Culture Shifts Presents: Free Screening of Re:Orientations by Richard Fung, Faculty of Art

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Culture Shifts Presents...FREE Screening of Re:Orientations by Richard Fung

Place: Auditorium, Room 190,

OCAD University, 100 McCaul St.

Time: Tuesday, December 6th, 7pm

A fascinating look into the lives and thoughts of seven queer pan-Asian Canadians as they look back on a 1984 documentary in which they featured. How have they changed? And how has the world around them evolved and changed?

In 1984, Richard Fung released his seminal first documentary Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians. Featuring 14 women and men in Toronto of South, East and Southeast Asian backgrounds, Orientations was the first documentary to explore the experiences and perspectives of queer Asians in North America. Capturing pivotal moments in Toronto’s history, it presents an intimate portrait of the texture of gay live and politics at that time. Re:Orientations revisits seven of the original participants as they see anew the footage of their younger selves, and reflect on their lives and all that has changed over the intervening three decades. Their interviews are deepened and contextualized by conversations with six younger queer and trans activists, scholars and artists.

Post-screening discussion panel with:  Richard Fung, Director of Re:Orientations, Vivek Shraya, Artist and Writer, Ju Hui Judy Han, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

* Culture Shifts is a documentary series at OCAD University. Culture Shifts presents documentary media as a catalyst for critical discussions and community action for social change.

Presented with the support of:  Indigenous Visual Culture OCADU, OCADU Faculty of Art, Integrated Media, Art & Social Change and our Community Partners:  Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at University of Toronto Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto Reel Asian

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Room 190, Auditorium
Re-Orientations Poster photograph and text

Self-Representation - Latin Queer Video

Event Flyer
Friday, August 1, 2008

The workshops emphasize conceptual thinking using video as a tool to create 2 to 3 minutes of experimental, poetic, intimate visual narratives. Our aim is to produce works of aesthetic quality,technical proficiency and conceptual depth from a self-representation perspective. jorge lozano and guillermina buzio, instructors.

Venue & Address: 
National Film Board 150 John Street, Toronto, Ontario

Beyond the Margins: A Public Forum on the Culture of Discrimination

Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 11:00pm to Friday, March 28, 2008 - 1:00am

Speakers: Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Rachal Gorman and Richard Fung.

Featuring poetry and performances by Chet Singh and Jarret Prescott.
A presentation on the everyday erasure of issues of racism, misogyny, accessibility and homophobia. Vicky Moufawad-Paul is a Video artist and the Programming and Exhibitions Coordinator at A Space Gallery. Rachel Gorman is a choreographer, performance artist, and lecturer at the Women and Gender Studies Institute of the University of Toronto. Richard Fung is a Toronto-based video artist and cultural critic who teaches at OCAD.

Venue & Address: 
Great Hall 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

OCAD University statement on Orlando shootings

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 4:00am

The OCAD University community is deeply saddened by the horrific mass shootings that took place in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12. We extend our sincerest condolences to the victims, their families and friends, and all who were touched by this tragedy.

OCAD University abhors violence against individuals and groups based on religion, ethnic or cultural heritage, country of origin, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, or any other identity. We recognize the profound and essential value that diversity brings to the creation, reception and circulation of creative practices and discourse. We believe that our community is enriched by a wide spectrum of knowledge and experience embodied in an inclusive variety of communities, philosophies and ways of knowing.

As always, OCAD University’s support services, are available to those who need it. Students may access support through our Health & Wellness Centre (6th floor of 230 Richmond Street West). Staff and faculty may access support through OCAD U’s Employee Assistance Program.

OCAD U extends an open invitation to all to drop in at any time tomorrow at Onsite Gallery’s Pride Month celebrations for an opportunity for safe community engagement. A vigil in support of the LGTBQ community is being organized by several campus groups and information will be shared when it is available.

