New public artwork in Chinatown shines a light on Chinese Canadian cultural heritage

Image: Paul Wong, “Saltwater City Vancouver/鹹水埠温哥华,” 475 Main Street (alleyway), 2020

A new neon artwork by Paul Wong honouring the history of Cantonese migrants now illuminates 475 Main Street.

The piece is designed to promote discussion around the significance of, and challenges to, Chinese language, culture and preservation of heritage assets in the neighbourhood.

The neon artwork displays the Chinese characters 鹹水埠温哥华, which translates to “Saltwater City Vancouver.” It commemorates the award-winning Canadian artist and curator’s early memories of the neighbourhood.

Speaking about the piece, Paul Wong said “I grew up in Chinatown when it was ablaze in bright neon and big colorful signs and at a time when the Chinese community commonly called Vancouver ‘Saltwater City’.”

The site, between Hastings and Pender, parallel to Main Street on the west side, was chosen by public vote in January 2019. It has particular historical significance as a former location of Vancouver City Hall (1889-1929) where mayors and councillors used the legal power of the City to enact and expand laws that negatively impacted Chinese residents.

“Saltwater City Vancouver/鹹水埠温哥华” was developed by Wong as part of his year-long residency “身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown” at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (2018–2019) commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program.

“Paul’s ‘Saltwater City Vancouver’ neon inspires conversations about the importance of understanding and appreciating both the tangible and intangible heritage assets when we celebrate the significance of Chinatown, its history, people and language in relation to the City,” said Vincent Kwan, Executive Director, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

The launch of Wong’s residency in April 2018 coincided with the City of Vancouver’s formal apology for historical discrimination against Chinese residents in Vancouver. During the residency the artist has translated and examined over 700 letters and artifacts from his late mother Suk-Fong Wong, using them as a source of inspiration to realize workshops, performances, and artworks in photography, video, and sculpture including this neon work.

The letters and artworks were presented as part of his exhibition “淑芳你好嘛 /Suk-Fong Nay Ho Mah / Suk-Fong, How Are You?” at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in 2019, and provided an account of China’s shifting cultural and political landscapes told through the personal perspectives of Wong’s family, offering a unique understanding of China’s transformation in the late-twentieth century.

Saltwater City Vancouver/鹹水埠温哥华 is a Public Art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program in partnership with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and is supported by The Prospero Group and the Audain Art Foundation.

Paul Wong Bio

Paul Wong is an award-winning artist and curator known for leading the development of early visual and media art in Canada, founding several artist-run groups, and organizing events, festivals, conferences and public interventions since the 1970s. Wong has produced projects and exhibited throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

His works are in public collections internationally including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Audain Art Museum (Whistler), the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Whitney Museum (New York). He is the recipient of major awards including the 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art and the 2016 Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.

Media contact:

Civic Engagement and Communications

604.871.6336
media@vancouver.ca


唐人街新增公共藝術,為加拿大華裔文化遺產添彩

藝術家黃柏武(Paul Wong)為紀念廣東移民歷史而創作的霓虹燈作品現已在緬街475號(Main St)呈現。

此件作品旨在激發關於唐人街的語言、文化、保護遺產的重要性及挑戰的討論。

用霓虹燈管呈現的漢字「鹹水埠溫哥華」( Saltwater City Vancouver譯名),是屢獲殊榮的加拿大藝術家、策展人黃柏武對兒時唐人街回憶的紀念。

在談到這件作品時,黃柏武指:「我在唐人街長大,當時的唐人街燈火通明,鮮豔巨大的霓虹招牌閃爍。當時的華人社區普遍將溫哥華稱作『鹹水埠』。」

作品位於喜士定街(Hastings St)和片打街(Pender St)之間,沿著緬街(Main St)的西側,地點由2019年1月的公眾投票選定。此地點具有特殊的歷史意義,這裡曾是溫哥華市政廳的所在地(1889-1929年),在此期間市長和市議員利用市府的法定權力去制訂及擴充歧視性法例,使華人居民蒙受傷害。

「鹹水埠温哥华」(Saltwater City Vancouver)是黃柏武於中山公園內,進行為期一年的「身在唐人街」(Occupying Chinatown)藝術駐留計劃(2018-2019年)期間創作的作品。由溫哥華市政府的公共藝術計劃委任完成。

中山公園行政總裁關兆初(Vincent Kwan)指:「我們慶祝唐人街的重要性,包括其歷史、人物、語言;與此同時,黃柏武的『鹹水埠温哥华』霓虹燈作品更激發了關於理解並珍視物質和非物質文化遺產的討論。」

黃柏武的藝術駐留計劃於2018年4月展開,恰逢溫哥華市政府就早期歧視華裔歷史正式道歉。駐留期間,藝術家將已故母親黃淑芳(Suk-Fong Wong)生前700多封家書信物整理並翻譯,並以此為靈感,舉辦工作坊、表演,以及創作出攝影、錄像、雕塑藝術作品。此件霓虹燈作品也在其中。

