Trauma Clown – a photo series by Vivek Shraya

Trauma Clown – a visual art exhibition by Vivek Shraya

April 1 – July 1 | 2021

Oppression and commodification meet in visual artist, author and musician Vivek Shraya’s photo exhibition, Trauma Clown. In a cultural climate where laughter and pain go hand in hand, Vivek Shraya shuffles through a deck of trauma cards, exploring what type of sad clown we embody when we externalize our suffering. Her work invites viewers to question the mediums of modern spectacle and the depths of our appetite.

This exhibition is part of the 2021 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program.

To visit the exhibition for the duration of its run, please visit our booking site. Our SUM gallery regular open hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 6pm. Advance appointments are required to view this exhibition.

*Opening Reception | Thu Apr 1st | 5 – 8 pm

Due to high demand: *Opening Reception Part II | Fri Apr 2nd | 5 – 8 pm

Artist Talk, co-presented by ReIssue.pub | Sat Apr 3rd | 3 pm

*By private appointment only.

Cultivate presents Auntie’s 2Spirit Social, a Drop-In Art Circle for Indigiqueers

Cultivate presents Auntie’s 2Spirit Social, a Drop-In Art Circle for Indigiqueers

Alternating Wednesdays 4-5pm

Since we can’t gather in person, gather around Shane’s virtual table for sharing art, stories, knowledge and support. Just like at Auntie’s house, the best adventures come from being together. Bring your latest project, a doodle, beadwork, or anything else to work on while we chat. Maybe Auntie will share a story or teach you to make some tea. You’re invited to talk about your art making process, lead a short skills share, and just enjoy being together. 

This event is for individuals who identify as 2Spirit and/or Indigiqueer only.

Community Agreements

Confidence: What’s Said Here Stays Here.

Sharing: What’s Learned Here Leaves Here.

Respect: Everyone gets an opportunity to speak without judgement and without disruption.

Learning: Listen More Than You Speak, and speak with care.

Accountability

Those individuals struggling to uphold the community agreements will be asked to leave the session and will be invited to a private discussion.

Registration process

Send a registration request to shane@queerartsfestival.com and introduce yourself. Zoom link will be emailed shortly before the session. Please do not share the link.

Time-Lapse: Posthumous Conversations — A Geoff McMurchy Retrospective

Time-Lapse: Posthumous Conversations — A Geoff McMurchy Retrospective

OCTOBER 29th – JANUARY 23rd

Opening Reception | Thu Oct 29th | 5 pm – 8 pm

A memorial exhibition of visual art by Geoff McMurchy, a storm force fag who blew open disability art in Canada and whose legacy includes a generation of disabled artists who thrived under his mentorship. Curated by Yuri Arajs, SD Holman and Persimmon Blackbridge in partnership with Kickstart and All Souls at Mountainview Cemetery.

Time-Lapse events:

Opening Reception
Thu Oct 29th | 5 pm – 8 pm

Curator Brunch Online Talk
Sat Nov 7th | 12 pm – 1 pm

Curator Tours
Thu Nov 19th | ONLINE | 6 pm
Sat Nov 28th | ONLINE | 1 pm |

Closing Reception + Catalogue Release
Sat Jan 23rd | 12 pm – 6 pm

Timed-entry appointments to visit the exhibition can be made in advance through Square. Please review our updated Safety Guidelines for more information on how to access the gallery.

Tickets for Time-Lapse Opening Reception, Exhibition Closing, Curator Online Talk and Guided Curator Tours must be reserved through Eventbrite

Use the quick link buttons on this post to navigate to our booking sites. 

To view exhibition, visit


Time-Lapse Closing


Book a private appointment to view Time-Lapse at SUM


SUM gallery is Canada’s only queer mandated visual art gallery and one of only a few worldwide. SUM produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking multidisciplinary work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. SUM brings diverse communities together to support artistic risk-taking, incite creative collaboration and experimentation and celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art.

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements

Curated by Love Intersections
| Feb 1 – Apr 18, 2020 | Opening Reception: Feb 1, 4-6 pm

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements is a visual art exhibit inspired by the Chinese Five Elemental forces, seized by the urgent tensions between Queer Chinese diasporic identities. A collection of multichannel installations, visual and sculptural activations provoke a cosmic encounter of our living past and present as we ‘race’ towards a healing future. These elemental activations attempt to collapse the linear temporality to dislodge an emotional, spiritual, cosmological, and metaphysical enunciation of our Queer ‘Chineseness’. Rather than focus on the trauma that queer people of colour face, this project is fundamentally an invitation to an exuberant celebration of queerness that is unabashedly Chinese. We invite you to celebrate with us. Featuring artists Jen Sungshine, Kendell Yan, Kai Cheng Thom, Jay Cabalu, and David Ng.

