With Six You Get Eggroll: A Spotlight on the Video Art of Wayne Yung
part of the Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival 2001
Curatorial essay by Malcolm Thompson
Since 1994, Vancouver-based Wayne Yung has become one of the leading video-artists in North America. And it’s easy to see how — his work is beautiful and sophisticated, serious and fun, poetic and challenging. His interests have ranged from the politics of representation to the pain and redemption to be found in friendship and love. Yung’s work has been shown all over the world — New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Europe. He’s been awarded solo exhibitions at Toronto’s Reel Asian (in 1999) and Inside/Out Festivals (2001), and he was a featured director at Seoul, South Korea’s 2000 Queer Film and Video Festival.
This pamphlet aims to provide viewers with an introduction to the debates and issues around identity and representation that form the historical and cultural context for Yung’s work.
The Ins and Outs of Community
Around the mid-1970s, video production equipment became cheap enough that people who weren’t corporations could afford it. At around the same time, partly in response to television’s enormous cultural influence, early critiques of how media images shape our ideas and imaginations began to emerge in artistic and academic circles. In response to this, in 1975, a group of artists and activists from across Canada set off in a tour bus to advocate that people take control of the production, distribution, and exhibition of their own images, against corporate control of media (Fung, Interview). This group included Paul Wong, an established (though radical) multi-media artist, whom Wayne Yung cites as an early inspiration. Out of this movement, independent video emerged in Canada — Video In (in Vancouver), Charles Street Video (Toronto), and a number of other artist-run centres across the country.
This development was part of a larger movement of artists that was taking place around this time. Seeing art as an important way to struggle for social change, artists and activists from a wide range of communities (women, queers, people of colour) began to gather together, pooling their resources in order to create their own infrastructures that would enable them to create and develop as artists collectively, and to discuss issues of identity and representation in ways that would never make it into a corporate-controlled media. A number of debates emerged from this entirely new context, the most important of which was around ‘identity politics’ (that form of political organizing that takes ‘identity categories’ such as race, gender, and sexual orientation as its starting point) and how it informs the work of artists. This debate can be summed up by the question: Since we don’t have a body of representation that accurately depicts our lives and experiences, how do we construct one? By the late-1980s, these discussions had developed into a diverse and growing body of work. People of colour, women, lesbians and gays, and the various permutations of these identity categories were all debating what representation of their own identities should look like.
In 1986, Toronto-based video artist and activist Richard Fung published an essay called “Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn.” This essay was an important and influential contribution to the artistic debates going on at that time. In it, Fung (who doesn’t himself produce porn) calls for “an independent porn in which the gay Asian man is producer, actor, and intended viewer” (349). This is counterposed to the racism he describes as endemic in mainstream gay porn, and in the mainstream (white) gay community in general, in which Asians are typically either represented as passive and feminized (in a culture that values masculinity), or absent altogether. This essay is an early call for queer artists of colour to take the means of artistic production into their own hands, both in order to expose and criticize the racist stereotypes that circulate about them, and to discuss living in a homophobic, racist culture among themselves.
It is also important to note Fung’s essay’s relationship to feminist debates about pornography. While taking anti-pornography feminism’s claim that pornography distorts women’s sexualities and functions as part of patriarchal oppression seriously, he nonetheless argues that gay pornography is a different matter. If porn is a part of gay culture, and yet gay porn is also racist, where does that leave gay Asians? Instead of arguing against pornography as such, Fung imagines what it might be like if gay Asian men produced erotic images of themselves, for themselves. A similar development took place within feminism. In Vancouver, this was represented by the Kiss and Tell Collective, who argued along similar lines that the problem was not porn itself, but the conditions in which it is produced. Porn, they argued, could be a powerful means of reclaiming women’s sexualities, if it was made by women, for women.
One of the members of the Kiss and Tell Collective was Persimmon Blackbridge, who hosted Wayne Yung when he moved to Vancouver in 1994. During his early years as an artist, Yung was immersed in all these debates, and benefited from the infrastructures set up by artists before him. He cites Paul Wong’s support for young artists and Fung’s explorations of identity and representation as continuing influences. Throughout his work, we find the development, extension, and reworking of the themes and preoccupations set in motion by the community of artists of which he became a part.