這些信件和作品於2019年在中山公園的「淑芳你好嘛」(Suk-Fong Nay Ho Mah / Suk-Fong, How Are You?)展覽中展出,通過黃氏家族的個人視角提供了一個中國文化和政治變遷的紀錄,對二十世紀後期中國轉型呈現出獨特的理解。

「鹹水埠温哥华」(Saltwater City Vancouver)是溫哥華市政府的公共藝術計劃與中山公園聯手推出的公共藝術項目;並得到Prospero Group和奧丹基金會(Audain Foundation)的支持。

黃柏武(Paul Wong)簡介

黃柏武是位屢獲殊榮的藝術家、策展人。以引領加拿大早期視覺及新媒體藝術發展而聞名,自1970年代起成立多個藝術家運營機構,並組織了多個藝術活動、藝術節、研討會、公共項目。黃柏武的作品曾在北美、歐洲、亞洲展出。其作品被國際多個主要博物館收藏,包括加拿大國家美術館(渥太華),現代藝術博物館(紐約),奧丹藝術博物館(惠斯勒),溫哥華美術館以及惠特尼美術館(紐約)。黃柏武是2015年加拿大國家視覺及媒體藝術總督獎和2016年奧丹視覺藝術終身成就獎的獲獎藝術家。

媒體聯絡:

市政參與及傳訊部( Civic Engagement and Communications)

604.871.6336

media@vancouver.ca


唐人街新增公共艺术,为加拿大华裔文化遗产添彩

艺术家黄柏武(Paul Wong)为纪念广东移民历史而创作的霓虹灯作品现已在缅街475号(Main St)呈现。

此件作品旨在激发关于唐人街的语言、文化、保护遗产的重要性及挑战的讨论。

用霓虹灯管呈现的汉字「咸水埠温哥华」(Saltwater City Vancouver译名),是屡获殊荣的加拿大艺术家、策展人黄柏武对儿时唐人街回忆的纪念。

在谈到这件作品时,黄柏武指:「我在唐人街长大,当时的唐人街灯火通明,鲜艳巨大的霓虹招牌闪烁。当时的华人社区普遍将温哥华称作『咸水埠』。」

作品位于喜士定街(Hastings St)和片打街(Pender St)之间,沿着缅街(Main St)的西侧,地点由2019年1月的公众投票选定。此地点具有特殊的历史意义,这里曾是温哥华市政厅的所在地(1889-1929年),在此期间市长和市议员利用市府的法定权力去制订及扩充歧视性法例,使华人居民蒙受伤害。

「咸水埠温哥华」(Saltwater City Vancouver)是黄柏武于中山公园内,进行为期一年的「身在唐人街」(Occupying Chinatown)艺术驻留计划(2018-2019年)期间创作的作品。由温哥华市政府的公共艺术计划委任完成。

中山公园行政总裁关兆初(Vincent Kwan)指:「我们庆祝唐人街的重要性,包括其历史、人物、语言;与此同时,黄柏武的『咸水埠温哥华』霓虹灯作品更激发了关于理解并珍视物质和非物质文化遗产的讨论。」

黄柏武的艺术驻留计划于2018年4月展开,恰逢温哥华市政府就早期歧视华裔历史正式道歉。驻留期间,艺术家将已故母亲黄淑芳(Suk-Fong Wong)生前700多封家书信物整理并翻译,并以此为灵感,举办工作坊、表演,以及创作出摄影、录像、雕塑艺术作品。此件霓虹灯作品也在其中。

这些信件和作品于2019年在中山公园的「淑芳你好嘛」(Suk-Fong Nay Ho Mah / Suk-Fong, How Are You?)展览中展出,通过黄氏家族的个人视角提供了一个中国文化和政治变迁的纪录,对二十世纪后期中国转型呈现出独特的理解。

「咸水埠温哥华」(Saltwater City Vancouver)是温哥华市政府的公共艺术计划与中山公园联手推出的公共艺术项目;并得到Prospero Group和奥丹基金会(Audain Foundation)的支持。

黄柏武(Paul Wong)简介

黄柏武是位屡获殊荣的艺术家、策展人。以引领加拿大早期视觉及新媒体艺术发展而闻名,自1970年代起成立多个艺术家运营机构,并组织了多个艺术活动、艺术节、研讨会、公共项目。黄柏武的作品曾在北美、欧洲、亚洲展出。其作品被国际多个主要博物馆收藏,包括加拿大国家美术馆(渥太华),现代艺术博物馆(纽约),奥丹艺术博物馆(惠斯勒),温哥华美术馆以及惠特尼美术馆(纽约)。黄柏武是2015年加拿大国家视觉及媒体艺术总督奖和2016年奥丹视觉艺术终身成就奖的获奖艺术家。

媒体联络:

市政参与及传讯部(Civic Engagement and Communications)

604.871.6336

media@vancouver.ca

 

 

 

 

 

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