Lotus Threads

Queer Asian Performing Arts Showcase

July 21, 2024

Aki Studio

Presented by the Queer Asian Performing Arts (QAPA) Network, this one-evening showcase, titled Lotus Threads, features diverse theatrical works created by members of the queer Asian community. These short productions offer an accessible, engaging playground—blending sexiness and humour with thought-provoking themes. The interdisciplinary artists, diverse in their genre and styles, utilize multimedia devices and integrated art strategies to engage the audience, creating an immersive experience. 

The showcase’s development process has provided a resting site for performance artists to come together and collaborate with other artists and queer Asian community members. Such a process encourages artists to dream, reimagine, and rework the realities of queer Asian lives, supporting their personal challenges or in their pursuit of social justice.

One main theme of this project is to explore loneliness and social isolation, as many Asian LGBTQ+ members often deal with the unique dichotomy of familial/social traditions versus individualism. Such relational dynamics may generate misunderstanding, miscommunication, conflicts, frustrations, and pain. While QAPA recognizes the messiness and frustrations of being queer and Asian, the summer showcase extends a collective space to center and celebrate queer Asian joy and resiliency.


In addition to meaning “second,” 02 (靈異: ling-yi) translates to “supernatural” in Cantonese. Accompanied by live music and soundscapes, 02 explores breaking cycles of ingrained traumas, particularly those related to sexuality and love. Using text and movement, the performance delves into Chinese urban legends and rituals, focusing on stories that are seldom told by the public.

CHROMAKAY: A Green Screen Dream

If a background setting can be considered a character, would a green screen be a chameleon?

With their mixed Métis-Chinese heritage and love for film and video editing, Kay Chan uses drag, chroma key magic, comedy, dance and sexual tension to break the fourth wall—challenging binaries and expectations.

முட்டை (egg)

Optimal Tease, in collaboration with marilyn yogarajah, presents a work focused on the traditional Tamil puberty ceremony for girls (samathiya veedu), highlighting its significance as a rite of passage while critiquing its impact on the freedom of AFAB individuals. Through music, poetry, and dance, they will explore the potential for love to transcend societal constraints. 

KunstKids: Ghosts of Azn Past

Ms. G and Full Blown Father present a multimedia drag performance that takes the audience on an uncanny and intimate journey through their memories of growing up queer, trans, and Asian. Dressed in white, they perform with video projections depicting childhood vignettes, revealing their experiences in a Chinese/Filipino immigrant family in Canada, navigating the internet of the 2000s, and embracing their queer/trans identities. 

Memories: A Sustainable Fashion Performance with a Drag Twist

Adam Quang and Truong Nguyen explore memory, technology, and sustainability through dance and high fashion, featuring a #VHSdress, an eco-conscious haute couture creation made from up-cycling donated VHS tapes.

Siya: The Debut

Siya is a coming-out and coming-of-age stage play exploring queer Filipinx identity through the traditional Filipina Debut ceremony. Intertwining anecdotes, skits, and monologues, “Siya” is a testament to the power of radical softness, humour and self-acceptance and a larger-than-life love.

This project is supported by the Toronto Arts Council.

Content Warning: This showcase may contain mature subject matter: adult language/content, sexual and sensual themes. 


Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 8:00 pm [doors open at 7:45 pm]


General | $15
Pay What You Can Tickets will be available in person at the box office only on day of performance.
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Box Office Telephone: 416-531-1402
Email:  boxoffice[at]nativeearth.ca
More information on ticket pick-up here.

Featured Artists: Kay Chan, Bree Jiang (Kunst Kids), Adam Quang, Marie Sotto, Optimal Tease (Mina Shanmugalingam), and Renée Wong

Collaborators: Full Blown Father (Kunst Kids), Truong Nguyen, Diamond Srey, and marilyn yogarajah

Organizing Committee: Aries Cheung, Vince Ha, Cam Luu, and Patrick Salvani (Ms. Nookie Galore)

Selection Jurors: Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Ky Hanitijo, and Amanda Ann-Min Wong

The Queer Asian Performing Arts (QAPA) Network brings together professional artists, community organizers, and members to create a playground that can question the accurate and nuanced representation of queer Asian lives, legacy, and heritage. They nurture a vital Canadian performance perspective by presenting and fostering voices challenging sexual and cultural norms. Their work is grounded in the intersection between queer and Asian cultures. With their art, they suggest creative strategies for queer, racialized, economically disenfranchised, and diversely able-bodied members of the community to pursue social justice.