Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints

A talk by Dr. Asato Ikeda (Fordham University Art History)
Wednesday, March 28  |  5pm
SFU Harbour Centre Room 7000 (7/F, Lohn Policy Room)


How do we—and can we at all— talk about sex, gender, and sexuality of early modern Japan without imposing contemporary North American values and preconceptions? This question was central to the process of organizing the exhibition A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto in 2016. The exhibition focuses on visual representations of male youths, called wakashu in Japanese, who were the object of sexual desire for both women and adult men in Edo-era Japan.

Presented in the form of an exhibition, the project necessitated engaging the past with the present and the general public with scholarship. In this presentation, Dr. Ikeda explains the process of this engagement and discusses the dialogues the team at the ROM had with Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community.

This talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please register here for this free talk.

 is Assistant Professor of Art History at Fordham University and Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is the co-editor of Art and War in Japan and its Empire (Leiden: Brill, 2012), the curator of A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints (Royal Ontario Museum, 2016; Japan Society, 2017), and the author of The Politics of Painting: Fascism and Japanese Art during the Second World War (forthcoming in May 2018 from the University of Hawaii Press).

This event is co-sponsored by:
Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research, Simon Fraser University
Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University

Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asia Art

Two Films and a Talk with Trinh T. Minh-ha

March 15 and 16   |   The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St. #200, Vancouver)

Join us for a very special program with Trinh T. Minh-ha:

Centre A and The Cinematheque, with support from SFU David Lam Centre and SFU Institute for the Humanities, welcome renowned Vietnamese-born artist, writer, and scholar Trinh T. Minh-ha for a special two-night program of her acclaimed film work. Subjective, self-reflexive, and intellectual; infused with feminism and anti-colonialism; and offering a dizzying array of sights and sounds, her award-winning “anti-anthropological” films represent a startling reinvention of the documentary form. Two of these nonfiction works – Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) and Forgetting Vietnam (2015) – will screen at The Cinematheque on March 15 and 16.

Prof. Trinh will be with us on Friday the 16th to discuss Forgetting Vietnam in celebration of its Vancouver premiere. A Q&A session and reception will follow.

“The films of Trinh T. Minh-ha present an incisive critique of the structures of traditional Western documentaries, which so often depict ‘other’ cultures in a condescending way.  Rich, lyrical, fluid, her finely crafted cinematic style is distinctive.  It incorporates complex musical structure, performances, text, jump cuts, long poised silences, and other techniques of avant-garde cinema to create a new language for film.”  – National Gallery of Canada

Surname Viet Given Name Nam

USA 1989. Dir: Trinh T. Minh-ha. 108 min. 16mm
Thursday, March 15 – 7:00 pm

One of the best known works by celebrated film artist and theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha, Surname Viet Given Name Nam explores questions of identity, popular memory, and culture through Vietnamese women’s resistance in Vietnam and the United States. The film combines dance, text, folk poetry, and women’s testimony to call into question official histories and the politics of documentary and interview. “A challenging and rewarding work that places Trinh T. Minh-ha as one of the leading American independent filmmakers of the ’80s” (New Directors/New Films, New York).

Buy tickets for Surname Viet Given Name Nam 

Vancouver Premiere of Forgetting Vietnam
Talk and Q&A with Trinh T. Minh-ha

USA 2015. Dir: Trinh T. Minh-ha. 90 min. DCP
Friday, March 16 – 7:00 pm

Drawing on ancient stories of Vietnam’s creation, this lyrical film essay from Trinh T. Minh-ha moves between Hi-8 footage shot in 1995 and digital footage filmed in 2012. Images of contemporary life in Vietnam unfold in a dialogue between land and water. Through the experiences of local inhabitants, immigrants, and veterans, Forgetting Vietnam honours the survivors of the Vietnam War and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the war’s end.

Trinh T. Minh-ha will be in attendance to introduce and discuss Forgetting Vietnam, followed by a Q&A led by Professor Helen Leung (SFU). A reception will be held afterwards in The Cinematheque lobby.

