Paul Wong: Private/Public/Lives

Paul Wong. Five Octave Range, 2018. Courtesy of PRAF

at Shrine Empire

Prameya Art Foundation is excited to present in India for the first time works by the celebrated multimedia artist and activist Paul Wong. Paul Wong’s work has been ground breaking for his inventive use of media and daring approach to various issues including queer rights and migration. Paul Wong: Private/Public/Lives, curated by Anushka Rajendran, will feature a slice of artist’s diverse practice, with a special focus on three of his latest site-specific, multi-sensory installations and projects in the public domain that navigate the poignant question of cultural identity through the unique vantage of the artist’s queer intercultural position in the Canadian society.

Paul Wong: Private/Public/Lives is part of PRAF Participatory, an initiative that tries to explore collaborative art making as pedagogy. Paul Wong, the Canadian multi-media artist and activist has been invited to India to conduct a workshop and make art with a group of young artists at Srishti Insitute of Art Design and Technology. The exhibition is a preview to this project, and introduces Paul Wong to the community of students and young artists in Delhi. The artist has been creating daring work for over 40 years, pushing the boundaries of cultural stereotypes and art. He has produced large-scale interdisciplinary artworks in traditional gallery setup and unexpected public spaces since the 1970s. His work subverts stereotypes in form, language, content, and context.

This exhibition of three recent works exemplifies Paul’s multifaceted artistic process. All these works have been initiatives of public art projects, accessibly bringing in the public and community within the conversation by taking what is typically concealed in private spaces out into the public to start a conversation around it. Five Octave Range (2017), commissioned by Vancouver Opera, and Year of GIF (2013), commissioned by Surrey Art Gallery, showcases Paul’s large-scale site-specific video installation work that has made him a pioneer in that field. His current project, 身在唐人街 / Occupying Chinatown (2018/19), commissioned by City of Vancouver’s explores Paul’s relationship to identity, heritage, and language. 媽媽的藥櫃/Mother’s Cupboard and 父字/Father’s Words allows viewers intimate insight into Chinese diaspora practices within a Canadian colonial context. The project at Srishti Institute of Art and design will be an extension of this project in the Indian context.

Wong has also been invited to share his working process with his audience through a range of talks and interactive sessions at some of the key institutions and spaces across the country. On the 16th of November, he will be in conversation with the performance-based artist Amitesh Grover at official opening of his exhibition at the Shrine Empire, from 6-7 pm. He will then  be touring the country; on the 24th of November, he will give an artist talk at 1 Shanthi road Studio Gallery, Bengaluru, and on the 26th of November, at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai.

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