sticky extensions: Romi Kim in Collaboration with Queer Based Media

sticky extensions: Romi Kim in collaboration with Queer Based Media

Exhibition runs Oct 13 to Dec 8
Gallery hours: Tue–Sat, 12 to 6pm
Opening reception & performance: Oct 13, 6pm | SOLD OUT
Rhythms dance workshop: Oct 6, 6pm | SOLD OUT
Home meal feast workshops: Oct 26 & Nov 9, 6pm | SOLD OUT
Re: check in performance from SKIM & Bongganisa: Nov 24, 6pm | SOLD OUT

Romi Kim’s SUM gallery exhibition debut explores relationships through transformations of drag and play within created spaces. sticky extensions hosts collaborations with fellow artists Romeo Villanueva III, and Queer Based Media – Chris Reed and Kendell Yan – through performance, video and installations. Through video they explore the legacy and precarious existence of Warehouse, a DIY event space that has transformed endlessly for the Eastside queer racialized and trans communities. The exhibition opening night holds a meditative performance of care with drag artists SKIM, Maiden China and Continental Breakfast.

Throughout the course of the show, Romi and Romeo will be inviting participants to attend workshops exploring the communing experience of eating together and moving with one another. sticky extensions will evolve throughout its exhibition run, marked by performances from drag artists Bongganisa, SKIM, Maiden China and Continental Breakfast in the gallery. The artists will explore their relationship with one another in various ways throughout the exhibition. sticky extensions navigates Romi Kim’s extensions through spaces such as Warehouse, their relationships and their own body extending through materials. It will be a sticky experience.

Stickiness is tacky. It attaches one’s body or object to another body or object, sensation and feeling. It can create emotions of annoyance, disgust and fascination. sticky extensions explores the burden of 情 정: an untranslatable word that expresses attachment, feelings of connection and warmness that provoke social reciprocity. 情 encourages being present in your actions in order to create understanding. It grows over time. Kim’s exhibition is centred in thinking through relationality and thinking about their body made up with connections around them. As the exhibit continues, the space transforms over time through acts of performance, world building and homemaking. 


sticky extensions is made possible by the generous the support of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Cultural Project Grants program and The Hamber Foundation.

Exhibition Workshops & Events:

Artists Romi Kim & Romeo Villanueva III hosts an intimate dance and movement workshop in advance of their sticky extensions exhibition opening.

This 2-hour dance workshop brings participants along a movement journey following a “wave” of rhythms. The 5Rhythms* are called flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness. This workshop will create a safe space for people of all dance experience and encourage dancers to ground themselves in their body and share a space of togetherness.

*5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice devised by Gabrielle Roth in the late 1970s. It draws from indigenous and world traditions using tenets of shamanistic, ecstatic, mystical and eastern philosophy. It also draws from Gestalt therapy, the human potential movement and transpersonal psychology. Fundamental to the practice is the idea that everything is energy, and moves in waves, patterns and rhythms.

In this intimate, 4-person workshop, guests will be invited into the space and be provided with a meal made by artists Romi Kim and Romeo Villanueva III. Attendees are asked to bring their own small, sharable food item to the meal. For second-generation Asians, food is often a strong connection to culture and a form of showing love. This first of two home feast meals focuses on the Korean jal meokgetseumnida. Romi and Romeo wish to share this communal experience with workshop participants. Please note that the meal provided will likely include meat, fish or seafood.

  • Kain Tayo (Filipino food workshop experience 2) – Nov 9, 6pm

In this intimate, 4-person workshop, guests will be invited into the space and be provided with a meal made by artists Romi Kim and Romeo Villanueva III. Attendees are asked to bring their own small, sharable food item to the meal. For second-generation Asians, food is often a strong connection to culture and a form of showing love. This second of two home feast meal workshops focuses on the Filipino Kain Tayo. Romi and Romeo wish to share this communal experience with workshop participants. Please note that the meal provided will likely include either meat, fish or seafood.

