淑芳你好嘛 (Suk-Fong Nay Ho Mah) / Suk-Fong, How Are You?
January 12 to February 24, 2019
Opening reception January 12, 1-4pm
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
淑芳你好嘛 (Suk-Fong Nay Ho Mah) / Suk-Fong, How Are You? was the final public exhibition of the 身在唐人街 / OCCUPYING CHINATOWN. The exhibition included the 700 letters written to Suk-Fong Wong, photography, scrolls, video, neon, objects, and other ephemera. This exhibition was also accompanied by an offsite Transit Shelter Series, Public Art Talk, Chinese Medicine Workshop, and Chinese Medicinal Soup Making Workshop.
Audiences were invited to explore the contents of eight Letters to Suk-Fong presented in four scrolls. These works demonstrated the interconnectedness between the personal and the political. From China’s Land Reformation in the 1950s to familial politics overseas, accounts of China’s shifting cultural and political histories from the 1940s to the 2000s were told through the personal perspectives of these writers: father, sister, brother, niece. Canadian viewers became privy to private narratives that intertwined memory and history, offering a unique perspective into Chinese/Canadian life.
The exhibition also highlighted 媽媽的藥櫃 / Mother’s Cupboard, Suk-Fong’s jars of Chinese herbs and homemade medicines stored in recycled and appropriated jars of mayonnaise and instant coffee—signifiers of mainstream patterns of production and consumption—by rewriting and relabeling them for her own domestic use. Through Wong’s framework, a seemingly mundane activity inhabited the public space of the gallery and allowed for the reclamation of disappearing histories of Chinese heritage.