Habana Riviera

Habana Riviera
Paul Wong, 2011
7 channel video loop, 16:9 aspect ratio, 5.1 channel sound
Edition of 3

Habana Riviera (2011), a seven-channel video shot during a torrential downpour from the window of a hotel in Havana. Wong captures the storm from a number of vantages, with the focus moving gracefully between inside and outside the windowpane, lingering on its rain-speckled surfaces. The hues of the videos are shades of deep blue and the framing recalls the long lineage of art history (consider Vermeer or Magritte) that use the window as a metaphor for the act of picture-making. The soundtrack to this work amplifies the noise of the rain and distorts it to become richly immersive and almost cinematic.

-Kathleen Ritter, Paul Wong: Immanent

Gorgeously compelling as Habana Riviera is, however,  it thwarts our expectations: we wait for the the storm to abate, but it never does. Sound and image loop endlessly, and the suspense eventually exhausts us – as Wong must fully intend it to. And again, there is that historic subtext, that cycle of corruption, exploitation and revolution. The storm that never ceases.

-Robin Laurence, Paul Wong

Available at Paul Wong Projects