Raeann Cheung’s talk will highlight the journey of an artist to learn about the Chinese immigrants who came to Canada a century before herself, and one that is inadvertently becoming political necessitating a mindful balance among authenticity, storytelling, and public reception. Her upcoming exhibition, WE ARE IMMIGRANTS – The Hidden Hardships and Legacy of Early Chinese Canadian Immigrants explores the suffering that early immigrants endured as economic migrants in the mid 19th century and the intergenerational effects that followed. Cheung’s artwork also celebrates the migrants’ successes and resilience despite facing immense racial and institutional prejudices. Not only did these migrants thrive, their contributions to society helped place Canada onto the global economic stage.
While it is understandable that Asian descendants prefer to focus on ancestoral successes, anti-Asian sentiments (and racism in general) remains arguably rampant in Canada. Perhaps because of the traditionally dampened nature of the Chinese Canadian history in the K-12 curriculum, there is a general lack of understanding why racism, particularly to the Chinese in Canada, is so misinformed.
Raeann Cheung began practicing photography in 1983 but considers herself a lifelong learner of the medium. To Raeann, photographs do not always tell the whole story and therefore are a means to accentuate messages through appropriation. Raeann is a graduate from Falmouth University where she was awarded a Master of Arts in contemporary photography. She has been selected by Alberta’s Exposure Photography Festival as one of the emerging photographers to be showcased in 2022. WE ARE IMMIGRANTS will be exhibited at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta, June – October 2022.
This talk will be presented live via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 990 7821 5923