Kev Liang is an emerging multidisciplinary artist based in Edmonton, Treaty 6 territory, and is originally from secluded rural Alberta. He obtained his BFA in Printmaking and Intermedia with Distinction from the University of Alberta in 2021 and has been developing his artistic practice ever since, whilst also assisting the arts and culture community of Edmonton. Kev has exhibited at SNAP Gallery, Latitude 53, Art Museum at the University of Toronto for the 2021 BMO 1st! Art award, and more, with an upcoming new solo exhibition opening at Calgary’s The New Gallery in January 2024. He tackles his homo/queer, diasporic 2nd-gen Chinese-Canadian identity and its existential anxieties of lineage and prosperity within the Anthropocene. Using print-based repetition of food-related emblems such as rice bowls, chopsticks, and gritty family-owned woks alongside long-lasting yet ephemeral synthetic materiality, he reflects on the incessant act of self-digestion while also finding alternative modes of care and resistance as a queer body when it comes to fighting blood-related angst such as achieving procreation and so-called prosperity for future generations. Kev was a Production Assistant for The Works International Visual Arts Society, a Gallery Associate for dc3 Art Projects, and a mentee/intern for Latitude 53. He is currently interested and involved in community-based artistic projects concerning Edmonton’s Chinatown and will continue to seek opportunities to contribute towards our own communities as well as expand artistically elsewhere.
Using photographic and videographic means, I hope to create narratives in the form of print media and digital film, put into a contextual space that all encapsulates my feelings and grasp of my homo/queer, diasporic, 2nd-generation Chinese-Canadian identity. I’ve been interested in tackling existential anxieties of feeling minuscule, insignificant, and/or lonely. These feelings are heightened and fuelled by being present within modular and systematic urban spaces and having an anthropocentric outlook on contemporary life. Drifting through fast-paced urban time and space after growing up in a very secluded and rural environment, I attempt to dissect the different cultural and philosophical aspects of my gay, 2nd-gen Chinese-Canadian identity as a means to try and understand why I have these existential fears. I hope to showcase my perspective and what I am feeling, as well as what I am doing in the present as a way of coping. By taking into consideration the traditional, cultural, and philosophical Chinese expectation of continuing your blood lineage and my inability to do so as a queer body, as well as the idea of Chinese-Canadian immigrants relying on labor and prosperity as a means of survival and presence, I ask myself and others: How much is at stake in terms of ensuring a long term presence or settled lineage for homo/queer and diasporic identities like myself? How can I, or will I ever, find my own sense of kinship or family? Where do individuals like myself lie within an incredibly labor and wealth focused society?