Rituals (2019) is part of an investigation into Asian-Canadian diasporic identity and the ways that it manifests through familial relationships and gestures. This work specifically revolves around domestic actions passed between the artist and her grandmother. Through the repetitive nature of sewing, peeling oranges, and playing mahjong, nuances and differences in the performances of these rituals emerge and reveal Wong’s disconnect from cultural traditions as a first-generation immigrant.
The work sits on “cultural fault lines” where home and displacement meet and multiple cultures and places intersect and diverge. It looks at the way that cultural traditions and practices are adapted or mistranslated during the process of immigration, specifically within the context of family and intergenerational relationships. For those in the diaspora, families often serve as one of the few links to the places they are originally from. As language often serves as a barrier between Wong and her grandmother, their relationship and Wong’s relationship to her own cultural history is largely enacted through actions and gestures rather than words.
As an Asian-Canadian first-generation immigrant, Wong’s idea of place is often negotiated through DISplacement. While the history of “Vancouver” has frequently been marked by migration, it is also important to recognize that there is an added layer of complexity here. While Asian communities in Mount Pleasant are being displaced by the rapid gentrification of the neighbourhood, our migration to this city also contributes to the continued displacement of Indigenous peoples, specifically the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to whom this land belongs.
Gloria Wong (b. 1998) is an emerging visual artist and curator based on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (“Vancouver”). Her practice primarily uses photography to explore the complexities and nuances of East Asian diasporic identities and the ways they are shaped by different relationships — whether between people, their environments or objects.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2020) and was recently selected as one of It’s Nice That’s Graduates 2020.