PRAF Participatory is an initiative to commission art projects from invited international artists that are developed with the participation of local art students. As part of its intend to supplement conventional pedagogical methods in art schools, this initiative is intended to facilitate engagement with internationally renowned artists, by immersing young artists in the making of a collaborative work of art that expands their understanding of their own practice. PRAF Participatory Programme is designed to encourage increased conversation between India and the global art scene. While residency programmes have become increasingly relevant to the arts in India with annual residency programmes that support Indian artists and curators in other countries to develop their practices there aren’t as many opportunities that focus on visits by prominent global figures to India with the sole purpose of continued dialogue with a broader segment of the local arts community. PRAF intends to bridge that gap by facilitating engagement for emerging artists with global figures within India. For the year 2018, PRAF is proud to invite the Chinese Canadian multimedia artist Paul Wong to exhibit some of his key works in Delhi and share his working process with the local audience through a conversation with the performance-based artist Amitesh Grover. Thereafter, Wong will continue his India tour by participating in Srishti Interim 2018, a program launched by our partner, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Bengaluru) that gives an opportunity to young art students to interact with and learn from established international artists whilst working on collaborative art projects with them. 

About the Artist

Paul Wong is a media-maestro making art for site-specific spaces and screens of all sizes. He is an award-winning artist and curator known for pioneering early visual and media art in Canada, founding several artist-run groups, and organizing events, festivals, conferences and public interventions since the 1970s. Wong has produced projects throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His works in public collections include the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa), The Audain Art Museum (Whistler, BC), the Vancouver Art Gallery and The Whitney Museum (New York). Public art commissions including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He was the winner of the Bell Canada Award in Video Art 1992, the first recipient of the Transforming Art Award from the Asian Heritage Foundation 2002 and the inaugural winner of the Trailblazer Expressions Award in 2003, created by Heritage Canad, National Film Boad and CHUM Limited (one of Canadaʼs leading media companies). In 2005 he received the Governor Generalʼs Award in Visual and Media Art. In 2008 was awarded Best Canadian Film or Video at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. In 2016, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Visual Arts. He officially launched his year-long residency on April 2018, 身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown, at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden as part of the City of Vancouver’s Artist-Initiated Commission series for public art.  

About the Exhibition

‘Paul Wong: Private/Public/Lives’ is part of Prameya Art Foundation (PRAF) Participatory, an initiative that tries to explore collaborative art making as pedagogy. Paul Wong, the Canadian multimedia artist and activist has been invited to India to conduct a workshop and make work together with a group of young artists at Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology. The exhibition ‘Paul Wong: Private/Public/Lives’ is a preview to this project, and to introduce Paul Wong to the community of students and young artists in Delhi. He has been creating daring work for over 40 years, pushing the boundaries of conventional cultural stereotypes and art. He has produced largescale interdisciplinary artworks in traditional galleries and unexpected public spaces since the 1970s. His work subverts stereotypes in form, language, content, and context. This exhibition of three recent works exemplifies Paul’s multifaceted artistic process. All these works have been initiatives of public art projects, accessibly bringing in the public and community within the conversation by taking what is typically concealed in private spaces out into the public to start a conversation around it. Five Octave Range (2017), commissioned by Vancouver Opera, and Year of GIF (2013), commissioned by Surrey Art Gallery, showcases Paul’s large-scale site-specific installation video work that has made him a pioneer in that field. His current project, 身在唐人街 / Occupying Chinatown (2018/19), commissioned by City of Vancouver’s explores Paul’s relationship to identity, heritage, and language. 媽媽的藥櫃/Mother’s Cupboard and 父字/Father’s Words allows viewers intimate insight into Chinese diaspora practices within a Canadian colonial context. The project at Srishti Institute of Art and design will be an extension of this project in the Indian context.