Presented by On Main Gallery and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Pride in Chinatown (PIC) returns as a multi-day festival in 2022 with three multi-disciplinary events and a visual art exhibition featured by the SUM Gallery/Queer Arts Festival.
The expanded programs will further explore the stories of the queer Asian diasporas, giving us an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ artists in Vancouver and beyond. To mark our first step in going national, we’re featuring Ottawa-based siblings Don and Ed Kwan (China Doll) in PIC this year. As third-generation Chinese-Canadian artists and restaurateurs, the brothers are instrumental in raising awareness of the queer Asian diasporas in Ottawa.
Together with the Kwan’s and a roster of local artists, we will reclaim Vancouver’s Chinatown as a place of inclusion with the following events:
PIC Dim Sum Brunch
July 24 | 12-2:30pm | Floata Seafood Restaurant
Hosted by China Doll, this culinary event delights guests with dim sum, poetry, drag performances, and more. Featured artists are invited to reimagine the traditional Chinese weekend gathering while challenging gender norms and celebrating LGBTQ+ families in Chinatown.
The Don Kwan exhibition (working title)
July 28 – Dec 4 | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Public opening celebration: July 28
The exhibition features the work of Don Kwan, who uses mix-media, found objects, and sourced personal text and images to explore topics such as identity, place, and family memory.
July 30 | 5-10pm
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Park, and Memorial Courtyard
Pride in Chinatown’s signature one-night spectacle returns with a wide range of multidisciplinary performances and immersive experiences, including a karaoke lounge hosted by China Doll. Harkening back to when Chinatown was aglow with neon signs, artists and guests are invited to interpret the theme “Neon Night” through artistic expressions and personal styles.
The full line-up of artists and ticket information will be announced in mid June.
PIC Feature Artists
Don Kwan turns to his own experiences and challenges of being a gay, third-generation Chinese Canadian artist as a way to ground himself in broader conversations about identity, representations, and intergenerational memory-making in the diaspora. Kwan regularly draws from common and powerfully symbolic found objects and forms. He redeploys them in provocative and playful ways, delivering complex and nuanced concepts in an open framework for interpretation that evokes both familiarity and wonder.
Ed Kwan, an Ottawa-based performance artist, community builder, karaoke impresario, and drag performer, uses her over-the-top drag character, China Doll, to spread love, joy, and laughter. Regarded as Ottawa queer royalty, China Doll weaves humour into her everyday costumes and performances to broaden conversations about queer identity and to challenge the stereotypes embedded in anti-Chinese racism.