AACT Manifesto Space
AACT is thrilled to present Manifesto Space, a collaborative online hub for curators, artists, scholars, and the broader public to challenge the hegemony within the contemporary art industry.
Manifesto Space’s inaugural exhibition, The Bitten Peach: Decolonizing Queer Asians, is a group exhibition by Shengyu Cai that explores the intersectionality of Asian and queer identities through various artistic mediums.
To celebrate the launch of Manifesto Space and The Bitten Peach, AACT is delighted to host a Capsule Exhibition at Holt Renfrew Yorkdale between May 25 - June 11, 2023.
We’re thrilled to present mural, film, sculptural, and installation works by three artists from the Asian Diaspora and one art collective. The participating Toronto-based artists are Ness Lee, Jasmine Liaw, Joshua Kong, and Marisa Musing & Jennifer Laflamme (as MAMUMIFI).
Also, don’t miss the live mural creation by Ness Lee, happening from May 25 to 28!
Open Call Info
Intrigued by the parallel existence of the peach in both Western and Eastern queer cultures, AACT is curating its inaugural online exhibition - The Bitten Peach: Decolonizing Queerness. We are interested in the intersectionality of Asian and queer identities, and are concerned about what it entails for these community members. In the Asian community, queers are outsiders. In the queer community, Asians are outsiders. The current queer cultural canon is predominantly held together by the Western gaze. Understanding the perpetuating marginalization of Asian communities in contemporary queer culture, AACT invites all artists to share their experiences, existing research through artworks of various mediums. We want to impose these critical questions: is current queer theory also a colonized project of Eurocentrisim? How does queer activism take place in different forms in different communities? How do we decolonize queerness?
Collectively, we aim to present an exhibition that celebrates diverse definitions of queerness from different world views. We bite the peach together.
To apply, please complete the google form via the “apply now” button below. We encourage the submission of existing work that align with the theme. We are also interested in your reflection, elaboration, reproduction, or advancement of your existing work with your current point of view.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the artists who submitted their beautiful artworks and compelling stories for our recent open call. The submission period has now come to a close.
We are thrilled to announce that our online exhibition, which will showcase the remarkable works of these talented artists, will launch in the second half of May. The exhibition is a celebration of both Asian Heritage month and Pride month. We invite you to stay tuned for the official launch of the exhibition and corresponding events.
Often charged with sexual connotations, the peach has become one of the forbidden fruits in contemporary queer culture. It culminated in director Luca Guadagnino’s film Call Me By Your Name, a sensuous, romantic drama set in Italy in 1983. When the protagonist Elio follows his desire and masturbates into a pitless peach from his family orchard, he later finds his love interest Oliver worshipping the used peach, bringing the two men’s complicated emotions to a climax. There is also a story in ancient Chinese literature, Han Feizi, centred on the peach - 餘桃啗君 (feeding emperor with the bitten peach). In the Zhou dynasty (771–256 BC), Mizi Xia was famous for his impeccable beauty and was the favourite same-sex courtesan of the state-ruler, Duke Ling of Wei. One day, when they wandered through the garden together, Xia picked a peach and took a small bite. As soon as he realized how particularly sweet the peach was, he handed the remainder of the bitten peach to the Duke. The behaviour could have been seen as a significant disrespect to the royal Duke. However, Duke Ling of Wei took the bitten peach and instead praised Xia’s sincere love. The symbol of the bitten peach (餘桃) is still a coded phrase for romantic relationships between men in China.