“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… 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.

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.” -

Holy smokes this guy lived an interesting life.


Theodore Wan

Untitled (Hornby Island performance) (1975)

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