Identity politics played (and continues to play) a crucial role in allowing communities to address their specific experiences of oppression. The various types of oppression (racism, sexism, etc.) provided the impetus for the formation of strong community networks organized around the identity groups upon which these oppressions fell. Over time, as the different types of oppression were analysed further, these broad groupings developed into a number of smaller communities which experienced oppression in ways that couldn’t be explained by just one or the other of the various broad categories of oppression. Out of this process emerged a powerful and diverse set of community structures and discourses designed to address the needs of the communities who created them.
But, by the mid-1990s, when Wayne Yung started making videos, some of the limitations of this form of organizing were becoming apparent. Discussions that had started out as explorations and critiques of how a community’s desires had been shaped by living under oppression increasingly began to put forward new ideals of what that community’s desires should be like. In response to oppressive norms, communities started erecting their own normative frameworks, based on non-racist, non-sexist non-exploitative egalitarianism. For many members of these communities, it felt like there was something wrong with them if their desires didn’t match up with the newly defined ‘correct’ forms of desirethat their communities were holding up as ideals. Especially now that ‘the community’ existed to help them discover their ‘true’ sexualities. What began as an antidote to shame became itself a shame-generating machine. Yung’s early videos are best understood as a result of this unease over definitions of politically correct sexual expression.
Moving Backwards Forwards
Peter Fucking Wayne Fucking Peter is a love letter and a story of empowerment. Right away, over images of himself being fucked by his older, white lover, Yung tells us: “Once, I was ashamed to be fucked by white guys/As if a white cock inside me, could make a houseboy of me.” Now, though, he’s “proud to be fucked/Like [he’s] proud to be gay,” and he locates the source of this pride in being loved by his white lover, Peter: “This love gives me courage./The price is high/But you make me extravagantly rich.” Contra the tenets of identity politics, Yung demonstrates that a progressive, anti-racist community and its norms can themselves be sources of shame, and that strength can come from precisely the interracial desire that identity politics would problematize, if not condemn.
One of the forms of representation that is most strongly condemned by a discourse that seeks to discover a community’s ‘true nature’ is the replication of precisely those stereotypes and narratives that have historically functioned to oppress that community. The visual text of One Night in Heaven is precisely such a replication. A naïve young Chinese man (played by Yung) arrives in a strange city; he is immediately picked up by a butch white man who takes him to a warehouse for sex; there he is chained up, dressed in drag (feminized=Asian in the racist/sexist imaginary), and pimped out to another white man; a wire-cutter magically appears and he escapes, only to run into the arms of the same white man who ‘purchased’ him.
The story told by the images contains everything that is most commonly decried about pornography: its supposedly ‘backward’ politics, as well as its general ‘badness’ as art (its inexplicable narrative leaps and basic ridiculousness, for example). But the easy dismissal of such a narrative as an example of ‘false consciousness’ is complicated by the ‘subtitles’, which firmly establish Yung himself as the ultimate controller of these images. They also explicitly address the viewer, asking, in effect, who he or she is to say what constitutes appropriate sexual representation (and, in fact, what the viewer has invested in judging the images in the first place): “White men trading in Chinese flesh/Does this shock you?/It’s only video. My video./Is this sexually degrading?/Who is being exploited here/if I ask my friend and my lover to fuck me on video?”
In analyses of the history of identity politics, it is a commonplace that communities usually begin with a relatively uncomplicated notion of group identity, as a source of pride to organize around. Later, as that community grows and develops, more emphasis is placed on differences and disparities within its borders. (Thus, the Gay Movement became the LGBT Movement.) According to this kind of history, the tendency is to begin with unity and to move towards difference. Yung’s early work, culminating in Lotus Sisters (1996), seems to move in precisely the opposite direction. Instead of beginning with a celebration of gay Asian community and then problematizing its assumptions, his videos begin at the point where identity politics reveals its limitations, and return to it as something that, for all that, never stopped being a real source of strength. Lotus Sisters is a testament to the value of finding friends who ‘get’ you on an intuitive level, because they share many of the same experiences. This is an identity politics refounded on shared understandings rather than definitions of who or what ‘we’ should be like.
