A Wok-in-Progress

The intertwined stories of a disabled Chinese/Vietnamese artist living in America and his sister, a recent immigrant and struggling entrepreneur.

Independent Lens
Premiere Date
December 1, 2000
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call

paul kwan

Paul Kwan and Arnold Iger are co-artistic directors and producers of the trilogy made up of A Wok-in-Progress, Anatomy of a Springroll, and Pins and Noodles, shown nationally in film festivals and on public television. Through their company, Persona Grata Productions, they have created and performed experimental work for the stage and screen in the San Show more Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Kwan and Iger's work has integrated their talents in mediums ranging from collage and painting to poetry and video documentary. As seen in A Wok in Progress, Kwan and Iger collaborate with visual, musical, and other artists in search of new forms of expression. Kwan and Iger's previous collaboration resulted in Anatomy of a Springroll, winner of prestigious awards including the Gold Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the documentary category (June 1994), Best Video Documentary in the Atlanta Film & Video Festival (1994), and Special Jury Award in the category of multicultural education from the National Educational Film & Video Festival (1993). Pins and Noodles the second part of the trilogy, was completed and shown in the San Francisco Asian American International Showcase in March 1997. A Wok-in-Progress was first created for the San Francisco Exploratorium Museum as an interdisciplinary installation. The exhibition began on May 20, 1998, and ran through January 10, 1999. Show less


arnold iger

Other ITVS Films
Anatomy of a Springroll

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The Film

This video journal chronicles the intertwined stories of Paul Kwan, a Chinese filmmaker and gourmand who came to the United States from Vietnam 25 years ago, and his sister Diana, a recent immigrant from Hong Kong and a struggling entrepreneur. This personal documentary is both a stand-alone program and the third in a trilogy that probes the American immigrant's experience through the unlikely perspective of Paul's personal relationship with food. Through this program, the twin passions of Kwan's youth — food and films — provide a language to mourn cultural loss as well as retrieve cultural memory.