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Fonds - Theodore Saskatche Wan fonds
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- Wan, Theodore Saskatche
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Born in Hong Kong in 1953, Theodore Wan moved to Canada in 1967 at the age of thirteen. He attended the University of British Columbia from 1972 1975 earning an undergraduate degree from the Fine Arts programme. During this time, he assumed the persona of Mr. Normal through his formal attire and was known for his lack of penchant for drugs or alcohol.
From 1975 1978 Wan attended graduate school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He then worked as a photographer for the School of Dentistry at Dalhousie for a year before returning permanently to Vancouver in 1979. Returning frequently to Vancouver, he undertook various artistic projects including the Wreck Beach photographic series (1977). It was on one of the long trips between Halifax, NS and Vancouver, BC that Wan came across the town of Theodore, Saskatchewan, the town that inspired Wans legal name change from Theodore Fu Wan to Theodore Saskatche Wan in 1977.
Captivated by the phenomenon of celebrity, one personal triumph was being granted permission to photograph the porn star Linda Lovelace in 1975, as well as being fortunate enough to capture an image of Jackie Kennedy Onassis in New York City in 1976.
It was during his time as an art student that he produced some of his most memorable works. During the latter half of the 1970s, Wan produced photographic series such as Basic Surgical Positions (1977); Bridine Scrub for General Surgery (1977); Draping Procedure for Shoulder Operation (1978); Dental X-Ray Positions (1979) and Bound by Everyday Necessities (1979).
Theodore Wan returned to Vancouver in 1979, securing the top floor of a building on the edge of Chinatown for his studio and gallery space: the Main Exit Gallery (1979 1982). After he discontinued Main Exit as a gallery space, Wan disengaged from the art world and became more involved in commercial and social activities related to Chinatown businesses and organizations.
After 1981 Wan produced no new completed work. He remained active in the Vancouver art community by renting out the Main Exit Gallery as studio and exhibition space. He earned his living by doing commercial photography and working as a funeral director.
There was no separation of art and life in Theodore's mind. He formally arranged his life into three sections, three separate communities that did not really connect. He separated these communities by using three separate names: Theodore for the art community, Ted for his dealings with the business community and he was known as Theo to the dancers.
Theodore Wan died of sinus cancer in May of 1987, aged just thirty-four years old.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of the records created and collected by Theodore Wan during his life and career. The records reflect the activities of the artist as a student, artist, curator, and commercial photographer.
The records include photographs, negatives, slides, correspondence, exhibition catalogues, posters and mailers, installation instructions, certificates, textbooks and other research materials, as well as maps, video and audio cassette tapes, and DVDs.
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- Alpha-numeric designations: BCAUL control number: VAG-3346
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- Wan, Theodore Saskatche (Creator)