The Nebulous ‘We’
Throughout his work, Yung has continued to explore the issues that arise when one finds oneself simultaneously inside and outside various identity designations, though not necessarily in any explicit or straightforward way. The complicated and (at least) bifurcated ways in which he addresses his audience can be approached and, maybe, understood if we start from his position in the various communities of which he is a part. We might imagine this as ‘both neither/nor and both/and’. That is, for all the ways in which the broad categories of ‘Asian’ and ‘gay’ each fail to encompass his own specific experience (in which sense he is neither just Asian nor just gay), he is still both Asian and gay. He is a part of these communities, and their experiences are, in some sense, his own. That is, his works address the viewer as part of a discussion between ‘we Asians, who believe this…’ or ‘we queers, who believe that…’. But at the same time, each of those communities contain normative ideas of what it means to belong to that community that specifically exclude his position. At the same time, then, his works address ‘you Asians, who…’ and ‘you queers, who…’. The Queen’s Cantonese provides a fascinating example of the permutations of address that occur when the speaker occupies such an uneasy ‘inside/outside’ position in relation to its audiences. In its broad parodic sweep, it even takes a distance from any simple notion of being gay and Asian (often enough, gay Asian men dislike this video more than other audiences).
The Queen’s Cantonese is many texts addressed to many audiences condensed into one. But rather than resulting in a mish-mash, as might be expected, what we find instead is a sustained demonstration of the shifting lines of inclusion and exclusion that attend a situation in which differences are elaborated without being resolved. Several things are often being said to several audiences in the same sentence, and there may be no predefined audience at all who will ‘get’ everything. Winston Xin, who co-wrote The Queen’s Cantonese, informs me that before he and Yung did their own research into queer Cantonese slang from Hong Kong, they wouldn’t have understood it all themselves, having grown up in Canada, detached from the culture that more recent immigrants bring to Vancouver. On yet another level, then, though in a more muted way, Yung speaks from the outside(in) looking inside(out).
Instead of analysing how the rest of Yung’s videos elaborate and develop the themes I’ve outlined so far, I will conclude by proposing that what Yung’s work as a whole exemplifies is the emergence of a new conception of community, based on the flow of desires and understandings between those identities and categories in which one was, according to identity politics, supposed to find an adequate home. Yung’s videos (from Peter Fucking Wayne Fucking Peter, through Search Engine, Davie Street Blues and Field Guide to Western Wildflowers) propose a community based on fluidity of desire and shared emotional needs. Yung is obviously not the only artist to move in this direction. In a Canadian context, Richard Fung’s Dirty Laundry and Dana Inkster’s Welcome to Africville would be more historically-oriented examples, and artists from every conceivable social position are also moving beyond the limitations of identity politics. But his work is one of the most introspective, humorous, and personally engaged instances of this development thus far. If Yung is, as he says, ‘done with the racial identity politics thing,’ we will see where his interest in class oppression takes him. I might even suggest that an interest in class follows quite naturally from his conception of identity as positional (i.e. defined by its differences and links to other identity categories), rather than substantial (defined by intrinsic qualities) — a conception that, in turn, develops out of finding oneself different in communities who value similarity.
MT: When did you come to Vancouver?
WY: In January of 1994. It was after I had done a reading here of my first short story in September 1993. Then I came again in December 1993 to do a performance at a festival called ‘Racy/Sexy.’ I felt so welcomed by the local arts community, then, especially by the people of colour and Chinese-Canadian artists that I really wanted to live here.
MT: How did you hook up with Video In?
WY: When I moved here, I stayed with Persimmon Blackbridge (who I knew from ‘Racy/Sexy’ as a performance artist) for a couple of weeks. She lives with Lorna Boschman, who teaches at Video In. Lorna convinced me to apply for a scholarship through Video In. I got the scholarship, took the workshops that she and Paul Lang taught, and in October 1994 I released my first video, Peter Fucking Wayne Fucking Peter.
MT: How did the ideas for that come about?
WY: I had done the workshops, and then in June or July I met Peter. We became boyfriends really fast. We’d only known each other for about ten days when I said to him I wanted to make a video, and he said ‘Okay!’ I was talking to him about how I thought there weren’t enough sexy images of gay Asian men. I was also interested in talking about the interracial thing, the age difference, and the fact that he’s positive and I’m negative. That was something that was bugging him at the time — at that point, back in 1994, HIV-positive guys were expected to go celibate, to give up their sex lives altogether. So, to tape the two of us having sex — it was a political decision for both of us.
MT: You’ve done other creative work (poetry, fiction, performance art) but you seem to have stuck with video.
