About the Artist
I am a ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton), Treaty 6 Territory and homeland of the Métis based father, artist, filmmaker, and organizer. I work with equity-deserving communities primarily through documentaries to share their stories of community care. I strives to live, work, and play in a relational way and seek less extractive methods to engage community and nature.
Chinatown is a place of belonging, familiarity and comfort for many Chinese immigrants, particularly for my parents’ generation. However for me, being born and raised in Canada, I used to feel embarrassed by my family’s cultural differences and I did everything I could to assimilate to what I thought was “Canadian” culture. When I was growing up, I received strong messages from my family that the priority was to do well at school and find a good job. I used to feel stressed by the expectations. Now I realize that my parents, as racialized immigrants who experienced hardship, did everything they could to ensure I had a secure future. Today, I identify myself as Chinese Canadian. I ask myself: What does it mean? What benefits and privileges do I gain from being part of the Chinese Canadian community? What then are my responsibilities and contributions? My artist journey explores my attempt to answer these questions. I have gained insights and experienced tensions about my identity. Learning Chinese Canadian history has taught me about the spirit of collective resilience and my desire to honour the ever-changing culture of Chinatown. The goal of my art is to inspire individuals, groups and communities to build more opportunities and creative spaces for sharing our collective lived experiences.
What I'm Creating
My current artistic practices include videography for contemporary/experimental dance (Mile Zero Dance), acting with Third Space Playback Theatre, documentary film, digital and public art. I love collaborating with artists and engaging community, and from an administrative capacity, I have been working on two equity-seeking projects via the CanAsian Arts Network and Innovative Social Pedagogy to Empower Indigenous Communities & Reduce Gender, Racial Biases project (https://projectsomeone.ca/isp).
Where I am on my Decolonization Journey
I am so grateful to be surrounded by many folx in the community who continue to nurture my journey of facing truths of where I call home and supporting my on-going work to decolonize. In particular, I would like to thank Miranda Jimmy, Jamie Bourque-Bylan, Heather Hatch, Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet, Becca Taylor, Will Cardinal-Mawer, Lisa Vaughn, Paul Gareau, Lucy Lu, Lebo Disele, KazMega, Noreta Lewis-Prince, Philiana Wong, Michelle Buckle, Bill Yong, Allan Rosales, Farah Fancy, Grace Law, Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon, Wai-Ling Lennon, Lan Chan-Marples, Paul Giang, Fion Lee, Lan Yee, Linda Zhang, Karen Tam, Cui Jinzhe, Kim Smith, Michelle Sullivan, Christina Battle, Tasneem Nanji, Morris Lum, Kevin Huang, Natalie Gan, Joyce Rosario, Alan Wong, Emily Chu, Jordon Hon, Karen Cho, Vicki Van Chau, and Rose Yeung for being part of my life and sharing space for meaningful dialogue on how we can reimagine and rebuild together in a good way.
A Garden in Chinatown on Indigenous Land, C Magazine "Chinatown" Issue 153: https://cmagazine.com/articles/a-garden-in-chinatown-on-indigenous-land