Streams of Desire: The Video Work of Richard Fung: Program 1

When 2 Dec 2015
7:00PM - 9:00PM
Where NYU Cantor Film Center, Theater 102
36 East 8th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Presented by CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Curated by Leeroy Kun Young Kang.

This program features four video works by Richard Fung—spanning from 1986-2000—that place desire within the spaces of time, geography, and the body. Traced through the artist’s explorations of queer sex, racial and sexual representation, illness, and kinship, these videos center queer Asian diasporic experience against an ever-shifting backdrop of colonialism and political change. Revisiting these bold and imaginative works allow us to reflect on the power of memory and the queer imagination amidst current narratives surrounding representation, cultural assimilation, and sexual politics. The screening will be followed by a moderated panel discussion featuring scholars and community activists based in NYC.

Streams of Desire is co-presented by CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and will be the first of two video programs organized in anticipation of Richard Fung’s Kessler Award lecture on December 16, presented by CLAGS. For information on related events and the Kessler lecture and award ceremony, which is free and open to the public, see

Program running time: 81 minutes

Chinese Characters, 1986, 20:30 minutes, Canada, english
The second video in Fung’s oeuvre and one of the first video works to tackle the ambiguous relationship between gay East Asian men and North American gay pornography. Candid, playful, and experimental in form, Fung interweaves a complex series of interviews, archival gay pornography, and superimposed dramatic elements to draw a parallel between the Chinese legend about the search for the source of the Yellow River and contemporary Asian-Canadian gay men’s search for pleasure.

Fighting Chance, 1990, 31:00 minutes, Canada, english
This video was a response to the silencing of gay Asian voices in both mainstream gay and Asian media surrounding the issues of HIV/AIDS. Focusing on the experiences of four Asian men, each person describes the personal, medical, and political impacts of living with HIV.

Steam Clean, 1990, 03:30 minutes, US, subtitled multi-lingual
A steamy safe sex PSA commissioned by Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Sea in the Blood, 2000, 26:00 minutes, Canada, english
A beautiful and meditative personal essay that traces the artist’s relationship to living close to illness–first with his sister’s diagnosis with thalassemia (hereditary blood disease) and AIDS in his partner Tim.

Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based video artist, cultural critic, and educator. His work comprises of a series of videos on subjects ranging from the role of the Asian male in gay pornography to colonialism in Canada and the Caribbean, immigration and refugee issues, social justice in Israel/Palestine, anti-black racism in policing, homophobia, AIDS, and his own family history. His tapes and projections, which include Chinese Characters (1986), My Mother’s Place (1990), Sea in the Blood(2000), Jehad in Motion (2007), and Dal Puri Diaspora (2012), have been widely exhibited and collected internationally, and have been broadcast in Canada, the United States, and Trinidad and Tobago. His essays, which include “Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn,” have been published in many journals and anthologies, and he is the co-author with Monika Kin Gagnon of 13: Conversations on Art and Cultural Race Politics (2002). Richard is a fellow at the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, a past Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University, and has received the Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art. He is a Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University, teaching courses in Integrated Media and Art and Social Change.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

For more information, please click here.