Section

SHIVER PRESENTS

JAMIE CHI

SHIVER PRESENTS

JAMIE
CHI

Circular profile image of Hungarian Fine Artist and Womenswear Designer, Henriett Juhász, for Shiver Art Gallery encircled in a black snake design.

SHIVER PRESENTS: JAMIE CHI

Jamie Chi (she/they) is an independent Filmmaker and Photographer, using her work to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Raised in Hong Kong, Chi studied their Masters in Cultural Studies at the University de Lyon 3 in France and later studied Experimental Filmmaking at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Now based in London, Jamie, while not only using their lens to shine a light on LGBTQ+ stories, she is also the Co-Founder and Programme Development Lead for Queer China UK. Art and activism unite seamlessly through Jamie’s work to portray important and beautiful narratives that are so often pushed aside, but need to be shared far and wide now, as much (if not more) than ever! 

Throughout this exhibition we will be sharing their images and film, talking about her thoughts and inspirations behind each piece and sharing an interview with Jamie, discussing 'Rent', activism, creating a documentary during lockdown and more! 

安全距離 Safe Distance: Teaser

This animation is part of the documentary 安全距離 Safe Distance, which compares the HIV pandemic in the 1980s to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to remind people of the history of ostracisation and discrimination against the queer community. We hope to ignite passion and enthusiasm in people to be part of something that contributes to solidarity and humanity.

ONLINE EXHIBITION

'安全距離 Safe Distance' Film Poster by Jamie Chi

Giclée Print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper

“Year 2020. The closest we’ve been to ourselves.” “Safe Distance” explores queer Chinese individuals’ lived experiences and narratives in the UK under COVID-19 pandemic.

Shop Now
‘Spin’ by Henriett Juhasz, is an Art Deco style painting of red, geometric lines and circles in a blur of pastel baby blue and pink.

'Seasons of Love' by Jamie Chi

Giclée Print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper

"I took this photo because I want to show everyone that love is beautiful. Our film celebrates queer people and our desire for a more compassionate world. We believe that diversity makes us better and stronger."

Shop Now

'Fearless' by Jamie Chi

C-Type Print on Fujifilm Quality Dry Photo Paper

"This collage is part of the animation for the documentary 安全距離 (Safe Distance), which compares the HIV pandemic in the 1980s to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to remind people of the history of ostracisation and discrimination against the queer community. We hope to ignite passion and enthusiasm in people to be part of something that contributes to solidarity and humanity."

Shop Now

'New Year' by Jamie Chi

C-Type Print on Fujifilm Quality Dry Photo Paper

"I shot this during Lunar New Year in SOHO when I started filming Safe Distance. When we researched the history of racism and homophobia, we found most racism and LGBTQ+ hate crimes in the UK and US happen in Chinatown and gay bars. The documentary was born out of community urgency, and we invite you to co-construct a society that embodies kindness and empathy with people from all walks of life."

Shop Now

We Are One

When I started filming Safe Distance, I wanted to invite people I interviewed to join the creative journey. I gave them a film camera from 1996 so each person could take a shot. These 24 photos are from a single roll of film. All of us have different stories to tell you. One thing we all have in common is the same desire for a more compassionate world that celebrates diversity. Hence, I named this series “We are one.”

Haoran Wang x Jamie Chi

"I look forward to the new generation of Chinese people. I hope they will have a more open mind, a freer society, and better views."

Xander Gu x Jamie Chi

"If you have a very overall thought about your goals in life, you will know more clearly about how to do the things you are doing now."

Yanchun Chen x Jamie Chi

"I want to study sociology as well , just to understand the world around me. Why society works in the way it does, it gets increasingly as well now with corona virus and anti-Asian. It’s just so much happening in the world right now."

Wu Chen x Jamie Chi

"I heard a conversation between a mother and daughter at an airport in China. Her daughter taught her mother, Mom, you are too conservative, and then explain to her mother what homosexuality is and ask her to respect them. I find it very interesting. I feel that the views of the two generations in China are a bit different. I think the new generation’s view of homosexuality are a bit different from the older generation’s."

