Alvin Luong fabricates personas and stories by integrating personal biography with historical narratives and contemporary events. These personas and stories are created through photography, video, and installation. Luong’s artworks are positioned between reality and fiction, familiar and foreign, and humourous and tragic. The artist reflects on moments of comedy, profoundness, and absurdity from life under various conditions of governance, culture, and economics. Key influences in the artist’s work include the artist’s biography of being a descendant of refugees, living in the West as an Overseas Chinese, and a passion for economic justice. Luong’s work is unabashedly entertaining which is a characteristic emulated from mass media and popular culture. These characteristics are harnessed in order to create dialogue with non-art audiences about issues such as urbanization, climate, and war.
Alvin Luong’s artistic practice is inseparable from work as a community builder. Luong is an advocate and supporter of grassroots communities for artistic and cultural autonomy. In 2015, the artist developed a free photography workshop for underserved youth in Toronto. From 2017 to 2018, Luong served as director for Bunker2, an experimental not-for-profit art gallery dedicated to showing emerging and under-presented artists. Since 2018, Luong has been facilitating Bad Debt, a free political economy workshop for new cultural practitioners in Toronto. Luong believes that being an artist extends beyond the production of artwork to include the care of communities that can let cultural work thrive and addressing the political economic constraints of cultural communities.
In 2016, Luong completed a BA (Hons.) from the University of Toronto with the Registrars’ Graduation Award in the Humanities for achieving highest standing in the field of Humanities for his class of 2016. That year Luong was invited by Trinity Square Video to produce a solo exhibition. In 2017, Luong was awarded the OCAD University Off Screen Award for best New Media installation in the 2017 Images Festival, presented a solo exhibition at Platform in Winnipeg, and was commissioned by V Tape and Reel Asian to produce a video. In 2018, Luong was Artist-In-Residence at IOAM Beijing (中间美术馆), lectured at the Institute for Provocation (激发研究所) in Beijing, and was a finalist for the Emerging Digital Media Artist Award by EQAA Bank. In 2019, the artist exhibited at Boers-Li Gallery in Beijing. The artist has given ten talks at universities and art institutions, has been awarded six grants from Ontario Arts Council, one grant from Toronto Arts Council, and one grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.