No artist best captures the contemporary condition of Chinatown as does the work of Steve Wong. With beautifully executed projects such as Chinatown Stories, Wong provides the conceptual framework of which to view multiple iterations of Chinatown as both neighborhood and artifact. We sat down with Steve Wong in the back alley of Telic Arts Exchange in Chung King Road to talk about his memories of Chinatown, the nuance behind his work, and his proprietorship of one of the area's most iconic buildings, Fong's Antique Shop; an irony that does not go unnoticed by the artist.
Memories of Chinatown
"Four generations who lived throughout the country make up one side of Steve's family tree. The other being only first generation, giving him a unique view of the area."
"Collection of postcards initiated stories behind the themes and history of the images bring to light a facet of Chinatown's perception for outsiders."
The Sing of Fong's Antique Shop
"Respect and slight fear of becoming a "gentrifier" has given the artist a level of appreciation for the neighborhood gift shop that he now owns."
Artists Move In
"Unknown to most of the community, the galleries affected only those who were most likely living outside of Chinatown."