Shattered – Karin Lee

Karin Lee, 2007
22 minutes, colour, in Toisanese and Japanese with English subtitles
two-channel video installation

Shattered was exhibited at the OCCUPYING CHINATOWN studio as part of the official launch of Paul Wong’s 身在唐人街 / OCCUPYING CHINATOWN residency on April 22, 2018. The OCCUPYING CHINATOWN studio (268 Keefer Street) presented the Japantown-channel in its gallery. The SUM Gallery, located next door, presented the Chinatown-channel in its gallery. 

Written, directed, and produced director Karin Lee, Shattered is a 2-channel video installation recreating the 1907 Anti-Asian Chinatown riots that took place on September 7, 1907 in Chinatown and Japantown. Lee questions the relationship between immigration, labour, and business while commenting on the current phenomenon of globalization. Shattered brings together two historic perspectives of the riots while locating it within contemporary Vancouver.

Shattered was originally shown in 2007 as a two-channel site-specific video installation in Vancouver’s Chinatown and Japantown on the night of the 100th anniversary of the Anti-Asian race riots in Vancouver (September 7, 1907).

Karin Lee is a Canadian media artist and filmmaker. Her critical voice and perspective touches on the past and the present, both local and international. An artist who constantly traverses new territory, Lee challenges film and media forms and addresses new audiences. Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C, Karin’s films are influenced by her upbringing: both her parents were activists who worked in the downtown east side, with her father running a Chinese communist bookstore at 33 East Hastings from the mid-1960s to ’80s. Her interest in Chinese Canadian identity, feminism and social justice activism informs her narrative films, experimental video, documentaries and original TV series she has written, directed and produced since 1991.

In 2001, Karin received a Gemini: The Canada Award, from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for her groundbreaking documentary Made in China, about Chinese children adopted in Canada. In 2005 she received a BC Leo Diversity in Cultures Award.

Lee’s recent solo show at at the SUM Gallery (Canada’s first Queer Art Gallery) features My Sweet Peony Remix, Small Pleasures and Portrait of a Chinese Girl. She has just completed the TV pilot for Plan B, a drama series set in a women’s sexual health clinic. She is currently in pre-production on Girl with Big Feet (Ts’ekoo Cha Ke), a period drama.

She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Theatre and Film Production. Karin was recognized by the City of Vancouver and awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award for Film and New Media Artist in 2014. Most recently she received a 2017 Spotlight Award for excellence in Education from the Vancouver Women in Film and Video Society.

Related Links

Vancouver artist Paul Wong to begin year-long residency, 身在唐人街/Occupying Chinatown, Georgia Straight, Craig Takeuchi, April 20 2018

Exhibition, Installation, Video