GENDER ROLES PLAYING ON STAGE
Traditional Chinese Opera with Contemporary Asian Drag
Aug 1, 2018
Paul Wong Projects
This was magical and spectacular setting, a heritage site named the world’s top city garden by National Geographic. Guests were treated to a mashup of opera, drag, and music. Classic Chinese opera roles including females were originally performed by men. More recently when women were permitted to perform on stage, women often played both female and male roles. These gender bending genres celebrate the rich history of Cantonese Opera as a folk art form in Chinese communities.
For Paul Wong, growing up in Chinatown the streets were filled with Chinese Opera emanating from the shops and rooming houses. At home, his mother’s favourite pastime was singing karaoke opera. This event was part of OCCUPYING CHINATOWN, Wong’s year-long artist residency at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden launched in Spring 2018.
OCCUPYING CHINATOWN was a public art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program in partnership with the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Event community partner Vancouver Art and Leisure Society.