For us celebrating Pride is everyday of the year. In 2021 we were fortunate to collaborate on three Pride projects and events. In the spring we collaborated with Pedestrian Protest, A Vancouver Art Gallery public art project by Evann Siebens and Keith Doyle. We also created Essential Worker – Everyday Pride for the Holt Renfrew Pride 2021 Campaign launched in June. In July, we suddenly found ourselves in a post pandemic euphoric state with fewer restrictions allowing hugging in large public gatherings. We have decided to throw the Pride in Chinatown Garden Party on July 31st. Once again we are partnering with our good friends Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Art and Leisure, and the Alternative Pride Festival.
Pride in Chinatown Garden Party
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Saturday, July 31st, 2021 4:30PM – 9:00PM
578 Carrall St,
Photo Credit: Paul Wong
We would like to respectfully acknowledge that Chinatown is situated on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
The Garden Party was spread out using the entire square block of parks, gardens and outdoor courtyards. The event was styled as a late-afternoon early evening “tea dance” with an ambience of music, dance, bar and performances, new tech vibes, and visual art installations. This inclusive event celebrates Pan-Asian queer, energy, creativity and visibility .
Kara Juku kicked off Pride In Chinatown Garden Party with a stunning Welcome Back performance for the hundreds who came to gather to celebrate being together again after the isolation of social distancing .
Video credit: Paul Wong
“It felt like coming out of a bomb shelter and seeing whose left and whose new. I felt like I was breaking the law. It will take a while to get back to normal. “ R.R.
Photo Credit: Fatima Jaffer
HainafromChina (Normie Corp)
fagofcolour (Normie Corp)
Visual Art Exhibition
Rivers Have Mouths
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Art and Leisure
Alternative Pride Festival
Photo Credit: Paul Wong
Door prizes generously donated by:
Alternative Pride Festival
Art and Leisure
D.S.Y.S. Classical Chinese Garden
Foglifter Coffee Roasters
Kam Wai Dim Sum
On Main Gallery
Paul Wong Projects
Queer Arts Festival
Photo Credit: Fatima Jaffer & Paul Wong
Parade – Pedestrian Protest
Site specific installation
1100 West Georgia Street
April 9, 2021 – October 11, 2021
Parade was Pride in Chinatown’s contribution to Pedestrian Protest, a new commission for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite by Vancouver based artists Evann Siebens and Keith Doyle. For this collaboration with Pedestrian Protest we took to the pandemic deserted streets of Chinatown and paraded loudly and proudly, celebrating our LGBQT2+ identities and visibility.
Tien Neo Eamas
Christian Yves Jones
Pedestrian Protest explores how a moving body, whether in solitude or en masse, can become a political act. The work includes 24 media performances, created by collaborators, that reference histories of protest, current and past. The individuals and collectives were filmed and edited by Evann Siebens and combined into a collage of photo, media and movement. Each location, chosen by a project collaborator, is uniquely emblematic and linked to specific histories or present places of demonstration and activism. Keith Doyle responds to this mapping of the city through his sculptural intervention, referring to the precarious and temporary conditions of Vancouver’s constantly changing built environment.
Paul Wong is an artist, curator and activist who has been at the forefront of the experimental media art, visual and interdisciplinary arts since the mid 1970’s. Much of his work has focused on identity politics, race, sexuality and everyday life. He has recently created a number of public art works in neon, photography, performance and sound. See more on his website and Occupying Chinatown residency website.
He is the Artistic Director of Pride in Chinatown an initiative started in 2018 that has been creating a creative space for pan-Asian LGBQT2+ through events and exhibitions. A co-founder of several artist run organizations including VIVO Media Art Centre (1976) and On The Cutting Edge/On Main Gallery. These organizations have created alternative modes of representation and presentation where artists retain control over their own means of production, exhibition and presentation both for inside traditional cultural institutions and developing new sites and formats outside conventional systems.
Kara Juku (all pronouns) is a non-binary drag artist, content creator and multi-faceted performer. She first debuted in 2019, dazzling and dipping from stages all across her hometown of Vancouver, Canada. Her performances often pay homage to her ancestral Vietnamese roots, bringing you a little closer to her inner world. In 2020, Kara was the first drag artist of Asian descent to be crowned the coveted title of Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar and Vancouver’s Eastside Phenomenon in 2019 for her ubiquitous high-energy, high-kick performances. Kara is a member of House of Rice, Vancouver’s all-queer Asian drag dynasty and daughter to drag mom Kendall Gender, a sensational pillar in the local drag community. With her hypnotically vivacious style of performance, Kara has an instantaneous gravitational pull and top tier dance moves to match; they are the one to watch. Keep an eye out for Kara on a screen, on a stage or in virtual space near you!
Tien Neo Eamas
Born into the constraints of a fundamentalist Christian and a 1968 Singapore, Tien Neo Eamas was given the gender marker female. For years he internalised his experience of family violence, sexism and homophobia, and later, racism and trans- and gender-phobia. Eventually falling into a major depression, fuelled by deep anger at injustice, Tien thought suicide was the answer.
It was not. The attempt failed and when Tien awoke the next day, he took that as a sign. He committed to transforming his struggle into something else. Through spiritual and personal development, his view of life went from someone who was oppressed, to one full of joy who loves life.
This transformation gives Tien the insight and facility to teach people how to tap into their own capacity for freedom, choice and connectedness. He does it by expanding humanity’s consciousness versus being socially or politically correct.
Tien has a passion to have spirit guided, transformed conversations for the LGBTQ and especially the BIQPOC community, to connect us to our highest source that we no longer experience our lives from the viewpoint of being victims, but now from a place of embracing our unique powerful soul journeys.
One of Tien’s biggest accomplishments was being the first Asian transman to transition publicly in Vancouver, Canada. It was 2002, a time when LGBTQ awareness was rare. He is also the founder of Gender Euphoria Day, the first trans celebration in North America 2008.
He is a gender guide and spiritual teacher, a gold/silversmith, artist, alchemist, performer, wizard and pole sport dancer.
He teaches Upgrade Your Gender IQ, Gender Conscious Parenting, Mindfulness for Queers, Race and Spirituality and is writing children’s and other soul focused, gender conscious books.
Watch more about Tien here
I protest by being powerful, and standing in light and a vision of resilience, not taken down by others. I appear in all contexts of life without compromise, free to be my colour, my creed, gender expression and a soulful human being. To be joy and love. I do not engage in any conversations about who is doing what to whom, I much rather spend my energy focussing on empowering ourselves and reminding us about who we truly are as beautiful, powerful, wonderful souls. – Tien Neo Eamas
Essential Worker – Everyday Pride
Essential Worker – Everyday Pride presents two real life subjects whose jobs are essential workers and drag performers. They/we take pride in ourselves as workers and in life. We created several photo pieces and video clips for the Holt Renfrew Pride 2021 Campaign. These works were featured on Holt’s numerous social media and promotional platforms. Featured are performers David/Kara Juku and Van/Shay Dior who are members of the House of Rice, Canada’s only Pan-Asian drag house.