Yellow Peril: Reconsidered

Contemporary Asian Art Exhibition
September 8, 1990 to July 24, 1991
Cross Canada Tour

Yellow Peril: Reconsidered Book
Publisher: On Edge (Vancouver, Canada)
Published: 1991
72 Pages, 10 3/4″ x 7 7/8″, paper with stiff cover
ISBN: 0969477708

Curated by Paul Wong, Yellow Peril: Reconsidered was the third project out of a series of work that focused on “Asians in the New World”. The exhibition explored the diverse and multidisciplinary ways in which Asian communities within North America experience and understand heritage, identity, racial politics,  gender and sexuality, and  globalization.

Twenty-five artists were included in the six city tour, traveling through Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa. The exhibition pieces focuses on new media such as photography, film and video. Often considered as “media of truth” the objective of the photographs, films and videos were to “re-present” history, and using new media as an alternative narrative to popular historical discourse surrounding Asian identity in North America. Yellow Peril: Reconsidered, was the first exhibition that focused on Asian-Canadian identity, and what is considered to be the marginalization of Asian diaspora communities in Canada.

Yellow Peril: Reconsidered included twenty-five artists of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese-Canadian descent: Taki Bluesinger, Melanie Boyle, Anthony Chan, Benjamin Chou,  Richard Fung , Jay Hirabayashi,  Roy Kiyooka ,  Nobuo Kubota , L’Amitie Chinoise de Montreal,  Laiwan , Daisy Lee, Helen Lee, Brenda Joy Lem, Lui/Samwald, Chi Chung Mak, Nhan Nguyen, Marlin Oliveros, Midi Onodera, Chick Rice, Rubly Truly,  Henry Tsang , Tamio Wakayama,  Jim Wong-Chu ,  Jin-me Yoon , and Saryn Yuen.

In addition to the exhibition, a 72 page publication was commissioned which included essays and artists’ pages. This important publication presented new critical analysis in an area of artistic concern that up to now has been overlooked by the dominant culture.

CHAPTER HEADINGS
Yellow Peril: Reconsidered – Paul WONG, 黃柏武
Belonging in Exclusion – Monika GAGNON
Multiculturalism Reconsidered – Richard FUNG
Neither Guests Nor Strangers – Larissa LAI
Broadcast Blues – Anthony CHAN
A Displaced View – Midi ONODERA

The purpose of this show was to present these new and challenging works, to move them from a position of marginality and to place them in the forefront of attention. This exhibition provided alternative, more accurate views of Asian-artists. The (not so) exotic seen from the point of view of the (not so) exotic becomes familiar.

Yellow Peril: Reconsidered brought together for the first time in Canada a broad range of artistic, social and community concerns by Asian-Canadian artists. Formalist, experimental and documentary art by both emerging and mature artists are included.

More traditional media are shunned in favour of the tools of mass media and popular culture: film, video and photo-based forms. These media are often accepted as the media of truth. What is often ignored is that the truth is more often than not a narrow view of what is actually being created, produced and discussed. Much of the work in Yellow Peril grapples with the notion of truth. Whose voices are not being heard? This provocative exhibition confronts assumptions.

The curator,  Paul Wong, is a Canadian multimedia artist and curator. Wong is known for his engagement with issues surrounding race, gender, and sexuality.