We’re delighted to celebrate this collaborative exhibition by brothers Ed & Don Kwan during Asian Heritage Month.
We're happy to share that this exhibition will be extended until Saturday July 22.
Join us for a finissage celebration with mahjong and karaoke hosted by China Doll and Don Kwan on the last day of the exhibition.
Saturday July 22
Free! Snacks provided
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a mahjong timeslot
After Exclusion, Happy Fruit by queer Chinese-Canadian brothers Ed Kwan (aka China Doll) and Don Kwan explores two centenary legacies. The first: the federal government of Canada’s racist enactment of the Chinese Immigration Act on July 1, 1923, which effectively banned persons of Chinese origin from entering Canada for 24 years before it was repealed. And the second: the Kwan family’s own centennial in Canada – a legacy that began with the arrival of their maternal grandfather Chow Kwai Fong in British Columbia.
The exhibition delves into the legacies in two parts. After Exclusion reflects on the both the immediate and lasting impacts of discriminatory government policies, including the Chinese Head Tax (1885-1923); the revocation of voting rights at provincial and federal levels from Chinese-Canadians and those of South-Asian origins (1872, 1907, and 1920 until 1951); and the Chinese Immigration Act (also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, 1923-1947); as well as continuing effects of colonialism and racism. In contrast and defiance of these histories is Happy Fruit: one literal translation of gay ( 开心果 ) and a celebration the brothers’ queer Chinese identities and family history using language and play.
Through installation, sculpture and performance, Don and Ed challenge traditional cultural norms and reflect on the intersections of culture, identity, and history. Their remarkable works embody the power of art as expression, truth-telling, and activism.
Ed Kwan acknowledges the support from the City of Ottawa, and Ontario Arts Council.
Don Kwan acknowledges the support from the City of Ottawa, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts.