Artist Residency 2022: Kay Huang Barnes

Artists in Residence

Kay Huang Barnes

In residence Fall 2022 at Q7 + January 14 & 15 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre

Meet Kay

Kay Huang Barnes is a first generation Asian choreographer, educator, and dance artist living in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Salish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations known as Vancouver.  She danced professionally with Karen Jamieson.  Her choreography has been featured in Vancouver BC, San Jose, California, and Barcelona, Spain in numerous festivals.  She is a faculty member at Arts Umbrella and UBC for over twenty years, teaching and mentoring young artists. She founded Crossmaneuver in 2011 as a vehicle for young artists to be trained and to participate in interdisciplinary works of art. In 2020, she formed a collective with Virginia Duivenvoorden named VDCM to pursue performance and digital collaborative works.

I’ll be working on a solo work titled “Yellow”

Yellow came out of a film that I made specifically for New Works “Past Echoes in The Present” in May 2021.  The film took fragments of past improvised performances that I did and layered it with texts that points to what grounds me as a person. It is a meditation on how ordinary practices become a gateway to meanings that deepen our identities.  As I was creating the film, the idea of identity took hold of me. The meaning of the surname that I grew up with became visible (surprisingly) to me for the first time, as well as memories of my childhood in Hong Kong.  I realized that I discarded much of my cultural identity as I assimilated myself to Vancouver, and I constructed new identities and values to fit in and to be accepted. But the discarded memories and ideas are once again surfacing and may have even sustained me in ways I am just realizing. I began a sketch of Yellow at the Dance Centre during DanceLab and had a very informal showing.  It became apparent that this is a piece that I needed to investigate deeply. The title of the piece Yellow is my surname Huang, literally yellow in the Chinese language. This piece is an exploration of my namesake and cultural identity, a doorway for me to step through to customs and relationships and recollections and how those threads may pull me back or help me go forward into the autumn season of my life.   

I will use the residency at New Works and The Dance Centre to create and build on Yellow. This is a piece with multi-discipline aspects:  spoken words, sub-titles, sound design, film, set design, visual arts installation. The one day at the Round House will give me a chance to put the different elements together to create the look and feel of the work in a performing space. I would love to have an invitation only showing to receive feedback to further develop the piece.  

Among a competitive pool of applications, Kay was awarded residency space at New Works within the 2022-23 season. New Works strives to build process-focused artist-lead residency space that is responsive to the creative’s need. This may look like time in the studio, in the theatre, or a mix of the two, and may or may not include a public sharing.

A New Works residency is a safe space for creative risk taking. Kay is still in process and will let us know if a public sharing is planned as part of their residency time. Keep an eye on this space for updates!