Dalion x Jamie Chi

"Do you really know yourself? Are you yourself, or are you just a projection of others?"

Scarlett Ng x Jamie Chi

"Especially during covid-19, as an Asian or a Chinese, we are afraid. If we wear a mask, we will walk with our heads down. We avoid having eye contact with others. When we buy stuff, we are afraid, and we are afraid to wear gloves and we try to leave the shop as fast as we can. A lot of times, our ethnicity, gender, and sexuality influences the way we walk; we talk or act in our everyday life. How we use a public space or private space."

Nat x Jamie Chi

"My name is Nat, I am a furniture designer, a maker and an artist based in London. I label myself as non-binary and pansexual."

Jamie Chi

“Fear is the real virus.”

Vincent Ren x Jamie Chi

"An old lady who lived upstairs. Everyday, she would sit here reading while smoking. I think it's very good. If I can do this in the future, I'll be OK, and it's very good and very chill."

Yifan Zhou x Jamie Chi

"Everyone knows what has been pixelated or blurred, so I think this behavior is useless."

Kay kay food x Jamie Chi

"If you look at history of all the pandemic, like Spanish flu, SARS, H5N1, Mers, even HIV , these are diseases where they are zoonosis, so it’s transfer from animals to humans. If we continue to eat them and destroy their habitat. The link between us and them is going to be forever close."

SJ Zhang x Jamie Chi

"You do good, you pay your taxes, you got a job, they let you stay in their country , don’t speak out for anything, keep quiet, i think that’s the attitude of a lot of the older generation, i think people now are more understanding that it’s important to speak out."

Jack Zhang x Jamie Chi

"My animation got censored and my account deleted because I posted it on Chinese social media, despite the fact that I actually pixelated it, they still get my project censored, it makes me feel like there’s less opportunities back home."

Bling Wang x Jamie Chi

"I want to strive hard for my girlfriend."

Qiu Bai x Jamie Chi

"The past year has been a particularly difficult time for the Chinese queer community, because we may face racial discrimination and LGBTQ+ discrimination. I hope people will continue to pay attention to and support Queer China UK, and that we will create a more equal and diverse society together."

Jiaxi Wang

"The most recent label is Autism, Queer has always been, and Asexuality is also a recently discovered identity. The label is a language for me, I can use this language to describe me."

Jamie Chi

"I shot this during Lunar New Year in SOHO when I started filming Safe Distance. When we researched the history of racism and homophobia,we found most racism and LGBTQ+ hate crimes in the UK and US happen in Chinatown and gay bars. The documentary was born out of community urgency, and we invite you to co-construct a society that embodies kindness and empathy with people from all walks of life."

Xintong Zhang x Jamie Chi

"I think the LGBT community has always been in a very marginal state, just like the weeds that happen to grow in the garden, people tend to clear it out and pull it out."

Jialin Wang x Jamie Chi

"Maybe we should take a closer look at what we young people are thinking in our minds when we are dealing with problems and have more introspection."

Shi ting x Jamie Chi

"I filled out the census form the other day. I ticked bisexual. I felt very warm because there is this option for sexuality and it’s great."

Julie x Jamie Chi

"Asexuality: it can be difficult to claim it, as Asians are often desexualised and I do support sexual liberation for other people and queers, so it can feel difficult to feel like I can claim it in that sense, without feeling like my existence kind of contributes to stereotypes about Asians or goes against the motives of queer liberation... Which I guess is a problem for asexuals in general but even more when you're a race that is often desexualised."

Shawn Chan x Jamie Chi

"Only until one time, when a black woman walked towards me, we both gave way to each other, we have connected, because we are the minority. This never happens when a white man walks towards me, I’m always the one who has to give him the way."

