Paul Wong (artist)

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Paul Wong
Born (1954-11-20) November 20, 1954 (age 60)
Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Known for Video art, Multimedia
Awards Bell Canada Award, Transforming Art Award, Trailblazer Expressions Award, Governor Generals Award in Visual and Media Arts, Best Canadian Film at the 2008 Reel Asian International Film Festival

Paul Wong, (born November 20, 1954 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia) is a Canadian multimedia artist. An award-winning artist, curator, and organizer of public interventions since the mid-1970s, Wong is known for his engagement with issues of race, sex, and death. His work varies from conceptual performances to narratives, meshing video, photography, installation, and performance with Chinese-Canadian cultural perspectives.


Paul Wong is an established artist and respected contemporary curator and programmer. Facilitating the work of other artists has been an important parallel activity that has always been closely related to his own artistic interests, as well as creating access to public spaces inside and outside of conventional galleries. This has included curating exhibitions in museums, programming festivals, developing educational curriculums, and consulting on cultural policies. He has been at the forefront, both as a pioneer of media art forms and in the development of audiences and critical attention for these new forms. Paul Wong is a founding member of several artists groups including the Video In / VIVO Media Arts Centre (Satellite Video Exchange Society 1973), and is a co-founding member of On The Cutting Edge Productions Society, which produced projects nationally and internationally from 1985 to 2007. These are archived at On Edge was rebranded to On Main Gallery in 2007 As Artistic Director/Curator, Wong shifted the focus back to Vancouver.

Winner of the Bell Canada Award in Video Art in 1992, Wong was also the first recipient of the Transforming Art Award from the Asian Heritage Foundation in 2002. In 2003 he was the inaugural winner of the Trailblazer Expressions Award, created by Heritage Canada, the National Film Board of Canada and CHUM limited. Wong was the 2005 recipient of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts[1] and was the Canadian Spotlight Artist and also awarded Best Canadian Film or Video at the 2008 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.


Wong has produced projects and shown his work throughout Canada, as well as in China and Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, the UK and in the United States amongst elsewhere. His works are in public collections including the National Gallery of Canada,[2] the Museum of Modern Art, New York,[3] the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa) and the Vancouver Art Gallery.[4]

He was the lead artist and curator of the "5" series, a major media art spectacle commissioned by the City of Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics "5 Paul Wong Projects". These five site-specific events took place between February 13 to March 13, 2010, showcasing works from both Wong and selected guest artists. Produced by On Main Gallery (On The Cutting Edge Production Society), the event was part of Mapping and Marking Artist-Initiated Projects for Vancouver 2010. Wong was the lead artist/curator of “5”, five site specific events that ran from Feb. 13 to Mar. 13, 2010. Commissioned by The City of Vancouver through its Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program, it marked the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

In 2011, he curated 10 Seconds, another City of Vancouver Public Art Project that saw the commissioning of 10 artists creating new works for the Canada Line SkyTrain video screens in Vancouver.

In 2012 he curated the work of Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak as part of "The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak".

In 2013, Wong created the #OMGSMAZ" social media art zones for the 2013 Main Street Car Free Day and the Kitsilano Music Festival, and "Year of GIF" for the City of Surrey's Surrey UrbanScreen.

In 2014, Wong created "#LLL, Looking Listening Looping", and was the curator and artistic director of Thru the Trapdoor, an interdisciplinary art exhibition and event that took place from April 22 to 26, 2014. The event featured over 50 artists and curators.

Wong, along with the other members of the Mainstreeters, is featured in Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage 1972-1982. Curated by Allison Collins and Michael Turner, and produced by grunt gallery, the exhibition surveys the history of a gang of Vancouver artists who lived and worked together. From 1972 until roughly 1982, they lived along Main Street, the traditional dividing line between the city's working-class immigrant eastside and its more affluent westside. The other members of the Mainstreeters were Kenneth Fletcher, Deborah Fong, Carol Hackett, Marlene MacGregor, Annastacia McDonald, Charles Rea, and Jeanette Reinhardt.

Other media[edit]

Wong plays the "Wiry Man" in Season 3, Episode 19 of The X-Files, Hell Money (originally aired 29 March 1996).


  1. ^ "Paul Wong – Bio". Canada Council for the Arts. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Collections: Paul Wong". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Collection: Paul Wong". MoMA. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Exhibition of Paul Wong’s work presents compelling views on sex, life and death" (PDF). Vancouver Art Gallery. 2 July 2002. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 

External links[edit]