W(e)aves 0.3

W(e)aves 0.3

a work that investigates migration, race & gender politics, transcultural identity and spiritual philosophies using digital technologies, audiovisuals, text, contemporary dance, and qi-gong. 

Project description

I am working on research and development for a solo interdisciplinary new media performance work “W(e)aves”. This performance work will include dance/movement art, sound/music and interactive/new media projection. I’m planning to research with the guidance from the mentors that I trust, receive practical assistance and have opportunities to work deeply in developing myself as a solo performance artist. My goals are to create a performance work from my own performative language through Qi Gong, new media technologies, personal voice and expression relating to current sociopolitical issues in which encourage positive change. In this piece, I aim to share my own personal stories as a person of colour, immigrant and queer living in Vancouver who suffers from mental disorder due to the discriminations, and ultimately raise questions about social divisions and encourage positive change through movement art, Qi Gong, and new media technology.

In research phase 0.3, I will focus researching on issues of mental health in relations to racism and white supremacy from the lens of Asian-Canadian as well as being a “model minority” in the Western society, drawing connections with ancient Chinese text, shamanism and Eastern spirituality to question the sociopolitical ideologies that’s governing us today.

trailer credit: filmed and edited by Jamil Mawani at Third Eye Productions www.thirdeyepro.ca as part of the full trailer for MOA’s Experimental Ink

Artistic Statement:

I’ve been working in the media arts scene in the past 8 years, weaving through various art practices in order to find my own artistic identity. I’ve gone quite far with this interdisciplinary media arts journey, especially utilizing the digital tools and technologies that I’ve developed. It’s only in the recent years, I found my mission again as an artist. There were voices calling me, calling me to investigate into the history of my city, my own roots, my own identity, my skin colour, my artistic means, the contemporary social issues, migration, xenophobia, cultural identity and moreover, our relationship with the nature and our soul. I’ve been lost for many years, and finally I found a deeply spiritual route that threads through all of the context that I’ve dealt with. I began practicing spiritual energy work (such as qi gong) and movement art to heal and balance myself as well as the people around me. I’ve come to realized that I have this ability to channel these creative energy and actualize them in the art that I do. I have ways to move people, to influence them, to affect them positively. I found this power that I have, I want to use it in the best possible way. Very fortunately, I embarked on the interdisciplinary media art, digital performance and technology scene in the time that is just rising in the art scene, I recognized its power of attraction and enchantment that new media technology is capable of. The more that I do, the more I’m comfortable with the technology and artistic tools that I’m using. They’re like the extensions of my body and mind, to expand the communication in the arts and to embrace wider audiences. I think it’s time for me to take the next step to create more differences for the world with my full capacity, to utilize this power to make a difference—to create art as political expression, to share differences, to heal divisions, to bring movement art with algorithms and new technologies and to create performance works that sources from the universal pathways, the energy, mother earth and the cosmos. I am stepping up to take these years of work into new creations and sharing these new voices to the world.


Current activity:

2018 May 1-16th – Centre A Residency – as the inaugural artist-in-residence at Centre A’s new media gallery


2018 May 12th- work-in-progress excerpts as featured performance for Vancouver Art Gallery’s Auction 2018 at Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver


2018 May 16th- Presentation of work-in-progress at Centre A, joining the opening of Sound Forms


2018 May 20th – Work-ing-progress showing at Pretty Good Not Bad Festival (Victoria)



Past activity:

Studio showing at Lake Studio Berlin – Unfinished Fridays – 2016/08

Featured Artist performance at Digital Carnival Festival- 2016/09

Improv showing at Flow, Gesture and Spaces: 非/密閉空間(with Sonic Deadhorse & 謝明諺) Rhythm Alley (Taipei) – 2017/03

Work -in-progess showing at Museum of Anthropology MOA’s Experimental Ink – 2017/10

Studio showing at El Graner (Barcelona) – 2017/11



Mentor: Lee, Su-Feh

Research Collaborator: Starr Muranko

Outside Eye: Alvin Tolentino

Rehearsal Assistant: Kelly McIness

Intern Apprentice: Kimia Yazdi

Featured music score: Barry Truax & Michael Red

Research/Residency venue: Centre A & Left of Main



Sammy Chien would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, Centre A and Plastic Orchid Factory for their generous support of this project’s research-creation phase. Sammy would also like to acknowledge the past supporters who helped seeded this project: Mark Coniglio/Isadora software community, Lake Studio Berlin, Cinevolution Media Arts Society, Museum of Anthropology and BC Arts Council.

(the information is updating as the project progresses, last update 2018/05/13)

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