Re:Orientations...THREE DECADES LATER. A new film by Tenured Professor Richard Fung

poster for the premiere with photograph of three young men of south asian background behind a camera
Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 4:30pm

WORLD PREMIERE / Inside Out: Toronto LGBT Film Festival

Saturday May 28 at 12:30pm / TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 2


Re:Orientations, 2016, 68 min

In 1984, Richard Fung released his seminal first documentary Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians. Featuring 14 women and men in Toronto of South, East and Southeast Asian backgrounds, Orientations was the first documentary to explore the experiences and perspectives of queer Asians in North America. Re:Orientations revisits seven of the original participants as they see anew the footage of their younger selves, and reflect on their lives and all that has changed over the intervening three decades. Their interviews are deepened and contextualized by conversations with six younger queer and trans activists, scholars and artists.

Venue & Address: 
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 2

Richard Fung wins prestigious Kessler Award

Image of Richard Fung
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 4:00am

Richard Fung has been named the recipient of the 2015 Kessler Award. This prestigious honour is given to an artist, scholar or community member whose body of work has had a powerful influence on LGBTQ studies. Fung will receive a monetary prize and, on December 16, 2015, deliver the annual Kessler Lecture in New York City.

In 1986, Fung made his first documentary, Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians. Fung’s new long-form film revisits seven of the 15 original participants three decades later. His Kessler Lecture — entitled “Re:Orientations” — will include clips from that documentary in progress.

Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based video artist and cultural critic. He joined the faculty of OCAD University in 2003 and teaches in Integrated Media and Art & Social Change. A former Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University, Fung has lectured across North America and in Europe, Asia and Australia. He served on the founding board of directors of the Images Festival, the first Racial Equality Committee of the Canada Council, the board of the Toronto Arts Council and was an editor and contributing editor to FUSE Magazine.

Congratulations to Richard Fung on this important recognition of his success in linking research, artistic practice and community engagement.


OCAD University celebrates PRIDE with innovative, interactive design

The Swing Lounge under construction at OCAD University
Sayyad Glassford, Rouzbeh Akhbari, and Nelly Goodarzi building the Swing Lounge
Sayyad Glassford installing a swing
Shamina Chherawala enjoying a swing
OCAD University celebrates PRIDE
Friday, June 26, 2015 - 1:15pm

Get ready to swing: This year marks the first time OCAD University is participating in the street fair at Toronto’s PRIDE festival. From June 26 to 28, stop by OCAD U’s Swing Lounge, an innovative booth where visitors can interact with the installation as well as with volunteers – students, faculty, staff and alumni – from across the university.

Unlike conventional booths at the PRIDE street fair, The Swing Lounge invites participants into a 10’ x 10’ space where they can swing from suspended seats while listening to audio recordings representing the diverse experiences and thoughts of students, faculty and staff – including President Dr. Sara Diamond. Shamina Chherawala of OCAD U’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability says that The Swing Lounge “both disrupts a monolithic understanding of queerness and celebrates our place in the larger LGBTQQI2SA* community.”

The Swing Lounge (pictured here under construction) was conceived, designed and built by Rouzbeh Akhbari, Nelly Goodarzi and Sayyad Glassford. Based on consultations with OCAD U community members, it also showcases the university’s art and design talent, and was created entirely within the university’s own shops and studios. OCAD U’s installation is dedicated to Wendy Coburn, an OCAD U professor, activist and artist who recently passed away.

Be sure to make The Swing Lounge a stop on your PRIDE 2015 celebrations. And tweet your impressions to #OCADU.


*Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, 2-spirit, Asexual/Allies

Alex Newman, Erin Jacobson among Marketing’s Top 30 Under 30

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 5:00am

OCAD University alumni and Faculty of Design Instructors Alex Newman (BDes, Advertising, 2010) and Erin Jacobson (BDes, Advertising, 2007) are among this year’s prestigious Marketing magazine Top 30 Under 30 selections.

Nominations were submitted to Marketing in June, with the magazine’s editorial team reviewing and researching all nominees to determine a shortlist. Each finalist was then able to contribute information and contacts.

Newman, who is also Art Director at JWT Canada, won a Cannes Young Lion award in 2011. With his creative partner Patrice Pollack, he plays an important creative role on the Air Canada portfolio, spearheading their digital launch and helping to create their branding campaign for ‘Your World Awaits.’ Newman was selected for the Top 30 Under 30 along with JWT Canada colleague Mark Phillips, Director of Business Development.

