Two Great Nations With More In Common Than You Might Think
Gone are the days when, for many Canadians, our flirtation with the Far East began and ended with tearing open packets of plum sauce, fumbling with chopsticks and sharing fortune-cookie prophecies at a restaurant featuring Chinese-Canadian food. Today, we travel to China and marvel at the inspiring architecture, experimental and forward-looking technology, and enormous social advancements – successes underpinned by drive, education, entrepreneurship, expertise and an expectation to excel.
Chinese understanding of Canada has also dramatically increased since the heroic achievements of Norman Bethune alongside Mao Zedong were instilled in generations of elementary school students. Trade, business opportunities and immigration have created wealth and powered growth in communities like Richmond, British Columbia and Markham, Ontario, where the lingua franca is more likely Mandarin or Cantonese dialect than English or French. With expanded air links, it is no longer unusual to see tourists from Beijing, Shanghai or the New Territories, exploring all corners of Canada.
Convergences is my professional contribution to maintain a dialogue between our two countries that is anything but inflammatory. It has no agenda other than the pure joy of common experience. A work in progress, in 2020 I plan to exhibit the 50 paired photographs on the green background in recognition of a half-century of relations between Canada and China. The photographs on the mauve background graphically link East and West and will be broadened to include the collection of single images when they are coupled with as-yet unphotographed scenes.
© 2019 Daniel Wiener