CHINAMAN’S PEAK: WALKING THE MOUNTAIN

Paul Wong, 1992
installation, 1 monitor, photographs, texts, various objects, mixed media
also available as a single channel video, 25 min., colour, stereo
Distributor: Vtape, Video Out

The images seem to suggest a traditional Chinese funeral ceremony associated with ancestor worship, though Wong has remarked they do not represent any particular ritual. The work deals with death, remembrance, and history, and was conceived as a memorial to the Chinese workers who died building the Canadian railway through the Rocky Mountains. It is also dedicated to the artist’s father, Hoy Ming Wong, and to two friends and collaborators who committed suicide, Ken Fletcher (1954-1978) and Paul Speed (1967-1991). Wong created the work while artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. Chinaman’s Peak is the name of a mountain near Banff where, according to legend, a Chinese worker killed himself. The work was first performed at Tunnel Mountain, Banff in 1992, before being exhibited as an installation at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, for the Chinese New Year, in 1993.

This work has been widely exhibited as an installation in variable dimensions and screened internationally at festivals as a single channel video. The installation was featured in Wong’s solo exhibition “On Becoming a Man”, National Gallery of Canada, 1995. This work is part of the permanent collection of the NGC.

As Public as Race, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Alberta 1992
Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver, 1993
Feng Shui, All Saints Church, Newcastle, England, 1993
Muse de Art Modern Paris, France 1994

Chinamans Peak Walking The Mountain 1993-1997 National Gallery
Chinaman’s Peak Walking The Mountain 1993 Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver Photo Jim Jardine 3_web letterobx
Chinaman’s Peak Walking The Mountain 1993 Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver Photo Jim Jardine
Chinamans Peak detail 2
Chinaman’s Peak Walking The Mountain 1993 Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver Photo Jim Jardine 1
Chinaman’s Peak Life Live Paris 1996_1
Chinaman’s Peak Life Live Paris 1996_2
Chinaman’s Peak Life Live Paris 1996_3
Chinaman’s Peak Life Live Paris 1996_4
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