Myths tell sprawling stories of a magical, distant past – but often also reveal things about the present-day teller too. We each take something unique from the myths we hear or are told; we remember different things, and find different aspects to be affecting. Each person brings their life experiences and idiosyncrasies to bear on the collective story. Similarly, our singular visions of the world translate into a personal artistic voice. In the Image workshop, participants will be led through activities that help each of them translate the personal into an illustration that can be shared, and that is effective at communicating their narratives.
I’m a daughter of the so-called “post colonizal”-state-of-the-PHL diaspora, deepening my understanding of roots and critical consciousness, including through creating experimental music using primarily Moro kulintang ensemble instruments that interact with heartbeat-rhythms of electronic sounds, vocal word/song, and at-times with traditional Maguindanao and Mindanao instrumentations.
I remember growing up that drawing was soothing mentally for me, thx Project40 for the encouragement to revisit poetic practice through visual arts x
“Luyos” in my artist name refers to a tree residing in the land of Maharlika (this is a precolonial name, and Maharlikan lands include colonized PHL) that I’d met in recent years. Luyos is possibly native to Maharlika and is pictured throughout my website’s background (link below).
Vicky Wang is an artist whose work reflects her zest for life. She works in various mediums including music and visual art. She shares her music as emerging Toronto singer-songwriter Earlybird. Her classical training as a vocalist mixed with her love for jazz and soul results in groovy melodies and heart-to-heart narrative songwriting about home, grace, and the wonders of life. Nowadays, she frolics around the city with her ukulele and “pastel bell” voice, shamelessly singing love, life and truth wherever she goes. Her visual art is often expressed in alluring, intricate drawings of faces. She is intrigued by people and the human condition in light of the grand scheme of things. She wishes to create and develop beautiful, touching, and meaningful moments/relationships/art/things for as long as she lives.
Amanda Low is a multidisciplinary artist working with digital media. Her hobbies include illustrating, baking cookies, bookmarking unusual Wikipedia articles and she likes long walks on the beach.
Mythologies form archetypes in story-telling- they have created universal meanings that exist within all cultures. Thematic statements and archetypal characters in modern story-telling can be derived from mythologies. We explore the distorted nature of myths that occur after the constant re-telling- which often skews the original meaning, story and plot. As Asians living in diaspora, it will be interesting to examine the changes that have occurred in the narratives that have been passed down to us, critiquing our North American understanding of stories, themes and characters.
Jennilee Austria is a Filipina-Canadian YA author, speaker, researcher, and school board consultant specializing in the needs of the Filipino community. As a graduate of The Humber School for Writers and Ryerson’s Immigration and Settlement Studies MA program, Jennilee spends a lot of time worrying about Filipino youth— and celebrating them, too. Her video stems from her work as the founder of Filipino Talks— a bridging program for newcomer Filipino youth and school staff.
I’m a first year student studying Film & Media Production in Humber College. I’ve been making sports videos since 2010 and uploading them to YouTube.
Peter Ko is a Toronto-based musician, audio engineer, videographer, and amateur hairstylist. He enjoys many things including listening to music at obnoxiously loud volumes, dreaming about what colour wouldn’t damage his hair too much and introspecting heavily on how he can further invest in his faith and communities. He continually challenges himself to keep his works authentic to his beliefs while being sensitive to the communities that end up experiencing the fruit of his labour. He is a self-described collector of skills although that usually translates to learning new musical instruments and possibly getting himself hurt in the process. He wears his heart on his sleeve and one day hopes to play a stadium concert for the sole reason of hearing his music sound larger than life.
Each of our pieces grew from the stories we shared with each other. From the first day when we introduced ourselves and brainstormed notions of diaspora, land and identity(ies), to our last session where we discussed what narratives flow throughout each of our pieces; each and every session brewed interesting topics and ideas which became part of our pieces.
Collaboration, which appeared in our first meeting, became a crucial theme throughout the workshops. Collaboration happened as we shared our stories of what brought us here and where we call home; of challenges we’ve faced as an Asian individual and as an “artist”; of personal struggles in trying to understand who we are. Collaboration happened when we delved into the messiness of our stories, and all the tensions and tugging incongruences which frustrate us yet makes us ponder. Collaboration happened when we created a safe space for each other and found connections. It is the process of creating which became as important as the final product itself. Even the physical engagement required by the material – of literal hands coming in contact with the earth to become something – calls for the need to recognize the process.
What we each created contains each of our stories, but they are also overlaid with our weekly group discussions. And we believe that’s what makes the pieces more special and important.
