The work-in-progress explores the complexities of the Chinese-Vietnamese-Canadian diaspora and its entanglements with language and loss, family and ancestry. These themes are fairly new in my body of work as an artist, and were first explored in my performance-based collaborations with my mother and sister two years ago. I moved my artistic research into the terrain of poetry to explore how the medium of written language can provide new insight, experience, and meaning to the larger project.
I often approach writing and art making as research and start with a series of questions. This process often leads to more questions. The goal however is not necessarily to seek answers, but to engage deeper into the topic of inquiry. I’m using the mentorship as an opportunity to explore and develop a poetics suited to my inquiry-based art making approach.
It’s hard for me to imagine where I will be in the next ten years in terms of career goals. What I can envision in the next decade is a more inclusive and diverse writing and publishing scene in Canada, where the ‘cultural appropriation debate’ is dead; teachers’ who teach literature by BIPOC authors are BIPOC themselves; and poetry continues to thrive as the next generation’s medium/weapon of choice.
In a perfect world I would not be the ruler. But if I were a ruler of some other world, a writer’s life would be…easier.
My biography will be written by a Chinese-Vietnamese female author born in the distant future, who will search for me, as I have searched for my ancestors.