Buy tickets for Forgetting Vietnam

Regular ticket prices will be in effect. Centre A membership cards will be accepted in lieu of Cinematheque membership at the door.

Image from Forgetting Vietnam courtesy of Women Make Movies,

Trinh T. Minh-ha is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, composer, and scholar whose films have been given over fifty retrospectives internationally. She has lectured worldwide on film, art, feminism, and cultural politics. She is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Visit her website to learn more about Forgetting VietnamSurname Viet Given Name Nam, and her other works.

Special thanks to Y Vy Truong, Paul Crowe, Women Make Movies, and the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences Film Archive.

This event is possible with the support of the SFU David Lam Centre and the SFU Department of Humanities.

Rungh Re/Launch Party at Centre A!

Saturday, Feb. 10 from 7 to 10 pm
Centre A (2nd floor, 268 Keefer St.)

We’ll be celebrating the return of Rungh Magazine with the launch of its newest issue on Saturday, Feb. 10. Join us for a night of readings, music, and performances. A selection of past and present issues will be availabe for purchase.

Launched in Vancouver and Toronto in 1992, Rungh published throughout the 90s as a South Asian Quarterly of Culture, Comment, and Criticism, acting as a cultural producer on the regional and national arts scenes. The magazine ceased to publish in 1999, and a partial archive of Rungh‘s print issues lived online from 2005 to 2017. Now, Rungh is re-launching as a web publication. We’re excited to celebrate the magazine’s 25-year history and the launch of its January 2018 issue.

Please remember to register online for this event. This launch is being held in conjunction with the Vancouver screenings of Ali Kazimi’s 2016 film, Random Acts of Legacy, on Friday, Feb. 9.

Readings, music, performances, and more!

This event will be hosted by Jen Sungsine and David Ng from Love IntersectionsWe’ll also be welcoming some amazing artists and writers from near and far to help celebrate this new chapter for Rungh:

Ali Kazimi- award-winning filmmaker and author of Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru — an Ilustrated History.

Nurjehan Aziz- editor at Mawenzi House, a Toronto publishing house that foregrounds diversity in writing from Canada and beyond

Rahat Kurd- poet and author of Cosmophilia (Talon Books)

Prem Gill- CEO of Creative BC and former member of Rungh’s editorial team

Cecily Nicholson- poet and author of Wayside Sang (Talon Books)

Shazia Hafiz Ramji- poet, editor, and author of Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press)

Sadhu Binning- poet and author of No More Watno Dur and Fauji Banta Singh (Mawenzi House)

Phinder Dulai- poet, editor, author of Basmati Brown, Ragas from the Periphery, and dream/arteries

Junie Desil- Vancouver poet and activist

Live music by Moondle Band, a Vancouver-based alternative/pop band

Music curation: David Laulinen, Jerry Gill, Zakir Suleman, and more

Ali Kazimi’s Random Acts of Legacy (Vancouver screening)

Friday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 10 pm
Emily Carr University of Art and Design
520 East 1st Ave.

Along with Rungh Magazine and its partners, we’re delighted to invite you to the Vancouver screening of Random Acts of Legacy, a 2016 documentary film produced and directed by Ali Kazimi. We will be joined by Professor Chris Lee (UBC), who will be interviewing Kazimi about the film.

About the film:

Random Acts of Legacy (77 min, 2016)

What emerges from a pile of deteriorating 16mm home movies, spanning from 1936 to 1951, is a moving story of a Chinese American family set against the backdrop of race and class in Chicago, and one collector’s obsession with the 1933-4 World’s Fair.

Rescued from an online auction, the filmmaker’s quest to make meaning of this Chinese American family’s early home movies connects him with Irena Lum – the surviving daughter of graphic artist and collector, Silas Henry Fung.

