Now Open: Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

Richard Fung, Enigma of Harold Sonny Ladoo (film still), (2024). Courtesy of the artist. 

Richard Fung

Greater Toronto Art 2024

Richard Fung (born. Port of Spain, Trinidad) moved to Toronto in 1973, and much of his work explores the overlaps between Canada and the Caribbean through film. These include investigations into the dynamics of his fourth-generation Chinese Trinidadian family, such as My Mother’s Place (1990), Nang by Nang (2018), Out of the Blue (1991), which revisits the false arrest of a Black Trinidadian Canadian university student, and Dal Puri Diaspora (2012), which retraces the legacy of Indian indentureship through the evolving recipe for West Indian roti. Other explorations into foodways include Bannock Bake and Roti (2015), a collaboration with Lisa Myers and Ramabai Espinet that brought together Indigenous and Caribbean home cooks to make and share stories about the white-flour flatbreads left by British colonialism. His latest documentary film is inspired by Harold Sonny Ladoo’s No Pain Like This Body (1972), which was the first novel by a Trinidadian author released in Canada, and it pieces together the author’s mysterious life and death. Fung is professor emeritus at OCAD University.  

For GTA24, working together with artists Lisa Myers, Immony Men, Dana Prieto, and Peter Morin, Richard Fung is presenting a newly commissioned food programme that invites people to share food as a starting point for a discussion around the notions of scarcity and substitution. Join us for a meal that creates a unique platform to reflect on and unfurl the many layers that make up food stories Substitution: a Meal transcends the celebratory to delve into the complexities and nuances of substitutions. We invite attendees to share a meal and together contemplate the profound connections between food and lived experiences.

GTA24 Live

GTA24 Live – Substitution: a Meal

Monday, May 13, 2024 | 6:00 pm | Cost: PWYC, Suggested Rate $10 | Location: Roncesvalles United Church

Substitution: a Meal stirs up the interplay between adaptation and improvisation as cooks make substitutions. Serving a menu that offers a dish from each artist, the resulting meal represents the different ways substitution can be impelled by various conditions including health concerns (heart health, diabetes, allergies, food fads), scarcity (war, poverty), unavailability of ingredients (impact of settler colonialism on food ways, migration across ecological zones), access to food sources (COVID lockdowns), and ethical concerns (vegan). The event prompts a critical examination of how substitutions, whether driven by necessity or choice, shape our understanding of sustenance. 

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