DSC_0050 (2)

Episode 15: David Garneau Interviews Richard Fung at Wisdom Council

Dec 22, 2020

Episode 15: David Garneau Interviews Richard Fung at Wisdom Council

Show notes
This interview of Richard Fung by David Garneau was recorded during a TIA House symposium called Wisdom Council in September 2019. Wisdom Council recognized the imperfect knowledge transmission methods of the colonial system, and particularly the ways it has tended to fragment non-Western knowledges and privilege the textual over the oral. Using a combination of traditional and contemporary practices, it brought together a small council of mostly BIPOC senior practitioners in the contemporary arts to sit in council over three days to discuss such topics as what our communities need now; memory and forgetting; care of elders in racialized communities; stories of the past, present and future; stories in cyclical time; community formations they’ve experienced; community formations they remember; how they understand the work that needs to be done; and practices and strategies that might be of use or interest in the present moment. This interview was recorded as part of the gathering’s work.


Richard Fung is a video artist, cultural critic, and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Much of his work deals with the legacy of colonialism in his birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago, Asian diaspora, and the intersection of race, gender, and queer sexuality. Honours include the Bell Canada Award (Canada Council for the Arts) for outstanding achievement in video art, the Toronto Arts Award for Media Art, the Kessler Award (City University of New York) for substantial contribution to the field of LGBTQ Studies, and the Bonham Award from Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto.

David Garneau (Métis) is a Visual Arts Professor at the University of Regina whose practice includes painting, curation, and critical writing. He recently co-curated, with Kathleen Ash Milby, Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, National Museum of the American Indian, New York; Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, with Michelle LaVallee, an exhibition concerning the legacies of Indian Residential Schools, other forms of aggressive assimilation, and (re)conciliation, at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina; and With Secrecy and Despatch, with Tess Allas, an international exhibition about massacres of Indigenous people and memorialization for the Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney, Australia. Garneau has recently given keynote talks in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and throughout Canada.


4:19—Richard talks about his article “Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn”

4:39—Douglas Crimp resigning from the October journal

7:41—Richard mentions Gregg Bordowitz and Monika Kin Gagnon writing about AIDS

18:11—Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy discusses Indian migrants to Trinidad

20:12—Richard refers to the work of Nalini Mohabir

26:57—Richard’s film that focuses on the life of his cousin is Nang by Nang

30:07—Trinidadians in the Black Power Movement Stokely Carmichael and Michael X

31:05—Gary Kinsman as a leading intellectual activist

34:19—Richard refers to an article in The Asianadian magazine

35:29—The journal published work by Joy Kogawa, Kerri Sakamoto, and Sky Lee

36:42—Richard talks about his film Sea in the Blood

40:12—Richard’s first video was Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians

40:39—Film festival with Michelle Parkerson and Chris Spotted Eagle

41:00—Su Ditta programmed Richard’s film

41:34—Richard discusses his film Rex vs. Singh with Ali Kazimi and John Greyson

42:07—Richard’s 1991 film Out of the Blue

45:55—Richard wrote about cultural appropriation in FUSE magazine

48:29—The 2019 Toronto Palestine Film Festival

48:37—Richard was on a panel at the festival with Hiba Abdallah, Allison Duke, and Wanda Nanibush

50:45—Chinese Canadian National Council doing the work of cultural dialogue with Indigenous Peoples

TIA House recognizes the generous support of the Canada Research Chairs program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. We also appreciate the support of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where our offices are housed, as well as the guidance of Marc Stoeckle at the Taylor Family Digital Library. TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Mahmoud Ababneh, Rebecca Geleyn, Paul Meunier, and Joshua Whitehead.

Our Intro/Outro music is Monarch of the Streets by Loyalty Freak Music, accessed from the Free Music Archive.

Posted in