Intertwining a first-person narrative as an outside witness with family accounts and other commentators, Kazimi weaves a rich tapestry of the life of an unusually wealthy family of colour from the Depression era. The retrieved footage offers an intimate and radically different visual perspective on the Chinese American community in Chicago – with a surprising feminist twist. Visually rich and textured, unafraid to show the decaying patina of a family archive, Random Acts of Legacy revels in the making of home movies and memory.

Please remember to register here for this screening.

Praise for Random Acts of Legacy:

“(A) masterfully crafted film… The filmmaker skillfully pulls a surprisingly rich and textured story from a relatively small cache of found footage. It causes us to pause and consider the ephemeral means by which we record and capture our most important moments and reminds us of the power of good, old fashioned celluloid film.”

***** FIVE STARS – Special Jury Citation, Hot Docs Film Festival

“…a haunting, essential document that, for all its specificity, comments on the universal human condition.”

Now Magazine, Toronto

“For many visible minorities, home movies used to be a luxury, and their rare existence lends insight into personal lives otherwise omitted from moving image history. Increasingly, these original celluloid documents have replaced other media as a key to family histories. Director Ali Kazimi has been rescuing these orphaned home movies, left to decay over decades. A random lot he acquired reveals the middle class lives of a Chinese-American family from the Great Depression to post-war middle America. The films were the work of Silas Fung, a commercial artist who was fascinated with the Chicago World’s Fair and was supported by his trailblazing wife who held a high position at an insurance company. Kazimi unspools a touching memoir through Fung’s films by contacting surviving descendants. As they watch the films and witness youthful images once thought lost, a profoundly different perspective on a Midwest family of colour graciously takes form.”

Alexander Rogalski


This event was organized in parternship with UBC’s Departments of Theatre & Film and Asian Studies,
and made possible by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and the Onkarbir Singh Toor Memorial Punjabi Studies Enhancement Fund,
with the support of UBC’s Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program, the Centre for India and South Asia Research, Rungh Magazine, Centre A, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, SFU Library, SFU Institute for the Humanities, and the DOXA Film Festival.

Lost Islands, Future Islands: A TARP Talk with Joanne Leow

January 27th, 2pm at Centre A
268 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC


This event takes place on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

The (post)colonial port cities of Vancouver and Singapore are built on contested lands: unceded and speculated on in the case of Vancouver, and in Singapore, ever expanding with sand taken from other countries. This talk will offer some transnational and comparative considerations of these two transpacific sites, with a focus on the new urban ecologies that are being constructed on their waterfronts. Considering not only urban planning documents but also cultural texts, Leow draws from Vancouver writer Wayde Compton’s 2014 short story collection The Outer Harbour, and a selection of Singaporean cultural texts including Jeremy Tiang’s short story “National Day” and the multidisciplinary artworks of Singaporean artist Charles Lim and Juria Toramae. Multiple connections between Singapore and Vancouver will be considered as these texts think through the impact of land reclamation, environmental manipulation, “green” urban planning, migrant labour, and sustainable development—issues that are embodied by the recent social and economic trajectories of the two cities even as they are connected by flows of capital (with the most recent developments in North False Creek being helmed by Singaporean billionaire Oei Hong Leong, including a proposed new island called “Habitat Island”).

The idea of a wholly new island erupting in the Burrard inlet and its geopolitical, social, and material implications are taken up Compton in his 2014 work The Outer Harbour. The volcanic island is promptly named Pauline Johnson and the contested “new” land is a recurring backdrop in Compton’s interconnected speculative short fictions. How do these acts of re-imagining and re-writing unceded indigenous land produce new and uneasy spaces for both contact and solidarity? Turning the trope of terra nullius on its head, this talk explores how Compton’s work spatializes the indigenous and diasporic struggles for land rights in the face of capitalist encroachment and xenophobia. In reshaping the city itself with this imagined island, Compton’s work will be read as an attempt to think through the contested Canadian urban in terms that are at once contemporary and historical, indigenous and diasporic, prophetic and material. His efforts find transpacific connections with the future islands of Singaporean writers and artists. Jeremy Tiang’s “National Day” re-envisages the exceptional city-state through the eyes of migrant workers observing its independence day celebrations from an offshore island, while the unsettling works of artists Charles Lim and Juria Toramae challenge the city’s maritime borders and its obsessions with endlessly expanding its territory through land reclamation. Taken in their polyphony, these artistic and imaginative renderings of lost islands and future islands give us ways to think beyond land as property, waterfront as investment, ecology as recreation.

