Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers (2017)

5 minute
3D videomapping projection
300’ x 50’
Also available as a single channel tape.
Commissioned by the Burrard Arts Foundation and Vancouver Art Gallery

Winners & Losers is created using original video footage recorded by Paul Wong. This work shines a light on a piece of recent Vancouver history that many would prefer to forget: the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff riots. The video puts together recordings of gatherings in the downtown core in and around the hockey arena, these recordings of crowds “celebrating” were made before during and after several playoff games in Vancouver. Winners and Losers is a study of crowd euphoria that blurs behaviours pre and post winning or losing games. The site specific work was  projected onto the façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery, North Plaza. This location was the site of the riots in 2011 in which the Vancouver Police stood down and retreated.

Prior to the Vancouver Art Gallery retrofitting the building in 1973 it was originally erected as a colonial power structure that housed the county jail, provincial courthouse and land registry offices. The plaza in front of this imposing edifice is the primary gathering space for protests and celebrations in downtown.

On June 18 2018, the City of Vancouver, renamed the square that now acknowledges first peoples histories. šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square refers to a place where a cultural gathering occurs such as a wedding, funeral, naming, honouring, or coming of age ceremony. The name uses words in both local Indigenous languages: hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (the language of Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (the language of the Squamish Nation).


Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF): Describe your project for Façade Fest 2017.

Paul Wong (PW): Winners & Losers is based on video recordings made on the streets of downtown Vancouver before, during, and after the 2011 riots that took place after the Stanley Cup Finals.  It is a look at euphoria and mass spectacle; a juxtaposition of the behaviours of winners and losers.

BAF: Have you ever worked in video art or projection mapping before? To what extent was working with this technology a new experience for you?

PW: I have created work for video screens of all sizes and shapes, and have projected in on a wide range of conditions and surfaces. I have also worked with video mapping before.

BAF: Is your Façade idea an entirely new project, or are you further developing existing themes?

PW: The source material for Winners & Losers was recorded in 2011.  It was intended to be experienced as 3 screen large video projection installation. Façade Festival presented the ideal location, context and facade to show this work.

BAF: Your work will be projected over the entire façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Have you ever worked in such a large scale before? What has been exciting, and challenging, about the process?

PW: I have been creating large scale public art projects and projections throughout my career. It is an exciting progression to be involved in a curated project for which all the framework for production and presentation is provided.  Kaboom – it’s a spectacular canvas and location, 8 synced video projectors, and sound.