Re: check in by Bongganisa and SKIM explores through drag, materiality and performance what it means to maintain a relationship. The two artists started their friendship in 2011 after meeting each other at a weeklong summer camp. Bongganisa lived in Maple Ridge at the time and SKIM in Armstrong. They emailed each other everyday for an entire year. Their journey’s have since brought them to live and work with one another in the same place. 

SKIM defines drag as a performance of gender, explored through fantasy and play. Bongganisa sees drag as creative radical expression through queerness and transformation. Both believe drag is political and important in thinking through possibilities of how a person resides in everyday life.   

Re: check in is an intimate inquiry into the politics of being in drag and focuses on the importance of Bongganisa and SKIM’s relationship in order to offer various ways of understanding one’s being, knowing and doing.

This event is ASL-interpreted.

ABOUT ROMI KIM

김새로미, Romi Kim or SKIM in drag, is a queer, genderfluid, second-generation Korean. They identify themselves in recognizing these words as verbs rather than nouns or adjectives—constantly in action, and in flux. They are an uninvited settler living and working on the unceded xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel íl ̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Kim explores personal histories, vulnerability, and intimacy within colonial spaces within their work. They are interested in transforming the power of a story and privileges within language. Kim has a collaborative artistic practice as part of the House of Rice, an all-Asian drag house in Vancouver and a solo one. Kim has shown works in South Korea, in the United Kingdom, and across Canada. They have performed in South Korea, Vietnam, online internationally, and in Vancouver. Kim received a BFA in Visual Arts and Gender Studies at the University of Victoria in 2017 and they are currently studying at the University of British Columbia as an MFA candidate.

ABOUT QUEER BASED MEDIA

Queer Based Media is a QTPOC multimedia production company that provides videography, photography, projection installation, and design work for queer creators on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl  ̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (so-called Vancouver, BC). Queer Based Media has produced award winning work for non-binary drag collective, The Darlings; The Transform Cabaret Festival, Indigiqueer filmmaker Rylan Friday, and Lantern Films. In addition to producing content, Queer Based Media provides a digital venue on their website for mutual aid and social equity fundraisers, such as Rainbow Refugee, and Visible. Queer Based Media is Vee Pho, Chris Reed, and Kendell Yan. https://www.queerbasedmedia.com/

ABOUT ROMEO VILLANUEVA III

Romeo Villanueva III (he/him) is a visual artist and drag performer working on the traditional territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver). His work explores identity and expression by reflecting on past experiences and reimagining those experiences through illustration, costume, or performance. He has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of British Columbia. Throughout Vancouver, Villanueva can be seen performing as his drag persona Bong Ganisa (gah-NEE-sah) in shows such as Commercial Drag and Ricecake, and was named Commercial Drag All Star 2020. Dong’s work has also been seen online in events such as QMUNITY’s Virtual 16th IDAHOT Breakfast, New West Pride, and the Vines Art Festival.

Read the press release for sticky extensions.

Queering the Air with Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa

QUEERing the air with rachel kiyo iwaasa
Sept 23, 7:30pm
An evening of music by Queer and Trans composers, performed by pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa
SUM Gallery


Featuring three exclusive world premieres, by composers Cris Derksen, Annette Brosin and Rodney Sharman!

+ works written for Rachel Iwaasa, by Leslie Uyeda, Mary Jane Coomber and Russell Wallace.

Co-presented by Canadian Music Centre BC and Queer Arts Festival + SUM gallery.
Tickets: $25 regular admission, $15 concession, free for students and First Nations patrons. All tickets proceeds will go towards Out in Schools.

Cris Derksen’s commission the bells was funded by the Canadian League of Composers as an initiative of the Canadian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). 