Jai Chan x Jamie Chi

"The same day, myself and 2 other tomboys (from Hong Kong), 3 of us got attacked. I got a left hook right in the face. That’s why I think you should learn self-defence just to protect yourself and your loved ones."

James Wong

"In Singapore there’s a provision called Section 377a, which criminalises sex between gay men, whether they are consented or not. I thought that was very unjust. i told my law school interviewers that I wanted to get it repealed, or struck down. And they said ‘haha, good luck with that.’ That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to become a lawyer."

INTERVIEW

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I grew up in Hong Kong. Home for me is somewhere I can find support, understanding and feel at peace. I’m currently living in London.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?

I did my masters in Cultural Studies at University de Lyon 3 in France. Then, I took a course in experimental filmmaking at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

What do you do when you're not creating?

I work for a charity to support myself and then create in my free time. When I filmed this documentary, I had no funding, but I really wanted to make it happen. So, I took all my annual leave to work fulltime on Safe Distance.

What is/are your favourite mediums?

My favourite mediums are film and photography. Currently, I’ve been playing with expired film because it’s always experimental, and sometimes there are lovely surprises. I’d like to try projection mapping and installation.

WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES & INSPIRATIONS ARE?

My parents are my key influences. I learned storytelling from my mom and photography from my dad.

Do you have any musical influences that inspire your work? Or any particular artists/songs you like to listen to while working?

Jonathan Larson’s Rent inspires me not only in work but also in life. Rent was set during the 80’s HIV/AIDS pandemic and the queer community was living in fear and hate. Listening to Rent always reminds me to choose love and live in the moment, and that’s also what I am trying to achieve with Safe Distance.

For this documentary, the main musicians are Vicky Zhuang, Julia Fan, Lyn Dawn and Hanahazukashi. “Hey You” was written by Vicky Zhuang out of frustration from constantly being stared at as a Chinese person on the streets of Pakistan. “I'd get stared at not just because I'm a woman, but because I'm Chinese, and I’d get called weird phrases, like ‘cheeni, ching chong …’” said Vicky. Our animation team made a video collage using this song in hope that we can recognise patterns of racism and homophobia and choose alternatives: love and compassion.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HABITS OR PERSONAL RITUALS YOU DO IN ORDER TO GET IN THE ZONE FOR CREATING?

My friend told me that completing a documentary is like running a marathon, so I practise martial arts to keep my body strong and my mind focused.

Check out this playlist by Jamie to hear what they're listening to right now.

I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.

This past year has been chaotic to say the least, with times changing so rapidly and our lives being shaken up dramatically, have you noticed any changes in your creative process or mindset?

This year has been challenging and I have had to adapt to the changes in order to create. When I started filming Safe Distance in February, the UK was still under lockdown. The only way I could meet up with a person from a different household was to exercise in an outdoor space. So, I invited my interviewees to exercise with me and take a socially distanced walk outdoors while I filmed them.

HOW DID LOCKDOWN AFFECT YOU CREATIVELY?

In the beginning of the lockdown, I spent a lot of time reflecting, reading books, and taking online courses. I noticed that many courses have become more accessible. I had taken scriptwriting and filmmaking workshops in the Philippines, which helped me in creating this documentary.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR WORK?

The documentary Safe Distance is for people who are seeking time and space to love and heal. All people were affected by this pandemic, but especially those who suffer from sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and so on. I hope to ignite passion and enthusiasm in the viewer, to be part of something that contributes to solidarity and humanity.

WHAT DOES ART/YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS MEAN TO YOU?

I like to think of art as playing together, and for me the creative process means to experiment, and to have fun while doing it.

To see more of Jamie's work, visit their artist's page or check out our online shop

SHOP

'We Are One'
by Jamie Chi

£500

'安全距離 Safe Distance'
by Jamie Chi

£188

'Seasons of Love'
by Jamie Chi

£156

'New Year'
by Jamie Chi

£95

See our first
exhibition

See previous
exhibition

See our first
exhibition

See previous
exhibition