Lost, a soul wanders in a frenzy until it encounters someone with the power to lay it to rest. Inspired by cultural and historical research, O Return is a performance collaboration between 4 Edmonton Asian artists who seamlessly blend movement and martial arts, Chinese calligraphy, and live music featuring the Chinese drums and konghou (a Chinese harp). With a clap of the hands and an incantation, audiences will be drawn into an exciting, mystical world where ink and brush hold the key to the fate of a soul.
Jia Jia Yong is a harpist and composer passionate about engaging and celebrating cultural art forms and heritage in contemporary performance art. She performs as a freelance musician at various events in Edmonton and area and also enjoys developing collaborative projects with other musicians and artists. Jia Jia is a recent recipient of a grant from the Edmonton Arts Council to learn the konghou, the Chinese harp, which she hopes to explore and showcase more in future performances!
Herman Lau roots his movement practice in his background as a martial artist and circus coach. A lifelong student of diverse styles spanning the spectrum from performance arts to combat sports to wellbeing work, he once competed on a national stage as a youth and continued tempering this education across various mats, rings, and cages to now teach and perform at various locations around Edmonton. He hopes to continue integrating creative practices and physical culture, studying movement as a form of self-expression to make and share meaning. He is excited to challenge people’s athletic and artistic sides.
Paul Giang (利炳坤) is a Hoa-Canadian urban planner, calligrapher and artist based in Edmonton. He received his BSc Honours in Ecology at the University of Alberta and Master of Urban Planning at McGill. Studying under a Chinese calligraphy master since 2017, calligraphy has become his main medium for relearning Cantonese. Paul’s artwork explores intersections among Sinophone history, thought, and identity. He has performed and installed artworks at Mile Zero Dance Society (Edmonton); CO*LAB (Edmonton); and Edmonton Nuit Blanche. He is also a contributing artist for the inaugural issues of Colonial Imports (Calgary) and Hungry Zine (Edmonton).
Vanessa Jong is the principal drummer and one of the founders of 5 Elements Drums and Lion Dance Crew. 5 Elements performs lion dance and drumming, mixing traditional and modern elements into their acts. They like to think outside of the box, creating and choreographing unique and original routines for audiences to enjoy.