Russell Wallace’s piece, A Clean Start, was named after Rachel (which means Innocent, like a lamb) and Kiyo (Pure, like clear running water). The name speaks to hope. Hope for a life washed clean of intergenerational trauma. Hope for a post-pandemic restart that has learned its lessons (that Black Lives Matter, that we are interconnected, that what happens to the most vulnerable affects everyone). Hope that as the number of unmarked graves exposed at former Residential Schools continues to rise, Canadians will learn to reconcile the difference between what we were taught and the history we can no longer deny. Hope for a way forward in shared respect, reciprocity, and responsibility.

ABOUT RACHEL KIYO IWAASA

Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse” (Georgia Straight) with the “emotional intensity” to take a piece “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa is recognized among Canada’s foremost contemporary music pianists.  Selected to close the ISCM World New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, Rachel has performed in the Netherlands, Germany, US and across Canada, with engagements including Muziekweek Gaudeamus, Music TORONTO, Music on Main, Vancouver New Music, Redshift, Western Front, Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Aventa Ensemble (Victoria), CONTACT contemporary music (Toronto), New Works Calgary, Groundswell New Music (Winnipeg), and Vancouver Pro Musica.

Rachel has commissioned or premiered works by many of Canada’s most eminent composers, such as Hildegard Westerkamp, Rodney Sharman, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, Jordan Nobles, Jeffrey Ryan, Farshid Samandari, Marci Rabe, and Emily Doolittle. One half of the acclaimed contemporary flute/piano duo Tiresias with Mark Takeshi McGregor, Rachel has also collaborated with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Judith Forst, Heather Pawsey, the Bozzini Quartet, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. Her interdisciplinary adventures have led to work with photo-based artist SD Holman, playwright/director David Bloom, choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, and multi-media provocateur Paul Wong.

ABOUT CRIS DERKSEN

Juno-nominated Cris Derksen is an internationally respected Indigenous Cellist and Composer. In a world where almost everything — people, music, cultures — get labelled and slotted into simple categories, Cris Derksen represents a challenge. Originally from Northern Alberta, she comes from a line of chiefs from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her father’s side and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s. Derksen braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music.

As composer ,Derksen has a foot in many worlds. 2020 compositions include: Napi and the Rocks – A symphonic story commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Same Wave – an 8-part choral piece, commissioned by Camerata Nova Choir; The Triumph of the Euro-Christ, an 8-part choral piece commissioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario. 2019 compositions include: Maada’ookii Songlines – a mass choral piece for 250 singers, commissioned by Luminato Festival; Rebellion – a short symphonic piece commissioned by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra; Iron Peggy – a theatre piece commissioned by the Vancouver Children’s Festival; and a new performance art piece commissioned by the National Art Gallery of Canada, Ikumagiialit.

Derksen performs nationally and internationally, solo and with some of Canada’s Finest, including; Tanya Tagaq, Buffy Sainte Marie, Naomi Klein, and Leanne Simpson, to name a few. Recent performance destinations include Hong Kong, Australia, Mongolia, Sweden, and a whole lot of Canada; the place Derksen refers to as home.

Pride in Chinatown

July 24-30, 2022

Founded by On Main’s Artist Director, Paul Wong and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Pride in Chinatown is the first public celebration of queer pan-Asian Canadian art in Vancouver’s Chinatown. What began as a small, one-day event in 2018, has grown tremendously over the years. For the first time in 2022, On Main is expanding Pride in Chinatown into a multi-day festival, presented in partnership with the Queer Arts Festival + SUM gallery! To find out more about Pride in Chinatown, visit www.prideinchinatown.com.

Pride in Chinatown events:

Jul 24, 12 to 3pm: Dim Sum Brunch
Floata Seafood Restaurant, 180 Keefer St., Vancouver
Regular admission tickets: $55 + tax and fees

Celebrate Pride with an all-age friendly arts and culinary event in Chinatown!

