Shop > Monographs


Occupying Chinatown

Paul Wong
Paul Wong
23.5 × 30 cm
180 pp
Asian Art & Artists, Mail Art, Collage

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.

Within this remarkable 180-page cloth-bound book, Wong’s essay “Suk Fong, How Are You?” (淑芳你好嘛?) takes a closer look at the family histories contained within the letters, while Dr. Christopher Lee’s essay “Reading Letters, Reading with Trust” (阅读书信,以信读信) reflects on the process of interpreting a selection of these letters with his students. Debbie Cheung’s “Private to Private to Public: A New Collective Experience of Chinatown” (推己及人:唐人街新的共同体验) details Wong’s year-long residency at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden through which these private letters offered an opportunity for the local Chinese community to consider their shared stories and their rapidly changing Chinatown.

“I am not an academic; this book is not an historical document. I am neither an ethnographer nor a documentarian, and this is not a memoir or a genealogical family account. Above all, I have approached this out of curiosity about what has been lost through silence. Occupying Chinatown has provided a conceptual frame for inspiring a prolific outpouring of artworks combining fragments of memory, language, and ephemeral histories. It has continued and will continue to allow me to look at everyday things as anything but ordinary.”
— Paul Wong

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

Edition of 500

  1. Occupying Chinatown

Related Items

  1. Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990-2001
  2. Paul Chan: 2000 Words
  3. THE FUNAMBULIST 13/// September-October 2017: QUEERS, FEMINISTS & INTERIORS
  4. Mary Kavanagh - Daughters of Uranium
  5. Expanded Standard Timeline - Artists and Electronic Media in Calgary
  6. John Akomfrah and Johanne Løgstrup: Co-existence of Times – A Conversation with John Akomfrah
  7. Althea Thauberger: The State of the Situation
  8. Grant Arnold and Dana Claxton: Dana Claxton
  9. Jeff Wall: Transparencies
  10. AA Bronson’s House of Shame
  11. Kevin Schmidt
  12. Rita McKeough Monograph Slipcase
  13. C Magazine Issue 146
  14. Rita McKeough Monograph Boxset
  15. Björk
  16. The Long Now: Public Studio
  17. General Idea and Philip Monk: Glamour Is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea 1969-1978
  18. Catherine Pawson and John Pawson: Home Farm Cooking
  19. Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful
  20. Charmaine A. Nelson: Slavery, Geography and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Marine Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica
  21. Sara Cwynar: Glass Life
  22. October Files: Carrie Mae Weems
  23. Who Is Michael Jang?
  24. Mieke Bal: Exhibition-ism: Temporal Togetherness
  25. Edith Heath: Philosophies
  26. Douglas Coupland: Extraordinary Canadians: Marshall Mcluhan
  27. Piotr Uklański: Ottomania
  28. Jean Arnaud, Hubert Damisch, Thierry de Duve, Andrée Hayum, Annette Michelson, Michael Snow, Amy Taubin, Malcolm Turvey, and Kenneth White: October Files: Michael Snow
  29. Fiona Duncan: Exquisite Mariposa
  30. Glenn Alteen, Florene Belmore, Florene Belmore, Rebecca Belmore, Jen Budney, Curtis Collins, Richard William Hill, Jessica Jacobson-Konefall, Wanda Nanibush, Dan Pon, and Kathleen Ritter: Wordless
  31. Kristian Handberg: Conquering the Present in the Long Sixties
  32. Dieter Roelstraete and Zin Taylor: Zin Taylor: Lavender Glass
  33. Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens: The Power Given to Abstractions that Make Us Stupid
  34. Maurizio Nannucci: To Cut A Long Story Short.
  35. Maria Lind, Lawen Mohtadi, and Katarina Taikon: The Day I Am Free/Katitzi
  36. Emelie Chhangur, Ryan Doherty, Derek Liddington , and Fabien Maltais-Bayda: Derek Liddington
  37. Iris Häussler: He Named Her Amber