WY: Before I did video, I was writing short stories, doing visual art, installations, performance art. I’d taken some drama classes, and I was actually also a fashion designer. I was feeling pulled in lots of different directions by all these different media. When I started doing video, I could combine everything, because it covers all the bases. As a writer, a performer, even as a fashion designer — I could throw it all in there. That was really satisfying. And then there’s the fact the video is really portable. As a performance artist, it was really hard to get gigs, because a curator would have to decide: “Is Wayne worth a $500 plane ticket for one show?” And who would see it? Maybe thirty people that night, and then it’s done. But if you make a video, it only costs a few dollars to send it to another city, and it’ll last for years. Over time, hundreds of people will see it.
MT: What kind of relationship do you see between video and activism? Obviously, I don’t mean that art needs to be ‘in the service of the people’ or anything, but...
WY: Well, I don’t have a problem with direct activism in video. That’s traditionally where video comes from. Video In, for example, was founded in the early-’70s by a group of activists who had these ideals of putting media tools in the hands of marginalized communities who didn’t have access to the media. Even today, digital video is seen as a way to tell your own story and not have to go to film school or pay for stock. Cinema and film have this whole baggage (not just economic, but also historical), that you have to have a certain amount of ‘credibility’ to make a film. People try to break through that, but it’s still difficult to access the tools, the chemicals, the stock. Video is relatively cheap. Video cameras aren’t very expensive anymore, and you can edit on an iMac. Even so, an iMac is still $1,500 that a lot of people don’t have. I’m very aware that, even today, there are still limits, that you do still have to spend money, which can be difficult if you’re a woman or a person of colour or low income. It’s why you have so many more dykes, for example, doing performance art than video — because video costs more.
MT: Do you have any plans to work in film?
WY: I think eventually I’d like to do a feature. But I’m not sure if I would actually shoot it in film; I might shoot it on video. I’m still debating the pros and cons — on the one hand, you have access to larger audiences when you do film; but on the other hand, I look at the cost of just one film transfer (for a five minute film, it’s about three or four thousand dollars) — for that kind of money, I could make ten videos.
MT: The audiences you address in your work have changed over time. In Peter Fucking Wayne Fucking Peter and Lotus Sisters, for example, you address an identity politics within a queer Asian community, or within a politically aware queer community. Whereas Field Guide to Western Wildflowers, if it doesn’t address white people, certainly addresses whiteness. Is that shifting a conscious process?
WY: I think about audience a lot. And yes, my relationship to audience has changed over time. When I started, I was really aware of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’: “Who’s in the inside here? Who’s at the center of the audience?” I saw it as ‘concentric circles’: at the very center of my audience was gay Asian men, and then you expand that circle to gay men, then the queer community in general, then the Asian community, and just the general, mainstream audience after that. That was very much a choice, because people tend not to be very critical of how most media place straight white men and their assumptions at the center of the audience. When I did Lotus Sisters, for example, I realized that I didn’t have to provide subtitles for an English (‑speaking) audience: I decided to assume that everyone in the audience was gay Asian men who would understand all the slang without me having to explain it. In the end, though, I stopped doing things so extremely, because it was really limiting who I could speak to. It also became a case of preaching to the choir. So, something like Field Guide has, I think, a general appeal to people of various backgrounds, but there are certain jokes in there that are only funny if you see the world from a gay Asian point of view.
MT: Your dance videos, on the face of things, seem rather anomalous in the context of your work as a whole, which tends to involve ‘speaking’ to people ‘about’ things. Angel includes dance and words, but Surfer Dick and the dance sections of The Photographer’s Diary are wordless. Is dance another way to address identity and representation, or is it more of a separate fascination?
WY: When I do a dance video, my primary concern is more the formal elements. I do dance videos because it’s a challenge — in the cinematography, the editing, and the beauty of the effects you can get when you work with human bodies in motion. But then, I’m still very aware of the political content. In The Photographer’s Diary, for example, I was really insistent that I cast people of colour, even though it was extremely difficult (because I wasn’t getting many people of colour applying for auditions — it was so easy to get white guys). And yet I stuck with it; I insisted that we keep looking. And then, in Angel, there are obviously political aspects to the voiceover. I’m always very aware of who is getting represented, so I always try to have people of colour on screen. Sometimes it’s hard to find people of colour who want to be on screen. Which is why, half the time, I just put myself on screen — because I’m the only person of colour left. It can be an onerous burden: why do I have to do that while white directors don’t? Why is it that white directors can get away with making an all-white video and not get called on their shit? I would excuse it if they could actually say, “Well, I don’t know any people of colour, so I just make movies about white people.” If that was the honest truth, I would accept that — “Okay, you live a very limited life and that’s why you make such limited movies.” That’s why I very much believe in spreading the tools of media as diversely as possible, so people from all different kinds of experiences can make their own images.
