; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Tobias Wong exhibit at Museum of Vancouver

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tobias Wong exhibit at Museum of Vancouver

On Wednesday night I attended the opening reception of a retrospect on art wunderkind and Vancouver native, the late Tobias Wong. During the reception, there were speeches made, including one from his mother, Phyllis. However, in true Tobias Wong style, instead of a short Asian woman heading up onto the stage, we got a tall Caucasian man (my friend Peter) speaking instead. This was a wonderful little tribute to when Tobias had a tall Caucasian man accept an award on his behalf, pretending to be him.

 I knew Tobias back in the day on a personal level and when he moved to New York and made a splash in the art scene, he allowed me to interview him for an article in Ricepaper Magazine. During one of my visits to New York, he invited me to an art opening in SoHo that he was a part of, and I was honoured to have the privilege to attend.

Here's a personal photo I have of him:

There was always a bit of cheekiness to him, a humour and wit that was intelligent and biting, and I believe that comes across in his work. Here are some of my favourite pieces that are currently on display at the Museum of Vancouver.


This marks the third time I've seen his work featured in a museum. The first time was at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and he had his bulletproof broach and bulletproof duvet cover there. This was when he was still alive.

After his death, I saw the exhibit that was done at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and I remember it being really small. It was exciting to see all his work together like that, but at the same time I felt slightly disappointed by how it was presented.

Now, here in his hometown, I can honestly say without bias that this show is splendidly done! It's in-depth, well-rounded, and informative. Each piece is accompanied by a little story from a collaborator, friend, or fellow artist. There are three rooms dedicated to his work, and each piece is fascinating to look at. This is the perfect showcase for Tobias Wong and his work.

Oh and here's a tip for when you go! When you get to the piece about his pop-up shop that never opened, be sure to pick up the telephone receiver underneath the picture and take a listen!! 

Object(ing): The Art/Design of Tobias Wong is on now at the Museum of Vancouver until February 24, 2013. To find out more about Tobias Wong, you can do a Google search and read the many articles written about him, and you can also visit his now defunct website BrokenOff.com


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