Chinaman's Peak: Walking The Mountain

Paul Wong

1992, 25:30 minutes, colour


Chinaman's Peak is the name of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Walking The Mountain (Hanng San), in Cantonese refers to the beliefs and rituals associated with ancestral worship. Ancestral worship continues to be an important part of contemporary Chinese culture. It provides continuity between the past, present and future, and between the living and those in the spirit world.

Chinaman's Peak
is a geographic, physical and metaphorical place that frames this story. Walking The Mountain appeases the hungry ghosts of those who came before. Specifically honoured in this work are the spirits of the Chinese Pioneers, the railway workers in the late 1800's, the miners at the turn-of-the-century, the Sojourner Hoy Ming Wong (1896-1968), and the suicides of Kenneth Fletcher (1954-1978) and Paul Speed (1967-1991). These seemingly isolated people and histories are united through death and the communal act of remembering.

You are a good spirit,
Your spirit will always be remembered.
Wong has constructed an evocative hybrid narrative in this important new release. The making of this videotape constitutes a necessary part of the healing process of allowing the ghosts to rest.

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Critical Writing

Chinaman's Peak: Walking the Mountain
by Larissa Lai. Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, 1993.