RIOT FOOD HERE by Henry Tsang


RIOT FOOD HERE recalls the 1907 anti-Asian riots through the form of food offerings in 4 locations over 4 days in May and June 2018. These sites track the route taken by the parade organized by Vancouver’s Asiatic Exclusion League from which a mob formed to attack Chinatown and Nihonmachi. The food tastings reflect five cuisines that people in the area would be eating at the time of the riot: European, Chinese, Japanese, Aboriginal and Punjabi. 

The project launches with a walking tour led by Michael Barnholden, author of “Reading the Riot Act: A Brief History of Riots in Vancouver.” Below is the schedule of events, all 2:00-4:00pm:

  • Monday May 21: Walking Tour with Michael Barnholden, Beatty Street Drill Hall, 620 Beatty St.
  • Sunday May 27: Beatty Street Drill Hall, 620 Beatty St.
  • Sunday June 3: former City Hall, 425 Main St.
  • Sunday June 10: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, 578 Carrall St.
  • Sunday June 17: – Oppenheimer Park, 400 Powell St.

RIOT FOOD HERE stimulates dialogue and awareness of this historic event as a way to reflect upon the ongoing struggle since colonial times about who has the right to live and eat here. Join us for a conversation and a taste of the times.

Henry Tsang is a visual and media artist and occasional curator based in Vancouver. His artworks incorporate digital media, video, photography, language and sculptural elements that follow the relationship between the public, community and identity through global flows of people, culture and capital. Projects include Maraya, an eight-year collaboration that investigates the reappearance of Vancouver’s False Creek in Dubai as the Dubai Marina; Orange County, and Olympus, shot in California, Beijing, Torino and Vancouver, exploring overlapping urban and socio-political spaces; and Welcome to the Land of Light, a public artwork along Vancouver’s seawall that underscores Chinook Jargon, a 19th Century local trade language, and the English that replaced it. Henry is an Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.