MT: How have your actual audiences changed since you started?
WY: Back in 1995, I curated Out On Screen’s first show of all-gay Asian male short videos. It was a good opportunity for me to take a snapshot of what our representation was like at that point. There were very few directors, and all the works were ‘identity tapes’ — speaking to the primary issue of feeling invisible, unrepresented and misrepresented in the media, and wanting to take control of the tools of media. Since then, those tapes have been done, they’ve been screened. People are tired of that subject and they want to move on. There’s always a new generation of people who haven’t seen those videos, a generation of youth and one of immigrants who haven’t experienced that politic before. But there’s a very large (and growing) audience of gay Asian men who have moved past those politics, who want to move beyond problematizing their identity (which is what those early tapes did — they pointed out all the problems we faced, without really saying that our lives are more than just a set of problems). So I started including things that were also fun, and romantic, happy, sad, sexy. So then you get Davie Street Blues, which is basically a story about missing your lover and getting depressed about it. It’s a story that people of all genders, ages, and races can understand. It’s just incidental that the lead character is a gay Asian man — anyone can relate to it. And yet, it’s still very political that he is a gay Asian man, and not just another pretty, Hollywood white guy.
MT: How do different audiences respond to your work?
WY: One of the things I’ve often found frustrating is being ghettoized at various festivals. Curators feel like, “Well, we want to put together a program of queer Asian work, and Oh, look! Here’s Wayne Yung — let’s put him in there.” The end result of that, multiplied by fifty or a hundred festivals, is that I’m in the same program all over the world, with the same directors, and the same audience (which is rice queens and their boyfriends — I do have quite a rice queen following, and I’m quite aware of that). Which was mostly fine in the beginning, but the implication of that type of programming is that only rice queens and their boyfriends would care to watch my work. I’m much more interested when my work is exposed to audiences who wouldn’t normally see it, because they wouldn’t go to a ‘queer Asian’ program. When I’m in a program that’s just mixed, general queer tapes (or even just general straight tapes), that’s really nice. Then I have a very diverse audience who may have never seen anything by gay Asian men. One of my favourite audiences is Asian dykes, because, on the one hand, they really get into all the Asian jokes, and they laugh uproariously; and on the other hand, because they don’t have any sexual investment in what I’m talking about, they can really mock it and have fun. Rice queens and gay Asian men sometimes feel uncomfortable with some of the things I’m saying, because it’s too close to the truth, maybe — cutting too close to the bone. One of the hard things about being one of the few queer Asian directors in the world (there are only about 20 of us) is that we tend to get pegged as spokespeople for an entire community. So, when I say something, people will say “How can you speak for us? How can you say gay Asian men are like this or like that?” That’s always been a problem for any kind of minority director, because there are so few of us speaking.
MT: I imagine you get pegged as a spokesperson by white audiences too: “Wayne Yung says this or that, so now I know something about the whole queer Asian community.”
WY: Yeah. There’s also the issue of responsibility. I get requests from gay Asian men, saying “You have to do a tape about this or that, because it hasn’t been done.” After I did The Queen’s Cantonese, one guy came up to me and said “Can you do a Queen’s Mandarin?” I couldn’t do that, because I don’t speak Mandarin. Suddenly I become a storyteller for an entire community. Which is flattering. I also think one of the duties of an artist is to act for a community, but I can’t be controlled that way.
MT: In an interview with Richard Fung, Paul Wong noted a shift in the reception and position of artists of colour in Canada. Prior to the ‘multicultural breakthrough’ of the 1980s, artists of colour who were trying to establish themselves strove to be recognized as ‘just artists’ (which he reads as implicitly white), and minimized or directly excluded any reference to their race or ethnicity. Since then, though, in the wake of national multicultural policy, young artists of colour will first try to establish themselves as ‘race artists’ and then, once their established, return to framing themselves as ‘just,’ i.e. ‘white,’ artists. What kinds of effects do you think this has on artistic production and on young artists?
