Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Award: Katherine Leung

45: Katherine Leung

Create an art book about minority queer identity.

Canto Cutie is a collection of independently published art and literature books about the Cantonese diaspora, featuring creators from the diaspora. Based in Vermont, it publishes the work of emerging and established artists and writers from the US, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, UK, and beyond. The art books are focused on culture, linguistics, immigration, and pride. The upcoming art book seeking Creation Grant funding will center queer, trans, and nonbinary creators of color in an exploration of shared intersectional identity.

Project description

I am looking for funding to create a 100+ page full-color art book that centers the stories and experiences of 10+ Cantonese artists and writers. The theme that unites all the work in the book is sexuality through the lens of race, immigration, and intersectionality. There will be two bilingual interviews, printed in both Chinese and English. The chosen artists that I will interview will be those who have been specifically silenced by the Chinese government, never had the opportunity to share their story, or have never been published in English. The curatorial process will prioritize queer, trans, and nonbinary voices of color.

My goal is to create the first Cantonese-focused art book in English that concentrates on gender and sexuality. There have not been publications about gender and sexuality about, nor created specifically for, the international Cantonese diaspora. This art book will invite others to learn more about this complex and intersectional identity from the stories of the creators themselves. While many creators are from Hong Kong, many also live as ethnic minorities in English-speaking countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK. Due to the trauma of immigration and colonization, their gender and sexual identity is complex, often ignored, and rarely given a platform.

Creating this art book is important because it is a dialogue already happening by the youth on social media. This art book would capture their sentiment in a professional format, allowing outsiders access to learn from them. There are queer creators already making art about their identity, wanting a bigger platform to share their experiences, and this art book would validate their stories. It’s not easy being queer on top of many other marginalized identities, so a public platform like this art book would allow them to tell their stories for themselves, as well as help establish a community for artists that feel alone.

Media Sample 1

Interview with Tsz Kam. “Interview in previously published art book.”

Media Sample 2

Interview with Misato Pang. “Interview previously published in art book.”

Media Sample 3

Interview with Seven Days Vermont. “My commitment to educating through Cantonese art.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 23, 2023