Will Kwan, Hong Kong born and Canada based, is an artist looking to explore the social, architectural, and visual conditions of a post-industrial and urban Manchester.
As with many former industrial capitals in Europe and North America, Will Kwan sees Manchester’s manufacturing landscape ‘hollowed out into shells for the so-called “new economy”, a corporate euphemism for a non-productive system of consumerism, spectacle, and financial speculation’
The artist is specifically interested in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, a text by Friedrich Engel. By using this text as a framework for his research, he will be developing a video and photo based project which reflects our contemporary economy in relation to an archetypal post-industrial city.
Replacing Engel’s focus on immigration (Irish), mining, agriculture and perceptions of working class with a contemporary look into deregulation, immigration (Asian), commodity exchange and regeneration, Kwan’s research will include immersing himself in the local environment, meeting with its inhabitants, communities and furthermore collaborating with local students, from both art and non-art backgrounds.
Perceptions of growth and development within the capital sector will be debated, and so called new economies challenged!
Will Kwan has exhibited extensively with the likes of Liverpool Biennial, Tate Modern in the UK, and Access Gallery in Vancouver, CA as well as solo exhibitions with Doulun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai CN, and 2P Gallery in Hong Kong. He graduated with an MFA from Columbia University in New York and currently teaches at the University of Ontario in Canada, working in both studio art and the Master of Visual Studies Program.
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