Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

2024 Art Writing Mentorship: Writing is a Practice, a Vapour, a Many-Toed Thing

Centre A is delighted to announce our 2024 Art Writing Mentorship Program, Writing is a Practice, a Vapour, a Many-Toed Thing. Facilitated by 2024 program mentor Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross, this 12-week summer intensive aims to introduce art writing and criticism to five Vancouver-based Asian youth through weekly writing workshops, peer reviews, guest lectures, one-on-one consultations, field trips to local galleries, and studio visits with artists.

Over the weeks, participants will share in reading, discussion, and generative writing exercises led by the mentor and designed to reflect upon the critical and creative stakes of art writing. Part of the programming will also be made available for public attendance.

Participants will leave the program with one short-form experimental review (1,000 words) and one longer piece (2,500 words) developed out of the ideas and methodologies explored in the workshops. The writing will be posted on Centre A’s website.


Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Her fiction, poetry, essays, and art criticism have appeared in BOMB, C Mag, The Ex-Puritan, Fence, Mousse, and elsewhere, as well as in the chapbooks Mayonnaise and Drawings on Yellow Paper (with Katie Lyle). By day, she works as the Art Editor of The Capilano Review. By night, she drafts suspended scenarios and propositions. The Longest Way to Eat a Melon, her debut collection of fictions, is forthcoming from Sarabande Books in 2025. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from Simon Fraser University (2012) and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph (2018). 



Oceania Chee is a student and a creative currently living in “Vancouver”. Their identity as a nonbinary immigrant from China and Malaysia informs their deeply-held policy interests in housing and food security, immigration, and intersectional justice. Oceania has been named an IMES Scholar at the University of British Columbia where they are currently pursuing a BA in Political Science, through which they wish to gain the skills and resources to achieve these goals. They also work as a disability care attendant for a professor and academic in the DTES, and volunteer their time with Community Canteen, a mutual aid distributor in the city. Apart from this, Oceania is also a regular contributor to CiTR’s Discorder Magazine and a lifelong writer, and is more recently dabbling in knit and crochet garment-making. In their free time, Oceania can be found watching an old movie, going to a live music show, or taking a long walk through Chinatown. 

Sena Cleave is an artist and writer living in the unceded territories of of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, or Vancouver, Canada. Working in sculpture, language, and photographic experiments, they address ideas of il/legibility and hybridity, as well as exchange and reciprocity. They pilfer scraps of cultural matter (including objects, images, and textual passages) from everyday life and recombine them. The scraps become recontextualized among one another to generate something resembling a whole—one that is jumbled and misbehaving. Cleave holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University. Recent exhibitions include 560 Gallery, 2023; Seymour Art Gallery, 2023; Mónica Reyes Gallery, 2022; and Massy Arts Society, 2022 & 2024. Their writing has been published in Timelines, a 50th anniversary initiative by Contemporary Art Gallery, and Slow Calendar, an ongoing textiles project by The Only Animal Theatre. Collaboratively, they have organized exhibitions under the curatorial project The Couch, a mobile art space consisting of a purpose-built couch and coffee table. 

Lauren Han is an interdisciplinary artist born on Treaty 7 territory in Mohkinstsis/Calgary. Their home base is devising and performing for theatre, but their practice also includes filmmaking, dance, poetry, and songwriting. They are a text-obsessed writer/reader/talker, and much of their practice stems from attempts to find the words for things; however, they also keep one foot in the material, the messy, and the arts-and-craftsy. They are interested in personal and local histories; the body; crosses between genres and disciplines; and the relationships between people and the art and images they engage with. Lauren is currently studying Theatre and Performance at SFU. Past projects include Vitreous Bodies, Skin and Bones, Strange Joy (SFU), Good Grief! (Downstage Theatre), and Soft tongues: a bioacoustic opera (rEvolver).

Maliv Khondaker is an artist and writer raised and located on unlawfully occupied Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh territory. They look forward to creating in the imaginary spaces between art and writing with this cohort. They have writing in Rungh Magazine, Bipan Magazine, and have performed their poetry at Ignite! Youth-Driven Arts festival. Maliv coordinates Pressure Point, a reduced-barrier emerging artist sales space by The James Black Gallery.

Parumveer Walia (b. Chandigarh, India) is an artist and writer working in photography and expanded media examining the turmoil and tenderness of being the Other and occupying the social periphery. Walia is pursuing a Bachelor in Fine Arts at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a minor in Curatorial Studies. Recent exhibitions include the BINNAR Arts Festival in Portugal and Gallery 881 in Canada. He is a Guest Lecturer with the London Drawing Group and their Feminist Lecture Program. Walia’s writing has been published in the photo book ‘Photology’ and he is a writer and editor with Woo magazine. In 2023, he was the recipient of the Emily Carr University Achievement Scholarship.


This program is generously supported by the Sector Innovation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Regional Cultural Project Grant from Metro Vancouver.