Echoes of Chinatown: A Walk with Goong Goong

Echoes of Chinatown: A Walk with Goong Goong is a two-part 180-degree video projection and AR installation exploring the history of Vancouver's Chinatown through the use of memory.

The video projection is an animated 4-minute film, A Walk with Goong Goong, about a WWII veteran revisiting Chinatown with his granddaughter and reliving bittersweet memories. As a counterpart, the AR installation, A Parade to Remember, features an AR interactive projection of the V-DAY parade celebrating the end of WWII against a physical backdrop of the Wing Sang building. Through both pieces, we hope to acknowledge the resilience and efforts that our Chinese-Canadian ancestors have paved the way for Chinese-Canadians today.

A grandfather, known as Goong Goong, embarks on a walk through Chinatown with his granddaughter, Jenny. As he waits for Jenny, bittersweet memories slowly come back to him of his days spent growing up and living in Chinatown.

As a VR piece, A Walk with Goong Goong is a first-of-its kind experimental transmedia narrative, an ode to Vancouver’s still liveliest of neighborhoods, and a contemplation on the relationship between memory, the past, and legacy. This is a collaboration that began nearly four years ago, between Hammer & Tong and Vancouver writer-director Jenny Lee-Gilmore, who bravely explores the space between family history, imagination, and memorial. A companion diorama combines physical-digital design, model fabrication, and augmented reality to breath life into Chinatown’s oldest building, the Wing Sang (now the Chinese Canadian Museum) and celebrates a key milestone in the neighborhood’s resilience.

Dedicated to Jenny’s goong goong, Monty Lee, and great-grandfather Sam Lee, we hope to honour the resilience, strength, and love and acknowledge the efforts and community work that our Chinese-Canadian ancestors have paved the way for Chinese-Canadians today.

 

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