Annie Wong | Artist
To make an auspicious home > Exhibition > Community Artist in Residence > Varley Art Gallery > Markham, ON > February - March 2020.
If you lifted the roof of all the Chinese houses in Toronto, you’ll likely find an iterative collection of shadow boxes featuring three-dimensional miniatures of birds, pagodas, or branches of cherry blossoms. These encased scenes of an idyllic “orient” proliferated in Chinese living rooms during the 80’s and 90’s and were appreciated as beautiful works of art as much as domestic signifiers of Chinese identity. To acquire and privately display folk art of this kind was an act of finding the kith in the kitsch, an integral part of Chinese immigrants making a home in the hostland. To the younger generation, the shadow boxes embody a duplicitous sense of belongingness to a “home” along with a longingness for a phantasmagoric homeland imagined by their parents. It is a feeling symptomatic of being raised by immigrants who simultaneously resist and accept western assimilation.
To make an auspicious home explores features shadow boxes borrowed from the homes of Chinese residents in Markham and Toronto, including Wong's family. As part of her residency at the Varley Art Gallery, the exhibition attempts to "make a home" in the public art institution for the Chinese diaspora.
Created in collaboration with Minh Chau Vong, Chung Mei Chu Mabel, Ven Jixing Shi, Marilyn Jung, Tommy Sung, Connie Sung and the Fan family.