How are Asian, particularly queer and/or trans Asian, bodies consumed in Canada? Featuring three queer and trans Asian Canadian artists from Vancouver and Toronto, this event will include live performances and a Q&A panel. Each of their works are an embodied reflection of queer and trans experiences in the Asian diaspora, particularly by using food and associated sensations and metaphors. Janice Jo Lee is a folk artist that will open up the event with a performance and land acknowledgement which will be followed by a showcase of new works by three drag artists. In YOU AND I ≠ WE, an experimental performance co-created by Romi Kim and Kendell Yan, their drag personas SKIM and Maiden China explore the weight of representation, the complexities and intersections of gender, culture, sexuality, and what it means to be in their Asian (Korean and Chinese) bodies with queer and trans identities in public and private spheres. The performance shares insights into intimate experiences through nonlinear storytelling and gestures of refusal in being consumed by the audience’s gaze. In a Drag Horror Cooking Show, “Sarap” (tasty), drag artist Ms. Nookie Galore combines Filipino dishes and ingredients with Philippine history and folklore to create an immersive experience for the audience.
These four artists will perform their works while also creating a space of collective reflection and dialogue on drag, performance, and the body for queer and trans Asian Canadians.
김새로미 / Romi Kim, or SKIM in drag, is an interdisciplinary artist currently living on the unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Sel̓íl̓witulh Nations. Kim is a nonbinary, trans-masc, second-generation Korean lesbian. They identify themselves in using these words as verbs rather than nouns or adjectives—constantly in action, and in flux. Their artistic practice is explored through an interdisciplinary approach and intersectional feminist queer theory. Kim has shown works in South Korea, the United Kingdom, Edmonton, and Vancouver in Canada. SKIM is the only Drag King in the House of Rice and he is the producer of his own drag show called King Sized. They have been a part of producing and performing in various theatre shows such as The Transform Festival’s Opening Bash, Cultch Theatre, The ReVolver Festival, and The Array.
甄念菻 / Kendell Yan (she/they), is a second-generation Chinese, trans-femme, non-binary artist living on the lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. Her practice includes performance, visual art, sculpture, digital media, makeup, writing, and costuming, and is primarily centred around her drag identity, Maiden China. Through this lens she explores themes of vulnerability, queer ritual, the concept of the “hyphen”, and liminal experience, by incorporating elements of classical Chinese opera, glamour, punk, and intimate contact performance art. Performing since 2016 in so-called “Vancouver, BC”, Maiden holds the pageant titles of Mr/Ms Cobalt All Star, and the Dogwood Monarchist Society’s Entertainer of the Year 2018. They perform regularly as a member of the House of Rice, Vancouver’s only all-Asian drag family, and is also a part of the non-binary drag performance collective, The Darlings. Their work has been featured by many film and art festivals, including the PuSH International Performing Arts Festival and the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival.
Patrick Salvani, having been raised to fear everything, Ms. Nookie Galore has an un/comfortable relationship with stories that haunt us. She/They/He have been spotlighted in CBC Arts, the documentary “No Fats, No Femmes, No Asians,” and showcased at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Gardiner Museum and Varley Art Gallery of Markham. She has been published in the book “Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginiaries” and her work analyzed in the academic journal, “Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 4.” Nookie is the Co-Director of the Queer Asian Love Party, New Ho Queen, AKA she knows how to make a party feel like home. As the Creator of drag plays SARAP: A Drag Horror Cooking Show, The Abularya, and Scary Stories People of Colour Tell in the Dark, Ms. Galore’s DRAG reminds us that dreaming is part of our survival and that nightmares are dreams, too. Get more Nookie in the PBS Docuseries “Brave Spaces” out now!
Janice Jo Lee is a dynamic artist. She is a second generation Korean-Canadian settler based in Tkaronto (Toronto), Ontario. She is a folk-soul-jazz singer songwriter, composer-sound designer, spoken word poet, theatre maker, and arts and anti-oppression facilitator.
Camille Sung is an Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow for the Department of East Asian Studies, and a Research Associate for the Centre for the Study of Korea, Asian Institute. Sung received a Ph.D. in art history and theory with her dissertation on the object- and action-based art of Korea between 1960 and 1980. Currently, she works on her book project on the intersections between art, material conditions, and sociopolitical transformations in postcolonial Korea. Her research interests also include the art and curatorial of BIPOCs, the materiality of continental European philosophy, and queer and feminist art practice/theory/activism in Asia-Pacific.
Samuel Yoon is a PhD Candidate in Women & Gender Studies Insitute and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Yoon’s research interests include Asian American Critique, Queer Diaspora, and Queer Performance.