Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Identity – Ancestral Memory


Centre A presents

Identity – Ancestral Memory 
Inspired by the life & art of Roy Kiyooka

Performances: Thursday, April 22, Friday April 23, Saturday, April 24, 8:00 pm
Centre A, 2 West Hastings Street
Admission: FREE
Information and press contact: 604-739-7760

Symposium: April 24, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at Centre A.
Coordinated by Grace Eiko Thomson
A film by Jesse Nishihata, Watari Dori/Bird of Passage will be screened at 1:00 pm,
Panel Discussion: Connections: Continuity and /or Departure?  3:00 pm-5:00pm
The panel members: Roy Miki, Michael Fukushima and other TBC
Moderator: Kirsten Emiko McAllister.

Identity – Ancestral Memory explores the impact of ancestral memory by looking at the life of Japanese-Canadian artist, Roy Kiyooka.

A multi-media production combining dance, music and video, it depicts the struggle of the artist grappling with dual Japanese and Canadian identities, against the backdrop of racism in wartime Vancouver.

Roy Kiyooka was one of Canada’s premier abstract painters when he went on to become an innovative explorer of photography, performance, poetry and music. He was a leader on Vancouver’s thriving art scene of  the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a great teacher, whose influence continues to be felt many years after his untimely death. Born in 1926, he lived through the relocation of the Japanese community in WWII and established his national reputation as an artist in the 1960s. He died unexpectedly in 1994 at the age of 67.

Yayoi Theatre Movement (YTM) blends traditional Japanese dance and theatre with contemporary themes. Company founder, Yayoi Hirano came to know Mr. Kiyooka in 1992 while visiting Vancouver from Japan as part of a theatrical tour. Yayoi settled permanently in Canada in 2002.

Collaborating with Yayoi Theatre Movement is Vancouver dance icon Jay Hirabayashi, of Kokoro Dance.



Concept & Direction: Yayoi Hirano
Choreographer: Jay Hirabayashi
Performers: YAYOI, Jay Hirabayashi, Carolyne Chan, Tomoko Hanawa
Video Participants; Harry Aoki, Roy Miki, Linda Ohama, Judy Nakagawa, Takeo Yamashiro, John Endo Greenaway
Musicians: Koto, Kozue Matsumoto, Shakuhachi, Minoru Yamamoto
Set Designer: Vivien Nishi
Video Editor: Sebnem Ozpeta
Photographer: Yukiko Onley(Canada), Mikiya Kadota (Kochi, Japan)
Graphic Designer: Ryoko Ninagawa
Costume Designer: Naoko Shimada
Videographers: Goush Yonekura (Canada), Hiroshi Kawauchi (Kouchi, Japan), Yusuke Yuguchi (Tokyo, Japan)

Show Length: 75 minutes

Funders: Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council,
Sponsors: National Association of Japanese Canadians,, The Listel Hotel
Media Sponsor: Vancouver Shimpo
Supporters: Top Scene Inc.(Tokyo Japan), Mamoru Hiraoka, Kana Kiyooka , Matsuki Masutani, Kayo Kitakomi , Masako Matsuda, Cindy Mochizuki, Atsuko Yoda, NAOTO HORITA Inc, Artisan Sake Maker, Chieko Konishi, Tea shop Sawa
Special Thanks to Estate of Roy Kiyooka

Contact: 604-739-7760