Jan. 18, 2014
⌇ Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W.
⃞ Seminar Room 1,
located on the lower level.
Drop in anytime b/w 12 – 5pm

⺌ Family photo albums
✓ Family members
☎ & your friends!

☞ Open and Free to the Public☜


Did you, your mom and dad, or any of your relatives like to take photographs? The artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen needs your help to create an an online archive that records the everyday lives of immigrant and amateur photographers.

When researching for her “mockumentary” sci-fi film 1967: A People Kind of Place, about the construction of a UFO landing platform to commemorate Canada’s centennial, Hoang Nguyen discovered that little to no visual materials under the tag of “multiculturalism” could be found in most national archives. For a country such as Canada, that prides itself on its inclusive and progressive narrative, this is a gaping contradiction. Together, we attempt to offer an alternative to this lack of representation through “The Making of an Archive.”

“The Making of an Archive” is an online archive, record­ing the everyday lives of ­immigrant and amateur photographers in order to ­investigate the ideological formation of multiculturalism in Canada and the limits of its representation.

For more information visit:

GLB_screen shot


Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 7pm 
Location: School of Images Arts – Ryerson University – 122 Bond Street 

What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American woman in Detroit whose vision of revolution may surprise you. 

Following the screening of Christine Choi’s film, Who Killed Vincent Chin? Gendai is pleased to co-present the Canadian premiere of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (USA, 2013) as a continuation of our Model Minority screening series. 

Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese-American writer, activist, and philosopher. The documentary carries us through Boggs’ lifelong involvement with many of the major American social movements of the last century, including labour and civil rights, Black Power, feminism, the oppression of Asian Americans, and the issues facing the environment. 

The film is directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Grace Lee, well known for her films Janeane From Des Moines (2012) and American Zombie (2007). 

The screening is part of the Reel Asian International Film Festivaland it is programmed as a free community screening sponsored by the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, Ryerson University, and the Jayu: North Korean Human Rights Festival.


A Rolling Neighbourhood Survey Reading

Date: Monday October 21, 2013, 7–9pm
Doors & refreshments: 6:30pm
Location: Scadding Court Community Centre | 707 Dundas St W | Program Room #4

On the occasion of the ongoing collaboration between “Chinatown Community Think Tank” (CCTT) and “Model Minority” (MM) research series, we invite you to A Rolling Neighbourhood Survey Reading on the evening of Monday October 21, from 7–9:30pm. Join us to extend the survey action we made in, through and about the boundaries separating the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Alexandra Park and Kensington. The event is presented by Toronto based arts organizations, Gendai and Whippersnapper Gallery.

Links, References & Tools
(Some stuff we came across that might be useful):

The Factors Inhibiting Gentrification in Areas with Little Non-market Housing: Policy Lessons from the Toronto Experience

Ghetto Tracker (!?!)

The Asian American Paradox: “Model Minorities” and Outsiders

Anti-gentrification video – get the artists out!

Militant Research (collaborative survey method by artists analyzing their own work/life by Kleines Postfordistisches Drama):
• info on the film they made that presented the survey info:
• info on their methods:

“I don’t know what Alexandra Park is.”

In July 2013, Alvis Choi, Maggie Flynn, Chris Lee, Manolo Lugo and Maiko Tanaka started conversations about Chinatown, Alexandra Park and Kensington as three distinct neighbourhoods. We asked 30+ pedestrians/business owners who live, work or were passing through the cross section of these neighbourhoods, a series of brief questions. Their responses ranged from predictable to unexpected, affirmative and imaginative, racist and critical.

These are the questions we asked:
1. Where are we right now?
2. Where do you live?
3. Where do you feel you belong?
4. Is Chinatown shrinking or expanding?
5. Who lives here?
6. Is this a residential neighbourhood?
7. What is the relationship between Chinatown, Kensington Market and Alexandra Park?

and a final bonus question:
8. What question would you like to ask people about the three neighbourhoods?

In our informal post-survey action chats, we discussed how these conversations opened up new perspectives, insights, problems and a whole bunch of new questions, such as, What makes us see or not see a border? How are borders affirmed? In what ways are borders taken apart? Who makes borders, how are they made, and legitimized?

“I live near Bloor and Dufferin. I feel like I belong to my own Latino community.”

We are holding this event as a continuation of this rolling survey, to read the responses, ask new questions and utilize the “generative” and “action” oriented tools we’re making as we research. We are inviting you to bring your background, work and expertise and read the survey “results” with us to deconstruct the survey action that we did and open new questions. The questions we come up at the reading will roll into a new survey that will be redistributed into new formats and places.

“I wish Chinatown had more manga stores.”

There are different motivations behind the construction of this Reading event, as different as the various groups involved in the organization, but also differences within the groups themselves. But what it means to have all these different motivations in one survey? One common aim however, is to investigate the boundaries and borders between these neighbourhoods, as well as a secondary question surrounding the relationship between art and these neighbourhoods.

Please RSVP to so we can prepare space and refreshments!

Hope to see you there!



As part of Gendai’s ongoing research collaborations on the status of the “Model Minority,” we are teaming up with Alvis Parsley of the Chinatown Community Think Tank and their host, Whippersnapper Gallery, on a survey action this Saturday July 27th from 2 – 5pm. Model Minority takes an intersectional approach to exploring what is behind different models of “success” for various communities in places like Toronto, with an interest in the implications of and contradictions, acts of resistance and alternatives to, these models. This Saturday, we take our intersectional question literally into a cross-section of three distinct neighbourhoods where Whippersnapper Gallery is located, and where Chinatown Community Think Tank (CCTT) has been taking up residency this Summer. CCTT attempts to break through language barriers and art elitism, taking direct actions to engage the Chinese-speaking community in conversations, collectively envisioning the role of art in the neighbourhood. Join MM × WG × CCTT on some lively neighbourhood action research on what residents, visitors, businesses and passer-by think about these cross sections, or follow up on the results in future Model Minority Research & Screening series (ongoing til January 2014) and in our Model Minority Publication Kit, launching in Fall 2014.