Vincent Yung is a Canadian-born Chinese creative. His works examines the boundaries and intersections of diaspora, queerness, and mental health. He translates the coded spaces into a personal narrative. A narrative inspired by his immigrant parents, personal struggles and sketch comedy. Currently pursuing a graduate degree in architecture, he hopes to uncover the narratives and mythologies between design and social justice.
I am a recent graduate of fine arts from York University, I am interested in narratives of diaspora, race, gender, sexuality and spirituality. As an artist of colour I have learned that contemporary art spaces and histories centre solely around “The European”, past, present and in all possible dimensions. Stories of people omitted from this framework have to be consciously created and nurtured, I am interested in accessing spaces that allow for such narratives and building creatively from this place. I dabble in manual arts mediums such as paintings, drawing and printmaking as well as time-based arts and performance arts such as dance. In 2015, along with three other filmmakers directed a short documentary which is currently a part of a fundraising campaign and has been one of the highlights of my aspiring career.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb. “The law’s the law, but people are people.” – M.L. Stedman. “As it turned out, being human was every bit as much fun as she’d always thought it would be.” – Marissa Meyer. “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol. ”
“You could have the world in the palm of your hand, but it don’t mean a thing ‘til you change it.” – Mac Miller.
“I know it’s dumb, that’s the fucking reason I’m doing it. So why does everyone have a problem with talking stupid shit? Or is it real shit? ‘Cause sometimes that stupid shit is real shit.” – Childish Gambino.
As a Japan-born Korean-Canadian, Mirae is on a lifelong journey of negotiating her hyphenated identity – to recognize and understand the complicated colonial histories which exist between and within her identities. Through visual arts, writing and other creative practices, she tries to not only explore, but claim her multiple cultural identities as her authentic self, rather than being hindered by societal expectations.
Mirae is a content creator who mainly focuses on illustrations, writing and photography. She began an independent creative project called RAW with her friend, which aims to explore real unfiltered stories and experiences through various artistic medium. She is currently pursuing a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology and Art History, with a minor in Writing & Rhetoric at the University of Toronto. She is also the Social Media Director and Website Manager at Project 40.
Kim Nguyen is the Vietnamese John Smith. She works with ink and paper. Find her occasionally shooting digital and fixing fountain pens.
The stories we believe about ourselves aren’t always the stories others believe about us. How do we reconcile the myths of Western progress with the current news cycles coming out of North American politics, or the Canadian cultural mosaic with the mythologizing of the “good immigrant”? How do we absorb narratives of morality, femininity, desire, and beauty, and how can we create our own narratives more consciously, using all resources available to us, in order to serve our unique self-expressions?
Jody Chan is a writer, organizer, and vegan nacho-dip-maker based in Toronto. Her writing explores themes of family, diaspora, and mental illness, and she is a co-founder of Alliance for a Just Toronto, a collective organizing to push city hall to develop and resource a long-term environmental justice agenda in Toronto. Other passions include dance, her cat, and dumplings.
Anda Zeng is a writer, editor, and autotonsorialist; the symbolic nature of dark lines is her livelihood. Also, she’s pretentious.
Rain is a writer, performer, artist, facilitator and community activist. Rain was awarded second place for The Virus at Pat the Dog Theatre Creation 24-playwriting contest. Rain’s writing has been published in Pink Ink, Project as[I]Am, Project 40 Collective and many others. Rain’s play Lullaby for the Abandoned was showcased at the New Ideas Festival and Cahoots Theatre Company’s LIFT OFF! Festival. Rain directed Blondie (InspiraTO Festival), a solo piece developed through movements and gestures. Rain Assistant Directed for Crash (Theatre Passe Muraille), which was the recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Rain’s play Rem, received its first reading at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Eventual Ashes) and The Cure was showcased at the fu-GEN 6th Annual Potluck Festival. These days, Rain is enjoying studying Traditional Chinese Medicine, engaging in social justice activism, community building, writing poetry and science fiction.
Jennifer Su is a Toronto-based artist working primarily in photography and film. She is interested in themes of identity, community, and universals, through her art and research. Her first short film, 36 Questions, won the DGC and WIFT-T award at the Reel Asian Toronto Film Festival. She is currently finishing up her undergraduate degree in socio-cultural anthropology and contemporary Asian studies at the University of Toronto.
John Smith was born in Hamilton, Ontario to a Filipinx mother and Irish father. He now resides in Toronto where he is a carpentry apprentice, a student of equity, and amateur writer. John is the Programs Manager of TAYO Collective, a Filipinx art squad as well as the co-founder of 187 Augusta in Kensington Market.