Outside of his ad world work, Newman is an advocate for LGBT youth, volunteers with Toronto PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and is working on publishing a book with Random House Canada that explore the coming-out process.

When she’s not teaching about a designer’s role in social change at OCAD U, Jacobson works as Vice-President, Digital Public Affairs at Edelman. Her career started as a volunteer for Olivia Chow’s 2005 campaign for a seat in the House of Commons. Later she joined Chow’s late husband Jack Layton as communications assistant, progressing through her career with the NDP until she became Deputy Director of Strategic Communications for the office of Thomas Mulcair. She continues to volunteer for candidates seeking office.


Still from Richard Fung's film Orientations. Image courtesy Richard Fung.
Still from Richard Fung's film Orientations. Image courtesy Richard Fung.

Richard Fung, a video artist and an Associate Professor in OCAD U’s Faculty of Art, is the recipient of a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight grant for RE:ORIENTATIONS, a project that revisits the interview subjects from his ground-breaking 30-year-old documentary filmOrientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians (1985). The grant is one of two awarded to OCAD U (the other project funded is David McIntosh’s QUIPUCAMAYOC).

Fung’s project will reposition the original film’s themes and examine important shifts both in the community and in the greater international context. The grant will help fund project development for four years and is valued at $149,023.

“In Canada LGBTQ people have come a long way in gaining rights and protections, but these advances, even though freshly won, are being used by conservative elements to justify Western domination of ‘backward nations.’ At that the same time governments in countries such as Uganda and Russia are defining national identity by attacking queer citizens,” says Fung. As a result of what he considers worrying developments and the role of rights in north-south politics, Fung decided to look at his original film again. “For me, as a Canadian of Chinese descent from the Caribbean, it’s important to examine transnational themes.”

Part of the project of the new film and research will also be to re-interview subjects. Fung plans to capture their reactions as they watch footage of themselves onscreen in the original film and ask them to describe who that person was and who they are today.

“Thirty years ago was a very different time. It was before any of the rights were granted in Canada and the community has changed,” Fung says. “In the first video there was a marked sense of optimism around coming out and making a difference. The original film was about sexual desire and representation, but the issues relevant to the LGBTQ community today and how they feel have shifted.”

After 30 years, the 14 original subjects of the film have moved on in their lives and work. Many of the subjects went on to highly successful political careers. Alan Lee became one of Toronto’s leading HIV doctors, works with refugees and undocumented immigrants and was also the first out national president of the Chinese Canadian National Council. Mary-Woo Sims became the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Tony Souza was the first race relations advisor to the Board of Education. Sadly, three of the interview subjects died of AIDS-related causes.

Fung’s original film was financed with the support of a community grant. “I’m not sure this work would have been supported by the research council in 1985,” he says. “Now SSHRC is interested in how the research information we’re finding circulates as knowledge, so we’re going to travel with the work and produce collaborations. The purpose of the grant is also to look at how university research can inform what’s happening on the ground in communities, which is why dissemination is important.”

Fung is working with a research and creative team on the project including a creative editor and cinematographer together with academic collaborators from the University of Toronto and York University, and both undergraduate and graduate research assistants. The project will culminate in a national tour of the film, together with a website, scholarly articles and a book of interviews and essays, which are all intended to foster collaborations between academia and community.

About Richard Fung

Richard Fung is a Toronto-based video artist, writer, theorist and educator. His film work is intended to challenge and covers subjects ranging from the role of the Asian male in gay pornography to colonialism, immigration, racism, homophobia, AIDS and his own family history. He is an intellectual who pushes forward the debates about queer sexuality, Asian identity and the uneasy borderlands of culture and politics.

Orientations was his first film, created in 1985 as a pioneer project in response to dominant impressions and assumptions about homosexual identity. It featured interviews with 14 lesbians and gay men with diverse backgrounds, lifestyle experiences and outlooks.

Learn More

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 

Original Orientations film 

Richard Fung website

Richard Fung faculty biography