Pride in Art to celebrate Queer Arts Festival's 10th year with launch of new Vancouver queer art gallery

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      Pride in Art will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Queer Arts Festival this year along with the opening of its queer art gallery in May.

      To honour the art gallery space's original design to house a Chinese restaurant (although it was never occupied), the QAF have decided to name the gallery Sum.

      In a news release, QAF explained that the name can refer to numerous meanings: dim sum, summation, or the Chinese character (心), which means heart in Cantonese and is used in words for queer people.

      Sum, which will become Canada's only multidisciplinary gallery for queer artists, will be located on the fourth floor of the B.C. Artscape Sun Wah (268 Keefer Street) in Chinatown.

      Sum will present its first solo exhibition, Queer-sum by Vancouver artist and filmmaker Karin Lee. The exhibition, which will run from May 12 to August 6, is curated by Vancouver artist Paul Wong and QAF artistic director SD Holman.

      Holman explained in a news release that the title Queer-sum is a play on English and Chinese words that "alludes to queer attraction that people experience, even though they believe themselves to be straight identified".

      Lee will present three of her media works, which pay tribute to Chinatown: a two-channel remix of her film "My Sweet Peony", shot in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden; the documentary "Portrait of a Girl", shot in Beijing; and "Small Pleasures", a period piece set in Barkerville, B.C.

      Meanwhile, this year's edition of the Queer Arts Festival will be held at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre from June 16 to 28.

      The festival will include the world premiere of Lesley Ewen's play Camera Obscura, a 30-year retrospective concert of composer Barry Truax's work, operatic tenor Jeremy Dutcher performing traditional Wolastoqiyik First Nations songs, and performances by Su-Feh Lee, MACHiNENOiSY, and Erato Ensemble.

      Full details about both the gallery and the festival are available the QAF website

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.