WY: My friend Winston [Xin] pointed out that Chinese-Canadian artists who are, basically, pretending to be white, who want to be accepted by white curators as ‘just another (white) artist,’ are deluding themselves. White curators will never look at us and think we’re white. When they program you, they’ll put on their grant application “Look how nice I am — I’ve just programmed a person of colour. Give me more money.” So they still use us as people of colour. And if you’re being used as a person of colour, you should really acknowledge that you are a person of colour. Nobody’s going to pretend you’re white — why should you?
MT: So it’s a case of white curators using multiculturalism to get more money for their programs that they still control.
WY: Yes. Winston also told me about how once he was curating a program with all white curators except himself. They watched a gay Asian tape, and all the white curators found it really odd. They didn’t really get it at all, and they didn’t want to program it. But Winston was cracking up! He insisted that they program it, so they did. Then, when the audience arrived at the screening, it turned out to be an amazing success, but mostly with all the people of colour in the audience — they loved it! But in the preview process, the white curators couldn’t have recognized that there was an audience for this tape, because they couldn’t get past their own blinders as white people.
MT: All this, of course, relates back to how curators will ghettoize your work, while using the same old argument about ‘just giving the people what they want.’ But, as you said, multiplied fifty or a hundred times, that ends up playing an active role in constructing what white audiences want to see, because they never get to see anything else. So what they ‘want’ is just more of the same.
WY: I still think there’s a limited role for that kind of ghetto programming, depending on who’s in control. If it’s a program that’s curated by an Asian activist group, and they want to do a fundraiser for AIDS education in the Asian community, that makes sense: a program in response to a need they’ve identified in their own community. There’s nothing imposed by someone else who thinks they have that need. So, it’s really hard to apply that kind of thinking everywhere. I was talking to a German curator recently about being ghettoized (I sometimes have that problem in Europe, too). But then again, there are almost no Asian curators in Europe. There are so few Asians there at all. And those programs do seem to draw a fair audience. (There seem to be a lot of hungry rice queens in Europe.) So it does serve a purpose for them — it exposes them to issues they wouldn’t otherwise hear about, because there aren’t enough Asians in Europe to educate them on this issue.
MT: What’s your next project?
WY: Actually, I’m going to Berlin to do a tape called My German Boyfriend. It’s about a Chinese-Canadian guy who goes to Germany to find his first German boyfriend. He brings with him all these expectations about what his German boyfriend’s going to be like. When he arrives there, all his expectations keep getting turned on their head. And then, in fact, all his stereotypes are turned against him, in that all these German guys have their own crazy stereotypes about what a Chinese-Canadian guy would be like. It becomes an exploration of how you make assumptions about what the ‘other’ is. Nowadays I just jump from one idea to another. In my latest work, Chopstick, Bloody Chopstick, I’m exploring a certain rage against gay consumerism that’s coming from within the gay community. This has become my current concern. I’m kind of finished with the racial identity politics thing, and I’m thinking more about issues of class and classism. Yes, there’s still a lot of racism in the queer community, and it still needs to be dealt with, but my interests now are more towards classism. Which I think is an even deeper issue.
MT: There’s a ‘Gay Shame’ anti-festival in New York this year. And a book called Anti-Gay, written by queer folks...
WY: Yeah, there’s a Gay Shame in San Francisco, too. It’s a really new thing, but I see a heavy backlash against the ‘gay-streaming’ of gay Hollywood movies in independent film and video. At first it was nice to see these new gay movies, but now I’m so tired of it. You see these rich, young, cute, muscular white guys on screen, and we’re all supposed to feel sorry for this guy because he’s lonely! I’ve just given up on all that. For a lot of men, the gay revolution is over: they have everything that they want, and they don’t care that the rest of us are still dealing with prejudice — racism, classism, transphobia, all the different kinds of oppression that are still going on, and are being perpetrated within the queer community.
MT: Is that why you went to slasher movies? It’s definitely a very willfully ‘low-brow,’ independent genre, that very consciously sees itself in opposition to, say, the romantic comedy (which seems to be the dominant form of gay movies these days). There’s certainly a counter-ethic going on there.
WY: The slasher movie is definitely one way of expressing your rage. The joke is that in Field Guide I kiss 63 white guys, and then in Chopstick, Bloody Chopstick, I kill five white guys.
With Six You Get Eggroll: A Spotlight on the Video Art of Wayne Yung, Malcolm Thompson, Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival 2001, program booklet.