Queer East Festival returns for 2024

Queer East Festival returns for its fifth year with a new cross-disciplinary arts programme across London from 17th-28th April. Showcasing boundary-pushing LGBTQ+ visual arts and performance from East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities, the festival explores notions of what it means to be queer and Asian today.

As it expands beyond the screen, Queer East Festival presents a flourishing city-wide arts programme. shedding:::selves, an exhibition at Ugly Duck, Bermondsey, will feature work by eight emerging ESEA LGBTQ+ artists. At The Place, Chinese dancer-choreographer ErGao will premiere new work Disco-TECA. Screenings, workshops, performances at Hackney Baths and Musuem of the Home will be presented by guest curators such as art historian Wei Hao Goh, artists & curators Xinyu XuXX and April Lin ??, art director Jeng Au, art film-makers Yuqing LinLisa Chearles, and Bart Seng Wen Long, award-winning poet Eric Yip, and novellist Yin Lo. The extensive film programme this year will have screenings held at the Barbican, BFI, and ICA London. 

Queer East Festival was established as a film festival in 2020 in response to the systemic lack of queer Asian representation in the arts, cinema, onstage, and behind the scenes, outside of harmful stereotyping. The festival aims to educate about those who shaped the current queer landscape in Asia, encourage more inclusive narratives while challenging the conventions and stereotypes of queer Asian portrayals. This year, Queer East expands beyond the silver screen to amplify Asian voices in visual arts and performance, taking over more venues and even spilling into the streets with the new events programme. 

“At the core of Queer East is our aim to enable an artistic space for diverse and thought-provoking queer narratives. For me, “queer” is a word that is constantly evolving and expanding. It should not be limited to one set definition; I want that to be in the DNA of Queer East. By including multi-disciplinary art forms in the festival, such as live performances and visual arts, we unlock endless possibilities for exploring East and Southeast Asian queerness through a dynamic and three-dimensional lens. It also reaffirms our commitment to being a dedicated platform that showcases vibrant Asian LGBTQ+ arts and cultures across different creative practices.”
– Yi Wang, Queer East Festival Director


shedding:::selves, Ugly Duck, 19th – 28th April, FREE, Book here
shedding:::selves opens at Ugly Duck, from 19th – 28th April. This landmark exhibition brings together eight queer East and Southeast Asian artists whose works span sculpture, painting, diagram, interactive installation, and moving image, aiming to transcend the limitations of identity labels and categorisation. Instead, the work forges new connections between technology, science, mythology, the post-human, performativity, and memory, encouraging the audience to reflect upon their own experiences. Curated by Aki Hassan and April Lin ??, the emerging artists involved include: Megumi OhataNata YadaNoam Youngrak SonWei Xin Chong Xinyu XuXXYifan HeSayang, and Kianuë Tran Kieu

Xinyu XuXX, The Room it Leaks

Disco-TECA, The Place, 26th-27th April, £20, Book here
The widely celebrated choreographer ErGao takes audiences back to early 1980s China in Disco-TECA, at The Place for only two performances on 26th and 27th AprilDisco-TECA brings to life a unique moment in history, when China opened its doors in the early 80s after three decades of collectivisation and isolation from the world, Disco swooped in and took the south of the country. The performance delves into the ecstatic power of disco for a nation that was ‘opening up’, exploring gender, identity, rebellion, and sexual liberation. Evoking a poignant historical moment with the iconic stylings of disco, Disco-TECA transports audiences to the dance halls of China’s social reform era.

Expanded Programme, various venues, 20th-28th April
The Expanded programme features further events across multiple venues during the festival, including nature walking at Museum of the Home and visiting the sauna at Hackney Baths, artists short film screenings and performances, poetry readings, as well an immersive bondage workshop, and more.

For more information visit: https://queereast.org.uk/festival-2024/