A Screening and Talk
With Christine Choy and Richard Fung

Thursday June 6th
6:30–9:30pm, doors open 6:00

Location: TPW R&D, 1256 Dundas St W
(west of Ossington)


Gendai invites you to this first “module” in the Model Minority series that takes an inter-
sectional approach to analyze the practices that construct hierarchies, conflict and power struggles in the terrain of multiculturalism and cultural diversity in North America. Who Killed Vincent Chin? will be introduced by Toronto based artist and writer Richard Fung, followed by a talk by one of the directors, New York based filmmaker Christine Choy.

Christine Choy is a New York based film-
maker. She has produced and directed over seventy works and received over sixty inter-
national awards including the John Simon Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Asian Cultural Council fellowships, as well as an Academy Award nomination for the documentary film, Who Killed Vincent Chin?. Christine was a founding member of Third World Newsreel, teaches at NYU, Yale, Cornell, and SUNY Buffalo and was a visiting scholar at Evergreen State College, Oslo and Volda Film Institute in Norway.

Richard Fung is a Toronto based video artist and writer, and associate professor at OCAD University. His award winning videos have been widely exhibited and collected, and his essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. He is the co-author with Monika Kin Gagnon of 13: Conversations on Art and Cultural Race Politics and his most recent production is Dal Puri Diaspora (2013). He is a recipient of the Bell Canada Award and the Toronto Arts Award for media art.

Join us for popcorn and refreshments at this special screening event!

Initiated as a promo clip to raise funds for a legal case, the Academy Award nominated documentary film, Who Killed Vincent Chin? (Christine Choy & Renee Tajima-Peña) became a feature-length, com-
plex and confounding analysis of the murder of Chinese-American engineer Vincent Chin, who was beaten to death by two Detroit auto workers in 1982. The faltering of the American auto industry, recog-
nized as being due to competition from Japan, pro-
duced the conditions for what was alleged to be a racially motivated crime. Weaving together parallel accounts of the incident, Choy and Tajima-Peña take a Rashomon-style approach to present competing truth claims in a pivotal moment when American race and class politics clashed. This stirred the imaginary of a progressive Asian-American politics, putting to question the costs, ethics and tactics that lead to the coalescence of the Asian-American movement and civil rights struggles in the United States.

With this screening, Gendai initiates a discussion of the Model Minority by introducing the little known legacies, actors and events of Asian diasporic politics and culture—the unexpected figures and categorical fictions that drive the construction of race and power, past and present. What are the resonances of the Vincent Chin case today for race and class politics? Practices of image production and political film-
making guide our discussions—the stories and struggles we will encounter help us grapple with
and shape a model minority analysis to think and work from.

Following the screening, Gendai invites you to a weekend workshop…

A Workshop
Facilitated by Chris Lee

Saturday, June 8th
11am–4pm (with lunch break)

Location: Unpack Studio, 11 Willison Square (Dundas & Spadina)

Free admission with registration
Contact: to book your spot.
Bring in an image, text or other artefact that disturb, complicate or reify notions of the Model Minority. Particular focus will be on little known histories and figures of Asian North American political activity or activism. We will recreate,
by re-writing signs and slogans in the images, and/or restaging them as a way to inhabit, speculate on and discuss the content and their resonances. This workshop series will build toward the final Model Minority Publication launching in 2014.

Chris Lee is a freelance graphic designer based in Toronto. Through his Masters studies in Graphic Design at the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam) Chris developed his current re-
search on speculative visualizations of alter-
native currencies. He regularly publishes essays on the topic and has facilitated work-
shops in Glasgow, Zagreb, Portland and around The Netherlands. Chris is a board member of Art Metropole, designer and editor of Scapegoat Journal of Architecture, Land-
scape and Political Economy and is a member of Gendai’s Programming Committee.

—1 Yellow Peril Supports Black Power

It’s not widely known that the Asian American Movement was driven by student activist groups radicalized by the anti-Vietnam war and Black Power movements. They mobilized and organized on uni-
versity campuses and in communities around civil-rights and anti-racism among other issues. Power to the people!

—2 Richard Aoki

This long-time community activist was also a field marshall in the Black Panther Party. Recently, highly contentious allegations that Aoki was an FBI inform-
ant challenged the legacy of his radical activism and education. What can we make of such a complicated model of the “model minority”?

—3 Yuri Kochiyama
Known for her interracial solidarity work, Kochiyama and a group of activists occupied the Statue of Liberty to draw attention to the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. She also helped to agitate for govern-
ment apologies for the internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII.

—4 Eddie Huang

As the host of Vice’s food/travel show, Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie Huang features stories of the underdog, shared through the “lowest common denominator,” food. Baohaus, a popular New York bun shop serv-
ing Taiwanese street food is another part of Huang’s enterprises in which he embraces and defies “model minority” stereotypes.

—5 George Takei

He first became famous for playing Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series. Takei now currently stars in the musical “Allegiance” about the internment of Japanese-Americans, and is lauded today as a dedicated advocate of LGBT rights, as well as “the funniest guy on Facebook!”

—6 Asian-Canadian solidarity with #IdleNoMore

Vancouver based poet and professor, Rita Wong shares an image of immigrant/settler solidarity with Indigenous struggles. What does this gesture propose with regards to the position of the model minority?