He was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. After earning his master’s degree in systems engineering in the United States, he immigrated to Canada in 1976 where he embarked upon a successful career in information technology.
His international upbringing gave the multilingual Mr. Kwan—he speaks English, Japanese, French and several Chinese dialects—an early start in world travel and opportunities to meet people from several countries. His career later brought him to the United States, Saudi Arabia, and back to Japan and Hong Kong.
Back home in Canada, the community activist founded The Asianadian, a magazine dedicated to the promotion of Asian Canadian arts, culture and politics, in 1978. The following year, he helped lead a nationwide fight for equality for Chinese Canadians.
Mr. Kwan took a film workshop at New York University in 1998 before establishing his own production company, Tissa Films. His first three films, ‘Song of the Exile’, ‘On the Islands’, and ‘Three Continents’, are based on his Chinese Restaurants series and bring together his personal experiences, love of travel and appreciation of Chinese culture worldwide.
Watch clips from episodes from the ‘Chinese Restaurants’ series where Cheuk Kwan circles the globe from Peru to Madagascar to Turkey to Norway.