Roger Ing's Utopia
- Release Date 1998
- Running Time 25 minutes
- Closed Captions Yes
- Availability Canada, USA
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Enter the eclectic world of Roger Ing, a prolific Canadian artist, philanthropist, and former owner/operator of the New Utopia Café in Regina, a place where magical moments happened and a legend was created. Immigrating to Saskatchewan from rural China in 1950, Roger brought with him early training in classical Chinese painting. His love of art continued in his new country as he embraced all kinds of new traditions and made them his own, while operating his restaurant for a living. Over the years, his paintings took over the restaurant, including the kitchen, eventually resulting in closure of the restaurant by the City Health Department. Artists such as Joe Fafard, Arthur McKay, Edward Poitras and Jack Severson share their memories of the New Utopia, called by many the most important cultural institution in the city, intercut with footage of Roger at work, painting and cooking. A professor of Art History at the University of Regina adds his comments about the work and the absence of recognition for cross-cultural art practices within the formal framework of art history. In September 1998, the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina recognized and celebrated Roger Ing's large body of work with a major retrospective exhibition.
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