Hosted by the legendary China Doll, the Pride in Chinatown Dim Sum Brunch is a unique cultural experience that celebrates LGBTQ+ families and legacy businesses in Chinatown. A curated selection of piping-hot dim sum will be served alongside a lineup of delightful performances:

  • Immerse yourself in China Doll’s queer diasporic humor! A beloved Ottawa icon, China Doll is famous for hosting drag karaoke and bingo in flamboyant costumes and over-the-top wigs at her family’s Shanghai Restaurant.
  • Learn about the culture of dim sum from William Liu, owner of the family-run Kam Wai Dim Sum in Vancouver’s Chinatown. He will walk you through the art of enjoying “morsels of the heart” and perform Chinese and English opera.
  • Sample Pu-erh prepared by tea master Olivia Cheung from the Treasure Green Tea Company in Vancouver’s Chinatown. She will take you on a journey to Yunnan, China, where the best Pu-erh is produced.
  • Stand in solidarity with the Asian LGBTQ+ community through spoken-word artist Lyle Chan’s heartfelt poetry readings.
  • PLUS 50/50 draw!

Each ticket includes tea, two dim sum dishes, entertainment, and gratuity. Tables are available for groups of six and eight, with a limited number of tables available for groups of four. A party of fewer than four people will be seated at a larger table with other small groups.

Additional food and alcoholic beverages can be purchased from the restaurant. Doors will open at 12pm, and food will be served from 12:30–1:00pm.

JUL 28 TO DEC 4: DON KWAN: BEYOND EXCLUSION EXHIBITION
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall St., Vancouver
Free opening reception Tickets: July 28, 5:00–8:00pm

Beyond Exclusion is Don Kwan’s first solo exhibition in Vancouver. Based in Ottawa, Kwan is a queer third-generation Chinese Canadian artist whose work is influenced by his upbringing in a family-owned restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown. He uses mixed media, found objects, and sourced personal text and photographs to explore questions of identity, belonging, and place, reflecting on his family history while weaving intriguing stories about the Chinese Canadian diaspora.

Beyond Exclusion brings together Kwan’s diverse body of work along with new site-specific installations. In the exhibition opening on July 28, Kwan will perform Altering the Flow of Exclusion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s arrival in Canada from China through the port of Vancouver to Ottawa. Kwan’s brother, Edward, will host the opening as Ottawa’s legendary drag queen China Doll.

Don Kwan: Beyond Exclusion is presented by the Pride in Art Society (SUM Gallery) in collaboration with On Main Gallery and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden as part of the Pride in Chinatown festival. The exhibition is curated by Debbie Cheung, Mark Takeshi McGregor, and Paul Wong. Don Kwan: Beyond Exclusion is generously funded by the BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, and Deux Mille Foundation. 

JUL 30, 5 TO 10PM: NEON NIGHT GARDEN PARTY
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall St., Vancouver
Regular admission TICKETS: $42 + tax and fees
At door (limited quantity): $48 + tax and fees

Pride in Chinatown’s signature garden party returns with a splash of neon, featuring some of the best pan-Asian LGBTQ+ artists and their allies.

Enjoy a magical evening with a wide range of performances, art installations, and immersive experiences in the beautiful Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, park, and courtyard. Harkening back to when Chinatown was aglow with neon signs, you’re invited to interpret the theme “Neon Night” through your personal style and artistic expression.

Featured artists and activities:
• Land acknowledgment by Quanah Style
• Karaoke Lounge hosted by Ottawa icon China Doll
• Music by DJs Normie Corp and Nancy Lee, a.k.a Which Nancy
• Drag performances by Kara Juku, Maiden China, and Jolene Sloan
• The Zen Den body art by Romeo Reyes
• Poetry reading and installation by Lyle Chan
• Be Like Sound installation by Paul Wong
• Exhibition tours of Don Kwan: Beyond Exclusion
• Site decor by Link Leisure and David Robinson
• Food market featuring Boba Run, DD Mau, and Dicky’s Dump
• PIC Popup store featuring products made by local Asian LGBTQ+ artists and allies

Neon Night Garden Party takes place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. It is produced and presented by On Main Gallery in partnership with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Pride in Art Society (Queer Arts Festival/SUM Gallery).

