Curatorial Statement

Since 2017, Invisible Footprints (IF) has been interested in spotlighting the untold stories and overlooked contributions of people within Toronto's LGBTQ+ East and Southeast Asian community. Through art-making and intergenerational dialogue, IF has worked with both youth artists and veteran activists, artists, academics and community members from across generations. In this time, we’ve been fortunate to see youth artists take their first steps in forming new bonds with older Queer Asians. We’ve also seen longtime community members inspire us with their deep knowledge, activism and care for the community they’ve helped build. 

‘Invisible Footprints 0.3: Life to Art – Retracing Footprints Across Generations’ features a brand new group of youth artists. In their research, the artists reached out to look at archive materials and hear individual stories from the generous members of this community. The videos in this series showcase a range of art forms, including poetry, drawing, animation, photography and film. By taking these multimedia approaches, the artists have found ways to integrate their own artistic expressions with what they've learned from community members.

This iteration of IF, “Invisible Footprints 0.3: Dig Deeper”, expresses our hope to keep going, push further and “dig deeper” for the voices of those within this community who are frequently underrepresented. The artists of IF 0.3 reflect a diverse range of backgrounds and growing concerns. They’ve looked at the history of Queer Asian women in Toronto. They’ve thought about the identities, genders and heritages of people who are on the margins of an already marginalized community. By connecting with “elders”, they’ve been able to see those who lived through these experiences before them. With a tender and thoughtful tone, the artists' works ask us to remember a fuller picture when we imagine who Queer Asians are today and who they have been throughout our history.

No program is ever perfect, and the work here represents just a fraction of the expansive history and courageous voices that make up Toronto's LGBTQ+ East and Southeast Asian community. That said, we hope that by continuing to revisit the footprints of this community we can provide opportunities for dialogue among generations of Queer Asians in Toronto. And in doing so, continue to explore our untold stories, highlight the milestones of our activism and stop our history from becoming invisible.

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