Reimagine Chinatown

It wasn’t until I had worked overseas in Asia that I became increasingly self-aware of my experiences and lens as a Chinese-Canadian. My late grandfather was an active member for many years at the Wong’s Benevolent Association (as headmaster of Mon Keang School), but our language barrier made it difficult for me to understand his role or the organization’s cultural significance.

When I returned to Vancouver, it became a personal mission to get involved. After connecting with the newly formed “youth committee” at the Wong’s, we began discussing how we could enhance intergenerational interactions within the organization, while cultivating relationships with the surrounding neighbourhood.

In the fall of 2017, we held a panel at the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Gardens and hosted special guest speakers from the W.O.W Project in New York. The evening brought together established and newer businesses to discuss collaborative opportunities in Vancouver.

Living Room Series

In 2017, the Living Room Series held a Vancouver launch event, successfully hosting a full audience in a unique location at the centre of historic Chinatown. Guests experienced live music in an impressive heritage hall, while listening to speakers share intimate stories on the topic of Identity.

Today, the Living Room Series draws 1000+ attendees annually across Calgary, Vancouver, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing diverse groups of likeminded individuals to connect through personal stories and dialogue.

Singapore’s Finest

During my time with Beach House Pictures in Singapore, I was assigned to produce and direct a 6 x episode television series on athletes competing in the upcoming Southeast Asia (SEA) Games.

Our crew met so many incredible athletes from all different disciplines and backgrounds, from the sailing club to the basketball courts. Production took us to the corners of Singapore and as far as Texas to meet Joseph Schooling, the famed swimmer who would later beat Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and become Singapore’s first Olympic champion.

‘Singapore’s Finest’ aired on Channel NewsAsia across the region, and later won Best Sports Programme in the Asian Television Awards (2015).

Typhoon Haiyan

In 2014, I was based in Manila and assigned to document recovery efforts by UN-Habitat in the typhoon-affected areas around Tacloban. For months, I conducted interviews with locals who were forced to live in temporary shelters while they waited for official word of where and when they’d be allowed to rebuild their homes.

Rebuilding after a disaster is a crucial period when communities have the opportunity to reinforce their shelters and prepare for future risk. But in many cases, without sufficient funds, skills and experience, self-recovery methods often turn towards ‘building back worse’. The UN-Habitat worked alongside partner organizations and the City of Tacloban to develop a Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan that a proposed spatial development of Tacloban in order to address emergency, recovery, and long term rehabilitation needs.