DATES:
  • Sat, Feb 1, 4-6pm | Opening
  • Sun, Feb 2, 1:30-4:30pm | Workshop w/ Kai Cheng Thom
  • Sun, Feb 2, 5pm | Curator Tour
  • Sat, Feb 15, 3-5pm | Yellow Peril Film Screening + Artist Talk
  • Sat, Mar 7, 3-5pm | Community Food Sharing + Live Dumpling Making Activation

COMING EVENTS:

  • Sat, Apr 4, 3-5pm | Ching Ming Festival 清明節 [LIVE Stream] with Maiden China

ARTWORK DESCRIPTIONS:

Channeling the Elements; an encounter of time/space

This installation employs the metaphor of the Chinese Five Elements to explore the discursive formation of queer Chinese diasporic identity. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Five Elemental forces have many different applications to understanding life, identity, relationships, and both physical, mental, and emotional health. The elements also have numerous approaches to understanding ways of “being”; they also have principles of metaphysics, and temporalities.  We invoke these five elements through our artistic practices, as a conduit to understanding queer East Asian cultural formations, as not an intellectual delineation, but a way to investigate the embodiment of queer Chinese, diasporic identity. 

For example, we performed an ancestral veneration ceremony at Larwill Park in Vancouver, which was the gathering site of the anti-Oriental riots of 1907 as a way to mark an image of the temporal relationship that the project Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny has amongst a history of anti-Asian racism in Canada.  Giving offerings to our ancestors, making reference to the history of racism we are connected to in this space; and recognizing the implications that these histories have on our own identities today, as racialized, queer subjects.

The Wall of Healing; a ‘Race’ Towards a Cosmic Future

In Chinese cosmology, the world emerges from yin/yang, activated by the primordial powers found in Five Elements: Wood > Fire > Earth > Metal > Water. From the micro to macro, intimate to distant, land to table, we cycle through the synergistic and generative processes of these elemental forces: Wood feeds Fire, Fire creates Earth, Earth bears Metal, Metal collects Water, Water nourishes Wood, and so begins/ends/regenerates a beginning to an end. This ‘Wall of Healing’ employs these relational approaches of the elements to understand Queer Chinese diasporic expressions of race and gender; in an attempt to dislodge our mortal timestamp from Western linearity, and reimagine our living past/present as we “race” towards a cosmic future.

CELESTIAL FIGURATIONS

The modern slang for “queer” in Chinese is “酷兒 (kù-ér)” – which is a direct phonetic adaptation of the English word. While there is a large and diverse vocabulary for LGBT genders and identities such as “同志 (tongzhi)” meaning gay comradery; “同性戀 (tongxin lian)” meaning same-sex love; “拉拉 (lala)” or “拉子 (lazi)” for lesbian, and “跨性 (kuaxing)” for transgender, there is currently no queer-equivalent word in Chinese that encapsulates the historical and emoti  onal journey embedded in the identification of “queer”.

Inspired by the pictograph roots of the Chinese language as well as our own diasporic enmeshment as queers-of-colour, we designed this new Chinese character with the metaphysical and emotive properties of “queer” that are important to us, in an attempt at materializing our Queer diasporic ‘Chineseness’ through a made-up character that isn’t a Western derivative. The “emerging” character on the ground is our personified imagination of what this character might look like. Who are they? What are they? When are they? Where are they? Why are they? Queerness to us necessitates temporal transformation – it’s daring, it’s verbal, it’s spiritual, it’s elemental, it’s revolutionizing. This character is an intervention on the tension between “nation” and diaspora – a reclamation of our who, what, when, where, why in our self-determination.

ARTIST BIOS:

Jen Sungshine speaks for a living, but lives for breathing art into spaces, places, cases. She is a queer Taiwanese interdisciplinary artist/activist, facilitator, and community mentor based in Vancouver, BC, and the Co-Creative Director and founder of Love Intersections, a media arts collective dedicated to collaborative filmmaking and relational storytelling. Jen’s artistic practice is informed by an ethic of tenderness; instead of calling you out, she wants to call you in, to make (he)artful social change with her. In the audience, she looks for weirdos, queerdos and anti-heroes. In private, she looks after more than 70 houseplants and prefers talking to plants than to people.  www.jensungshine.com

David Ng (Co-Creative Director) is a queer, feminist, media artist, and co-founder of Love Intersections.  His current artistic practices grapple with queer, racialized, and diasporic identity, and how intersectional identities can be expressed through media arts.  His interests include imagining new possibilities of how queer racialized artists can use their practice to transform communities. His work has also recently included collaborations with Primary Colours / Couleurs primaires, which is a national initiative to put Indigenous arts practices at the centre of the Canadian art system through the leadership of Indigenous artists, supported by artists of colour.