This research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Dr. Joanne Leow is assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan. She is working on a book manuscript on authoritarianism, cartography, and cultural texts from Singapore. She is also undertaking a SSHRC funded research project on urban ecologies and ecocritical literature and art from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vancouver. Her work has been published in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Canadian Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature, and the Journal of Asian American Studies.

The TARP Institute is a Vancouver-based art, event, and reading group.

This is a free event. Please note the new location of Centre A on the second floor of the Sun Wah Centre. The space is accessible by escalator and elevator. E-mail with any questions.

Reading Group

From October to December, Danelle Ortiz, Y Vy Truong, and Simon Grefiel are hosting a weekly reading group at Centre A, Tuesdays 7-9pm. We will be reading a variety of texts that include fiction, poetry, and critical theory. Broad issues and areas of study will include Asian diaspora, decolonization, cultural criticism, and art criticism.
For the month of October, we will be examining the relationship between history and academic/artistic practice.
Week 1 (October 3) — We will be discussing Vinh Nguyen’s essay, “M?-search, Hauntings, and Critical Distance”, explores his relationship to the archive and the materiality of history as an academic and researcher. Where is the I in research? How can we link personal and collective histories with pedagogy? :
Week 2 (October 10) — We will be hosting a film session. Rithy Panh’s film, The Missing Picture (2013), asks: how can one investigate missing histories? Why is history so connected to images and how can history be reconstructed from sutured archival material? Are memories enough? Can archives and memories themselves experience violence?
Visit our Facebook group for more information about the upcoming readings and meet ups:

Curator’s Talk with Ying Tan | SFU Harbour Centre

Saturday, Sept. 9th, 2 pm
Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St.
2270 Sauder Industries Policy Room

Join us for a talk with Ying Tan, curator at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), as she shares in detail about her curatorial practice, the history of the CFCCA in the diverse art ecology of Manchester, and its place in a global contemporary art context.

Please remember to register online for this free talk.
Light refreshments will be served.

YING TAN is a UK-based Canadian curator with a concern for negotiating sites of cultural specificity in her practice. She is currently the curator at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA). She has curated numerous exhibitions at the CFCCA, in addition to many other off-site projects in London and internationally. This includes the co-commission of Haze & Fog with Cao Fei (2013), as well as UK premieres of What Happened in the Year of the Dragon (2014) with Sun Xun and Xu Bing’s Book from the Ground (2003-present). She is a visiting lecturer for Christie’s Education (UK) and a contributor to KALEIDOSCOPE Asia Magazine. She was also on the curatorial faculty for Liverpool Biennial 2016.

CENTRE FOR CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART (CFCCA) is the UK’s leading organization for the promotion of Chinese contemporary art, producing an internationally renowned artistic programme and developing a reputation as a centre for research. Centrally located in the city of Manchester in the North of England, the centre has a proud 30-year history of UK ‘first’ solo exhibitions, featuring exceptional artists that go on to achieve international acclaim. CFCCA work with a wide array of partners to provide audiences with a lively and innovative programme of exhibitions, residencies, engagement projects, festivals, and events. As the only non-profit organization in Europe to specialize in Chinese contemporary art and visual culture, CFCCA are uniquely placed to explore a global century where Chinese art is moving firmly centre-stage.

This event is sponsored by the SFU David See-chai Lam Centre for International Communications and the SFU Institute for the Humanities.