Where are you from? Negotiating between alienation and self-acceptance, the exhibition Sino(n)-Québécoise? Questions both the misguided idea of belonging into settler society, and our historical erasure from my experience as part of the Cantonese diaspora in so-called Montreal.
Sino, the French prefix for China, is not often used, especially not hyphenated next to an identity as exclusive as Québécois. There is no room for “ethnic minorities” in the so-called ethnicity of French-Canadian, but maybe we don’t need it. Our participation in a colonial identity that picks and chooses which ones are the “good minorities” only reinforces the oppression of those do not have those privileges. However, it does not excuse the discrimination that has historically been buried, yet still occurs. From indentured servitude to the hypersexualized exotification of East and South-East Asian femmes, we navigate this city with wary eyes. The exhibition’s combination of classical painting and contemporary kitsch aim to create a third space of existing not as two halves, nor as two wholes, but a singular entity, in constant motion. Fluidity and personal experiences are our weapons against the narrative of a single story.