Kendell Yan/Maiden China is an intersectional feminist drag performer who disrupts identity expectations and liberates audiences by inducing vulnerability. Maiden China’s drag explores the concept of the “hyphen”, liminal states of embodied being, and incorporates elements of classical Chinese opera, queer theory, resistance politics, and intimate contact performance art. They are the winner of the Mx Cobalt All Star competition, and Vancouver’s Entertainer of the year 2018. They are a member of the upper house of the Dogwood Monarchist Society’s 48th reign as Imperial Crown Princet, and they perform regularly as a member of the House of Rice, an all Asian drag family in Vancouver, BC. as well as one of the Darlings, a non-binary drag collective.(Kendell on Facebook)

Jay Cabalu  is a Filipino-Canadian pop artist based in Vancouver, BC. With a speciality in 100% hand-cut collage, his work is a pop-surrealist expression of his world view. He has a BFA from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and has shown in numerous spaces in Vancouver. In 2015, his niche style of art prompted his casting on season one of CBC’s reality-competition series Crash Gallery and he returned as a guest commentator the following year. The last two years of his practice have been dedicated to identity and self-portraiture, which has caught the attention of exhibitions in Chicago and London UK for its contribution to conversations about Asian and queer representation. In 2019, Jay was invited to give his first artist talk at the British Museum with Queer Asia. His art belongs to private collections in Vancouver, Ottawa, Seattle and California. (http://jaycabalu.com/)

Storytelling & Poetry Writing Workshop with jaye simpson

Starting Jan 30th at Mt Pleasant Community Centre

Presented by Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Queer Arts Festival TGD2S Inclusion Committee

Hone your poetry, prose and essay skills with workshops facilitated by jaye simpson. These workshops strive to engage in the power of developing one’s voice and narrative while rejecting the assigned script we are given in society. While focusing on tone, rhythm and pace, jaye hopes to guide writers with prompts, editing exercises and practice readings. This series asks you to investigate the stories that inspire you and the people behind them while also asking what.

Jan 30th Week One: Introductions // Editing Tips, Tricks & Hacks // Poetry Prompt

Feb 13th Week Two: Poetry Prompt Feedback // Spoken Word & Voice // Spoken Word Prompt

Feb 27 Week Three: Practice Reading/Spoken Word Feedback // Prose & Personal Narrative, Prose Prompt


Daxgyet Hanak – Strong Woman

Community show with SWUAV
December 7-21 at SUM Gallery, #425-268 Keefer St. 
Opening reception Dec 7, 2 -4pm

Presented by We Have A Voice: Indigenous Women Who Do Sex Work Speak Out, a project of Sex Workers United Against Violence, the Daxgyet Hanak art show displays pieces by indigenous women who do sex work using culture and creativity to speak to their experiences. Embedded in each piece is a recommendation for positive futurisms for indigenous women doing sex work, including wishes for their future and ways their lives can be made safer. 
This two-year project by SWUAV has been providing healing opportunities for women in the community to speak about their experiences in a destigmatized and safe environment, use art to express themselves, connect with cultural and spiritual teachings and support, and make recommendations to law and policymakers for improving their lives. They have represented our community at BC Parliamentary Sub-Committee Hearings on Human Trafficking, the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry, marches and rallies. They have provided art-based cultural learning activities at women’s drop-in spaces. They have employed decolonized harm reduction teachings and provided medicine support at funerals and community events. Come support the project’s culmination in a final art show hosted at QAF’s SUM Gallery.

Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) is a small grassroots, peer-led non-profit working on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people to improve the lives and safety of people who do sex work on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and across Canada through harm reduction activities and advocacy. We Have a Voice: Indigenous Women Who Do Sex Work Speak Out is a SWUAV project funded through Status of Women Canada that provides indigenous women who do sex work an opportunity to speak to their experiences through art and culturally-based activities in a safe, destigmatized space. Recommendations provided by the women on how to make their lives better and safer through the course of these activities will be circulated to policy and lawmakers to instigate change.

Glitter Technics Presentation

December 4th — Doors at 6:30 pm @ Sum Gallery

Glitter Technics is a sparkling night showcasing the work of emerging multidisciplinary LGBTQ2SI+ artists from a 13-week experiential creative empowerment workshop led by Mutya Macatumpag at the Pride in Arts Society’s SUM Gallery. Mediums that glitter at our December 4th gallery show include visual art, installation, movement performance, music, poetry, light/shadow art, video , silkscreen prints, and a zine. It’s going to be a magical potion of glittering identities. Who are you? Thank you. 

Featuring participation from Zainab Alwarid, Red Fawkes, Jackson Tse, Laura Fukumoto, Emily Tsang, Shahdi, Hampton G, Thuja Quickstad, Sasha Cerino, and Mutya Macatumpag.

Cultivate Artist Circles

Cultivate presents Art with Auntie, a Queer Drop-In Art Circle

Alternating Wednesdays 4-5pm

Since we can’t gather in person, gather around Shane’s virtual table for sharing art, stories, knowledge and support. Just like at Auntie’s house, the best adventures come from being together. Bring your latest project, a doodle, beadwork, or anything else to work on while we chat. Maybe Auntie will share a story or teach you to make some tea. You’re invited to talk about your art making process, lead a short skills share, and just enjoy being together. 

Community Agreements

Confidence: What’s Said Here Stays Here.

Sharing: What’s Learned Here Leaves Here.

Respect: Everyone gets an opportunity to speak without judgement and without disruption.

Learning: Listen More Than You Speak, and speak with care.

Accountability

Those individuals struggling to uphold the community agreements will be asked to leave the session and will be invited to a private discussion.

Registration process

Send a registration request to shane@queerartsfestival.com and introduce yourself. Zoom link will be emailed shortly before the session. Please do not share the link.