What will become of Toronto’s Chinatown(s)? Reimagining ChinaTOwn is a collection of eleven speculative fiction stories set in 2050 that boldly reimagines the future of Chinatown as a shared and collective vision.
Join us for the virtual book launch of Reimagining ChinaTOwn: Speculative Fiction Stories from Toronto’s Chinatown(s) in 2050.
Based on a workshop during Myseum Intersections 2020 and written during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, each story explores a personal relationship to Chinatown in the context of the rising anti-Asian sentiment and growing uncertainty for Chinatown’s future.
As the community authors speculate on the future in 2050, their stories offer a visionary act of resistance by uncovering new possible futures and bringing to light untold pasts. Chinatown itself is an illumination of the histories of diasporas for those who know how to see. It is both a place and a condition; between generations, between patterns of immigration, between identities, between others, between countries. By envisioning Chinatown anew, the stories create a radically more generous and expansive present moment by building a collective and shared vision for the future of Toronto’s Chinatowns.
Amelia Gan (Author) is a Malaysian-Chinese architectural designer who is currently based in Washington, DC.
Emperatriz Ung (Author) is a Chinese-Colombian writer, game designer, & educator from the American Southwest. She works as a narrative designer for mobile games and is a 2020 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
Amy Yan (Author, Illustrator and Graphic Design Assistant) is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design in Toronto. She is interested in exploring the intersections between design and storytelling with her work, and in finding new ways to be able to convey narratives that can be experienced visually, emotionally and at all scales. Her passions include illustration, 3D prototyping and longboarding.
Eva Chu (Author) is a Queer Taiwanese Canadian who is intrigued by the question of identity. Through lots of self-reflection, she found that identity is never self-contained and will always be intersectional. It is informed and linked to communities, experiences, even locations – all of which eternally tie Eva to Toronto’s Spadina Chinatown.
Eveline Lam (Author) is a maker who moves between research, craft, and architectural work. She graduated from the University of Waterloo Master of Architecture program in 2017 and continues to practice illustration and ceramics in both traditional and digital mediums.
Georgia Barrington (Author) is a mature student in her third year of a BID at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. Before beginning the program, she worked in marketing and communications for four years at ParticipACTION and in various roles in Toronto’s non-profit and arts and culture sector.
Helen Ngon (Author) loves startups, cities, artificial intelligence, poetry, and midnight. She teaches machines how to write. Previously, she completed fellowships with Sidewalk Toronto and the Recurse Center.
Michael Chong (Author) lives a short walk from Chinatown. He grew up in the suburbs, where leaving the house means getting into a car because nothing is within walking distance and biking on the road is dangerous. He is currently spending his time baking bread, growing vegetables, and assembling IKEA furniture.
Razan Samara (Author) is a Palestinian storyteller living on Turtle Island (near Tkaronto/Toronto). Her work is grounded in elevating diverse community voices and experiences. Her writing has appeared in the Silhouette and Canadian Art Magazine, and she was recognized as Best Journalist at the 2018 Hamilton Independent Media Awards.
Robert Tin (Author) is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design. He has an interest in exploring philosophical ideas using the built environment as a medium. He treats design as a way of reconnecting with humanities and as a way of life. He speaks its language. He lives by its philosophy. And he enjoys its poetry.
Tiff Lam (Author) is a journalist and audio producer at Canadaland Media. She was born in Scarborough to immigrants from Hong Kong, then raised in Hong Kong, Scarborough, and Beijing. She was called “urban” once and is recovering slowly from a colonial hangover. She did not coin either phrase.
Jeremy Roc Jih (Contributor, Foreword) is a licensed architect, artist and educator. He is a lecturer in architecture and design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and principal at J.Roc Design. His research explores interdisciplinary relationships between literature, memory, architecture, cities, and geometry at multiple scales. He was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Faculty Design Award, and his research has been supported by the Rotch Travelling Scholarship and Tsinghua University.
James Leng (Contributor, Afterword) is a founding partner of Figure, an architectural practice based in San Francisco. Leng is also concurrently a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Architecture. Previously, Leng was the Harry der Boghosian Teaching Fellow at Syracuse University, and has received various accolades such as the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise for immigrant contribution to the arts, and the SOM Foundation Research Prize for independent research.
Georgia Barrington (she/her) is a third year mature student at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She received a BA in English Literature and History from Dalhousie University in 2010 and has worked in various roles in Toronto’s non-profit and cultural sector.
Maxim Gertler-Jaffe (Editorial Direction, Facilitator, and Copyeditor) is a filmmaker and artist/researcher currently based in London, UK and Toronto. His focuses include social/political documentaries, essay films, and participatory, inventive, and speculative methods. Maxim was line producer on the Emmy-nominated feature documentary ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, which screened at film festivals including TIFF and IDFA, had a North American theatrical run, and was broadcast worldwide. With Linda Zhang, he is now directing a speculative documentary based on some of the stories contained in this anthology. He holds an MA in Visual Sociology from Goldsmiths, where he first began exploring the use of participatory speculative writing workshops as a way of engaging a community’s socio-political imagination.
Amy Yan (she/her) is a fourth year student at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She received the RSID Chair’s Citation for Creativity in 2018.
Margarita Yushina is Russian-born fourth year student at Ryerson School of Interior design in Toronto. She is interested in a variety of different design fields and directions. From graphic design to 3D modelling, rendering and animation, she loves to learn the new emerging ways and technologies. Recently, she is heavily interested in Virtual Reality. Margarita already had a chance to work on a variety of design projects and installations. She continues to explore and expand her digital skills, learning design fabrication, and stays active in the design community.
Meimei Yang is Chinese-born, third-year student Interior Designer at the Ryerson School of Interior Design, based in Toronto, Canada. Her design ethos is heavily influenced by her cultural heritage and her background in visual arts, while her design process involves (fun)ctional considerations and ideas that tell a story. Meimei continues to expand her creative and digital skill sets in exploring various advanced technical design and manufacturing processes and typologies, in and outside of the academic setting.
Reese Young (VR Designer) is in her fourth year of studying Interior Design at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Her eclectic work is guided by her interest in designing real-life and virtual environments that are narrative-based and sensorially engaging. Currently, she is conducting a design research project in partnership with Georgia Barrington, funded by Ryerson’s Creative Technology Lab that explores the hearth and its identity as a domestic symbol.
Biko Mandela Gray, Maxim Gertler-Jaffe, Friends of Chinatown, Shellie Zhang, Lexi Tsien, Howard Tam, Phillip Poon, Morris Lumb, Erika Allen-Kim, Tyler Fox
CHINATOWN PROJECT LEAD
Linda Zhang (she/her) is a registered architect and educator. She is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson SID and a principal at Studio Pararaum. She was the 2019 NCECA Multicultural Fellow, the 2017-2018 Syracuse University SOA Boghosian Fellow and a 2017 Fellow at the Berlin Center for Art and Urbanistics.
In partnership with:
ChinaTOwn: Reimagining ChinaTOwn in 2050 (Book Launch)
ChinaTOwn: Future Heritage(s) of Toronto’s Chinatowns (Symposium)
3:00PM – 5:00PM