Will Kwan
New York




He received his MFA from Columbia University's School of Arts in 2004.


Unidee Projects

Will has chosen to work on two long-term projects that will be presented as proposals at Unidee in progress. The first involves a youth prison for called "Casablanca" in Zimone and a two hundred-year old prison in the main piazzo of Biella that is being converted into a youth hostel for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. This project is being developed in collaboration with another Unidee resident Isabel Andreu from Spain and attempts to create a space, through the lens of independent cinema production, for the young prisoners - majority of whom are foreigners - to represent themselves.
The second project involves Chinese quarry and stoneworkers in the Italian province of Cuneo, where a growing Chinese community makes up 10% of the entire population in the villages of Barge and Bagnolo. The workers come to these villages for the sole purpose of working in the stone industry, producing raw construction materials such as cobblestones and flagstones which then form our city landscapes. The research is meant to develop eventually into a collaborative project with the Chinese community.


Both projects have to do with migration and settling in other countries for various reasons; work, personal desire, exploitation or mere survival. Born in Hong Kong, Will grew up in Canada, was educated in America and now divides his time between New York and Toronto, so he has a personal interest in the issue of how to participate in the public life of a place where one is always perceived as an outsider and never completely integrated. He also believes that working in foreign context is fundamental for his development as an artist to formulate a better understanding of larger patterns of global culture.




One of the reasons Will applied for the residency was to investigate the idea of creating projects that have a substantive effect on society. He says the work at Cittadellarte should not be about trying to "make the world a more compassionate and communicative space", but to reveal and challenge the inequity of power that exists. Striving for an actual transformation means long-term engagement and thorough research, and Will says his stay here has changed his view on concepts like scale, temporality, and commitment in relation to artistic practice.



You can find out more about Will's recent projects and future plans on manydee