Redress Express comes to Centre A – bringing art and examination about Canada's racist past

Redress Express comes to Centre A – bringing art and examination about Canada's racist past

What is the Redress Express, and what does it have to do with racism?

2007 is a significant year for anniversaries in Asian-Canadian history:

1907 – 100 year anniversary of the Chinatown riots by the Anti-Asiatic League

1947 – the end of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the beginning of franchise rights including voting for Canadians of Chinese ancestry.

1957 – Canada's first Chinese-Canadian MP elected to Parliament – Douglas Jung

1967 – Changes in immigration law, making it more fair and accessible for Chinese immigrants.

1997 – Hong Kong turnover to China

1996 – 1st year anniversary of federal apology and promise of redress payments for the Chinese Head Tax.

Centre A, brings together an exciting program working with community groups and artists.  Here is what Ron Mah had to say about the weekend's events.

Redress Express Symposium ( 01 & 02 August )

– Sid Chow Tan  is now an “Artist” after his brief 5 minute talk & 10 minute video presentatsion of the journey of Head Tax Redress;  Hank Bull (curator plus) stated that “If Sid's  video isn't art, then I don't know what is!”

– Victor Wong
had an excellent talk on Head Tax & Redress

  titled “True Grits, Kwan Gung and Luck:
The Inside Stories of the Head Tax Redress Campaign”

– Many excellent national speakers
of academia and the arts provided

  varied views from many perspectives providing an
interesting program.

– filming of the first day
was done by both ACCESS, FEARLESS TV

  and also by the Symposium.

-Henry Yu,
graciously, organized a delicious 10 course Retro period

 Chinese Canadian Restaurant Dinner.  Fortunately, I was sitting next to Henry
and Karin Tam who were also at the same table.  They had both researched and provided  the chefs with the specific customized dishes that is not normally on their menus.  It was fun, filling and informative.

-Centre A
is now transformed into a retro Chinese Canadian Restaurant for

 the next 5 weeks by Karen Tam but no food is served.  This is a must see

 free installation.

-Karin Lee's
Friday evening outdoor showing at the Chinese Night  Market was
starting and I saw myself for a brief second in the short produced by

 the women's dragon boat team Genesis.

-Sean & I
networked and partied till  2am and 3am until  Karen Tam had to

 catch her 6am flight back home to Montreal.  The Saturday night party was

 great: lots of fun and jamming and all round opportunity for future collaboration
with the whole group.

-Thanks to Alice Ming Wai Jim, Henry Yu and Victor Wong for making this happen for us.

from the Centre A website:


In conjunction with:
2007 Anniversaries of Change (
Powell Street Festival (August 4-5, 2007,
explorASIAN (Vancouver Asian Heritage Month,

Patron: Anndraya T. Luui

Date: August 3 to September 1, 2007
Venue: Centre A, 2 West Hastings Street
Opening: Friday, August 3, 7pm, Centre A, 2 West Hastings Street

Date: August 2-3, 2007, 10am to 5pm
Location: Chinese Cultural Centre, 555 Columbia Street
Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art
at the Department of Art History, Concordia University, the University
of British Columbia, and Emily Carr Institute for Art + Design + Media
(Click here to download the symposium program and abstracts)

Free admission

exhibition “REDRESS EXPRESS: Chinese Restaurants and the Head Tax Issue
in Canadian Art” features recent photography, video and installations
by five Chinese-Canadian artists: Gu Xiong (Vancouver), Shelly Low
(Montreal), Ho Tam (Victoria, BC), Karen Tam (Montreal), and Kira Wu
(Vancouver). It is held in conjunction with the two-day symposium
“REDRESS EXPRESS: Current Directions in Asian Canadian Art and Culture”
which brings together over twenty scholars, community activists,
cultural organizers, and artists from many disciplines to consider
current and future directions in Asian Canadian art and culture. The
REDRESS EXPRESS project is curated by Alice Ming Wai Jim and
accompanied by a colour catalogue with additional graphic illustrations
by Joanne Hui (Montreal).

As a whole, the REDRESS EXPRESS
project is an attempt to examine the current politics of
representation, redress and recognition in Canada as they relate to
art, activism, identity and geography. The call for redress has long
been the bookends for Asian Canadian critiques of Canada's racist past.
The recent victory of the redress campaign for surviving Chinese head
tax payers and their spouses and its inevitable effects on the current
politics of reparation and representation in this country, however,
presents another challenge: to ensure an ongoing, rigorous treatment
these issues demand in political, cultural and educational sectors.
With the host of 2007 anniversaries of historical dates significant to
Canadians and Asian Canadian communities in particular celebrated this
year, this provision of critical texts in contemporary discourse and
practice and the broadening of understanding to address cross-cultural
perspectives and realities remains imperative.

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