2020 CAIR Annie Wong


Annie Wong is the gallery’s 2020 Community-Artist-in-Residence. CAIR is a year-long program inviting professional artists with socially engaged practices to move artistic programming beyond the gallery walls and into the community.

Artist Bio

Annie Wong is a writer and multidisciplinary artist working in performance and installation. Her work begins at the intersections of the poetic and political in the matrix of everyday life, employing socially engaged and process-oriented methods of artistic collaboration often with everyday people. Conceptually diverse, her current research explores embodied and affective knowledge from the anger of BIPOC feminist histories and the melancholy of diasporic hauntologies. Wong has presented research and projects across North America with Open Source Gallery (NY, New York), The Gardiner Museum (Toronto, ON), Studio XX (Montreal, QC), Third Space (Saint John, NB), and Intersite: Visual Arts Festival (Calgary, AB), among others. She has held residencies at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Khyber Centre for the Arts (Halifax, NS), the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff, AL), and most recently with the City of Calgary. Wong’s literary practice includes poetry, art writing and non-fiction. Her writing can be found in C Magazine, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Canadian Art, Performance Research Journal (UK), and MICE Magazine.

During her time with the gallery, Wong will continue her collaborative practice by engaging Markham’s Chinese residents to explore the complexities of diasporic identity and community


Associated programs and events

To make an auspicious home

February 15 – April 26, 2020

New this year, CAIR will feature in the Main Gallery! The pop-up exhibition will explore a nuanced cross-generational nostalgia embodied by the frequent appearance of folk art in Chinese-Canadian homes. The exhibition will comprise of objects borrowed from the living rooms of local Chinese residents in Markham and beyond. 

How to be a Chinese Ally

How to be a Chinese Ally - Chinese Cover    How to be a Chinese Ally - English Cover

Created in response to the lack of Chinese language anti-racism resources, How to be a Chinese Ally asks its Chinese readers to consider what it means to be an immigrant settler; how to address the internal anti-Black and anti-Indigenous bias within Chinese communities; and how to challenge the model minority concept and its complicity with white supremacy. Contrary to the title, this book makes no attempts to provide a “how-to” guide. Instead, artist Annie Wong, and academic Chen Chen offer an accessible entry point into a practice of learning and unlearning by inviting Chinese readers into intimate conversations among friends, artists, and researchers within the BIPOC community.

How to be a Chinese Ally includes interviews with Fiona Raye Clarke, seth cardinal dodginghorse, Jae Sterling and Melissa Chung Mowat; essays by the editors, a comic by Jason Li, and translated excerpts from key texts by Robyn Maynard, Gary Pieters, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

How to be a Chinese Ally is produced in collaboration with Chen Chen, and as part of Annie Wong’s Community Artist in Residence project at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Ontario, and the Calgary Chinatown artist residency commissioned by The City of Calgary’s public art program in partnership with The New Gallery.

Free PDF copies of the book are available here. A limited number of printed copies are available for no charge at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham and The New Gallery through curbside pick-up. Further partner locations will be announced. Due to their limited number, printed copies are available by request only for those who require access, or are assisting those in need of access, to the Chinese language version.

You can read a bilingual edition of the book on ISSUU, click here.

The following PDFs can be downloaded and shared: 

Description of this project is available in Simplified and Traditional Chinese

To request a hardcopy of the publication, please contact Anik Glaude, Curator aglaude@markham.ca

Image: Photo by Stefan Hagen for Open Source Gallery, 2019.
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