alberto Garcia (Havana) Merging (Storm) '5'
For over three decades, Paul Wong has played an integral role in the Canadian arts community, serving as both pioneer and mentor in the field of media arts. Since his early video works, he has experimented outside of any standard art conventions, dealing with almost everything political and personal. As one of the first in Canada to use video to examine his own identity, he uses the camera to explore performance, conceptual video, experimental narrative and documentary. Through his work, Wong has created a voice for non-exclusive video practices that distinctly put ordinary people behind and in front of the camera. Demonstrating an insatiable appetite for collecting, Wong’s archive illustrates his obsession with new technologies as well as his ability to approach art in the most uninhibited ways. Sorting and organizing, moving forward and backward through archives and new material, Wong develops what he refers to as “sketches” in the editing suite. He fearlessly allows viewers to interpret his work and embraces reactionary responses. Avoiding academic analysis, any form of script writing and preconceived production practices, Wong approaches his work with fluidity and personal instinct. Themes of identity, mortality and memory make frequent appearances in his practice, all presented with an unapologetic honesty that has come to characterize one of Vancouver’s premier artists.
Heralded as a “national treasure”, Paul Wong was the 2005 recipient of the Governor General’s Award in New Media and the Bell Canada Award. His work can be found in many important collections, including McMaster University, University of Toronto, Concordia University, Queen’s University, Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Film Board, Centre Cultural Canadien (Paris), and Vancouver Art Gallery.