The Masc and Femme We Wear—A night of readings from QTBIPOC writers

Virtual event: Sat, Mar 26, 3 – 5pm

Queer BIPOC writers and poets convene for The Masc and Femme We Wear: The Queer Bodypolitic of Ethnicity, taking place via Zoom on Mar 26 at 3pm PST. Participating writers will perform written works centred around the intersections of queerness, ethnicity, gender representation and body image for a night of readings and performance curated by award-winning writer and activist Berend McKenzie. Join our performers as their work explores and begs the following questions: What are the costs of masking or revealing one’s inner self under the glaring stage lights of colonialist supremacy? How do the expectations of a salacious white gaze fit, chafe, bind, or even unravel the BIPOC queer body and spirit? How is the BIPOC queer body eroticized and fetishized?

ABOUT BEREND MCKENZIE

Berend McKenzie (he/she/they interchangeably) is an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, screenwriter, and published author living on Treaty 6 land otherwise known as Edmonton, Alberta. Berend is best known for his ground-breaking, Jessie Richardson Award nominated one-person show NGGRFG. He has worked with Oscar-winning actresses Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie. Berend is currently writing his first auto-fiction novel, Adopted. In October 2021, Berend’s short story Hockey Night in Canada was published in the anthology Between Certain Death and A Possible Future: Queer Writing in Growing up with the AIDS Crisis (Arsenal Pulp Press) and has just completed writing their first TV pilot under option with Warner Media.

+ readings from artists C.E.  Gatchalian, Tia Kushniruk, Serena Bhandar, Lili Robinson, Kyle Shaughnessy!

Queering the Air—A Quintessentially Queer Concert Series presented by SUM gallery

Feb 11 – Mar 11, 2022

SUM gallery is proud to present our first Queering the Air concert series: music that presents the many sides of queerness, from darkest introspection to the most radiant joy. We launch this series with renowned Two-Spirit baritone Jonathon Adams in a special concert at the Bill Reid Gallery; The McGregor-Verdejo Duo takes us back to SUM gallery with music inspired by isolation, love, and loss; Sarah Jo Kirsch introduces us to the Romantic non-binary muse, Mignon; and concluding our series, Sex Lives of Vegetables: Music of Leslie Uyeda, an evening of dazzling vocal music by the composer who gave us the world’s first lesbian opera. 

Concert schedule:

Feb 11, 7:30pm | In Darkness: Lute Songs of John Dowland Celebrated baritone Jonathon Adams and lutenist Lucas Harris give a special performance at the Bill Reid Gallery, co-presented with Müzewest Concerts. Hosted by Bill Reid Gallery, 639 Hornby St., Vancouver SOLD OUT

Feb 18, 7:30pm | McGregor-Verdejo Duo The Vancouver flute & guitar duo present a program of queer longing and isolation with music by Matthew-John Knights, Rodney Sharman, Hiroki Tsurumoto, and Gabriella Yorke. Hosted by SUM gallery, #425 – 268 Keefer St., Vancouver

Feb 25, 7:30pm | Mignon Mignon, a non-binary icon of German Romanticism, is brought to life through the music of Zelter, Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf, performed by soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch and pianist Tina Chang. Hosted by SUM gallery, #425 – 268 Keefer St., Vancouver

Mar 11, 7:30pm | Sex Lives of Vegetables: Music of Leslie Uyeda The scandalous, gorgeous, and profound vocal music of Leslie Uyeda, featuring soprano Heather Pawsey, clarinetist AK Coope, and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa.Hosted by SUM gallery, #425 – 268 Keefer St., Vancouver


These concerts are being presented in adherence to current provincial guidelines regarding health and safety. In-person attendance will be limited and socially distanced. Mask wearing and presentation of vaccine passports will be mandatory.

Read the press release for Queering the Air.

Promotional artwork: When Trees Are Alone by Holly Steele