Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

In Conversation: Tiffany Chung

Image courtesy of Gallery Quynh

Friday, April 27 | 3 pm
Centre A (2nd floor, 268 Keefer St.)

Next Friday, we are pleased to welcome you for a conversation with visiting artist Tiffany Chung here at Centre A. The event will consist of a 20 minute talk, followed by a question-and-answer/ conversation period with the audience.

Chung’s work engages with contemporary and historical experiences of conflict, migration, and urban change. Her practice includes cartographic drawings, videos, performance, and sculptures that have been presented around the world, including at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Mori Art Museum’s 2017 Sunshower exhibition, and the 2018 Sydney Biennale.

This visit marks the beginning of a research project in which the artist will engage with Vancouver.

Sammy Chien | New Media Residency

From May 1st to May 16th, we will be welcoming Sammy Chien as the inaugural artist-in-residence at Centre A’s new media gallery. During his time at Centre A, Chien will be working on research and development for a solo interdisciplinary new media performance piece, We(a)ves. This work will investigate migration, race and gender politics, transcultural identity, and spiritual philosophies, all articulated through Chien’s own performance language, which draws from digital technologies, audiovisuals, text, contemporary dance, and Qi Gong practices. We(a)ves will tell a story of life in Vancouver at the intersections of immigration, queerness, racialization, and mental illness.

Visit Centre A for a presentation of Chien’s research in progress on this work on Saturday, May 12th at 5 pm.

Sammy Chien is a Taipei born, Vancouver based interdisciplinary media artist, director, performer, researcher and mentor who works with film, sound art, new media and dance/theatre performance. He has studied film (BFA Honours) at Simon Fraser University and developed an expertise in electroacoustic music and digital technology in performance environment. After learning real-time performance softwares from Troika Ranch (NYC/Berlin), he continues his deep interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and forges deep connections between image, sound, and movement. He has collaborated visually, aurally and conceptually in numerous multi-disciplinary projects which have exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Arts Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts(Beijing), and Hellerau: European Centre for the Arts Dresden. His recent collaboration with Beijing Modern Dance Company includes working with artists such as Wong Kar Wai’s Cinematographer Christopher Doyle, the Father of Rock in China Cui Jian and having lunch with Ai Wei Wei. Sammy has also been involved in research or mentorship in projects that focus on the integration between art, science, technology and spirituality as well as engaging with various community groups and issues such as social activists, low-income residents, mental health, spiritual healing, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous peoples, and youths. Sammy is the Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Chimerik collective.

1967/1997: Reflections on Hong Kong Literature and Cinema

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2 pm | 268 Keefer St., Vancouver
This City Inscribed event is a Cantonese-language program and free and open to the public. Registration is required.

How has the literature and cinema of Hong Kong responded to major transformations? In particular, how have the upheavals associated with the 1967 riots and the 1997 handover been marked by the literary and the visual? Come join Dr. Mary Shuk-Han Wong of Lingnan University and award-winning director Dr. Wong King Fai for a conversation about the past and present of Hong Kong literature and cinema.

Dr. Mary Shuk-Han WONG is an associate professor in the Department of Chinese at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She has published widely on film and literature. She is the author of Feminine Writing: Cinema, Literature and Everyday Live (2014) and Hong Kong Cinema: Writer, Literature and Cinema (2013). Major edited works include the “Hong Kong Literature and Culture of the 1950s” series (2013) and the “Hong Kong Literature and Culture of the 1960s” series (2018). She is also a novelist and essayist. Major creative works include Against the Grain (2017), From Kafka (2015), and an award-winning collection of short stories, Surviving Central (2013). She is also the co-producer of the documentaries 1918 (2015) and Boundary (2015). An edited anthology, Hong Kong 1960s, is scheduled to appear in June 2018.

Dr. WONG King Fai is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, and novelist. He is the director of 1918 and Boundary, which document, respectively, the literary lives of Liu Yichang (1918–) and Ye Si (1949–2013), two of the most celebrated writers of Hong Kong. Dr. Wong’s screenplay for the film Life without Principle (2011) has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the Best Original Screenplay (the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards), the Best Screenwriter (Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards), and the Best Screenwriter (Chinese Film Media Awards). Dr. Wong has published two collections of short stories and is Chief Editor of the series “Literature and Cinema” (Hong Kong University Press). Dr. Wong has been named the 2018 Best Artist (Arts Criticism) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.


This community talk is organized by UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative and co-sponsored by Centre A, Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association, Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society, Youth Collaborative for Chinatown, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Ricepaper Magazine, LiterASIAN Festival, explorASIAN/VAHMS, PCHC–MoM Society, and Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research (SFU).

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.