Sammy Chien 簡上翔 is a Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant and queer artist-of-colour, who’s an interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, researcher and mentor in film, sound art, new media, performance, movement and spiritual practice. With over 400 collaborative projects, his work has been exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia including Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), worked with pioneers of digital performance: Troika Ranch and Wong Kar Wai’s Cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and active in projects engaging various underrepresented communities. Sammy has been featured on TV and commercials such as Discorder, Keedan, CBC Arts and BenQ. Sammy is currently leading a dance research project “We Were One” and media arts project “Ritual-Spective”, both funded by Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. Sammy is the official instructor of Isadora and Artistic Director of Chimerik似不像 collective.
In connection and intersection of racialization, queer and diaspora, just by being ourselves in public is a form of protest. my hair is a protest. my body is a protest. by being in my own body with confidence and comfort that decentres from the patriarchal and whitesupremacist value, is a form of protest. I would love to share my presence on camera with joy, love and light being myself, sharing fluidity and movement that sources from the heart, from the soul.
(white supremacy & patriarchy) oppressive system is designed to take the creative agency and true self value away from you.
the protesters/activists have to try to wake people up to see the construct behind the the system and how it's designed to separate us, luring a certain group with privilege and devaluing certain groups to create a short sighted, fear based, unhealthy and unsustainable model, it works against not only certain groups but ultimately all of us. This work is very valid, it's a very important step to help us to recognize, understand, in order to move past and beyond it.
My work, my job as an artist, also my soul's purpose in this lifetime, is to share, to inspire humanity to elevate from our current status quo.
I think one of the biggest Fuck you’s that I can offer to white supremacy, patriarchy and these main drivers of the fear belief system is for me to have gratitude to myself, to the people around me, to connect on the heart to heart level. In this context, for me to be myself, as a multifaceted human, with the colour of my skin being visible, with my queer body visible, to be a free agent of who I am and what I'm expressing with my true self, itself, is a form a protest.
One of my recent solo projects W(e)aves 熾, the core concept is talking about how dance is a form of protest, in Chinese character original form is shaman conducting rituals, the modern text shows the history of erasures of culture and meanings.
I considered these lived-experiences:
The political oppression and erasure being Taiwanese.
My participation in a significant social movement in 2014, the Sunflower movement.
The racism that I’ve faced growing up in a small town in Nova Scotia with a predominantly white population, issues of being a model minority.
Countless anti-racism rallies and various forms of protest that I’ve participated in.
My gender identity as queer.
My intersectional identity as a queer person of colour.
My intersectional field of live performance, dance, theatre, visual arts, music, new media technology and spiritual practice.
My spiritual offering integrated with my artistic vision in movement art, body and soul purpose:
movement art practice as a way to cultivate the understanding of sensations
sensations as the medium to accessing information of the body
the deeper wisdom and the higher mind is invisibly and deeply connected with the body
spending time to investigate the information of the body (such as sensations) are ways to cultivate and expand our accessibility to deepen our understanding of intuition
intuition is the key to clarity, purpose and the bigger picture of our existence, the doors to most of the true desire or the purpose of the soul journey
integrating movement art with projection, media art, technology, etc, thus, become the alignment of our vision, and reasons why we practice and make art.
the embodiment of art making, and to truly move the body (as the utmost intimate creative medium that we have) is the fundamental step to further our true creative human potentials and be liberated from the colonial, capitalist and materialist paradigm of what the notion of the creative body could be.
the body thinks, meditates and mediates, the brain, the higher mind and the soul.
thus the more we exercise the body in this lens, the subtle, creative and spiritual muscles start to grow, in ways that expand our creative expressions, further our artistic vision and the potential interconnections to the creation, the source, or all-that-is.
Artist's website: Sammy Chien