A Sunflower Seed
Artist Statement: Chad Wong
Stuart Hall’s concept of “double displacement” speaks of the alienation that immigrants feel when returning home after leaving for a long period of time, unable to fit into any context. My practice is largely inspired by this notion of displacement and in-between status of the immigrant. Alluding to art history is also an integral part to my practice as it creates a direct chain of reference between the past and the present. Confronting the past, be it artistic, historical, or personal allows me to visualize my identity in relation to my predecessors and ancestors. This act of allusion is pivotal to forming my identity as an artist. The majority of my subject matter revolves around domestic and suburban settings often juxtaposing the body with its surroundings, often dealing with ironies and expectations that are thrust upon one generation from the other. In View Mall Plan 4660 Garden City Road, Richmond, British Columbia, I explore the confrontation between the immigrant body and the landscape that has defined the Canadian national identity for so many decades. The body is thrust into the geography, complacent and struggling to make a mark, blending in with the rubble. A Sunflower Seed, which directly references Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seed installation, speaks to the displaced immigrant: on one hand coping with his/her new identity and on the other struggling to retain what and who they were back at home. For me, video and photography, even sculpture offers a documentative quality unlike any other medium, allowing my work to be rooted in reality.
Chad Wong is currently completing his BFA in Visual Arts and Art History at the University of British Columbia. His work is primarily concerned with establishing a relationship between cultural identity and artistic identity through referring to his own personal life while alluding to aspects of art history. Utilizing both photography and video, Wong attempts to make sense of both the immigrant experience, as one that is linked to personal history, and the preservation of cultural traditions. He also wishes to express the struggles of being a child of an immigrant family that is trying to form its own identity.