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Yun-Jou Chang makes connections through arts and culture
It’s become one of the biggest events at Richmond Cultural Centre—thanks to the efforts of people like Yun-Jou Chang.
Your Kontinent Film and Media Arts Festival, an annual celebration of international film and unconventional art, took over the Minoru Boulevard venue for 10 days last month.
The festival is produced each year by Cinevolution Media Arts Society, whose managing director is Chang. The 25-year-old took on the role in 2012, and has already helped bring three festivals to life.
Chang, who has a University of B.C. degree in English and sociology, also works as an attendant at Richmond Cultural Centre, and has a passion for connecting people through arts and culture.
She grew up in Taipei, Prince Rupert and Richmond—moving back and forth between the three cities. A graduate of R.C. Palmer, Chang has called central Richmond home for 14 years.
The energy, diversity and moments of unexpected connection are what Chang likes most about her community.
“I love stumbling across seniors tai chi classes in Richmond Centre in the early morning, happening upon a ballroom dancing class in the school board parking lot at night, or wandering by an impromptu photo shoot in a dingy back alley. I love to see people transform drab, unassuming spaces simply by gathering and doing something together.”
She discovered Cinevolution while looking to get involved in Richmond’s arts and culture scene near the end of her university career. At the time, Chang and her friends routinely complained about the lack of a space for critical discourse and creative experimentation. She found that in Cinevolution and its annual festival.
“The Your Kontinent Festival is important to me because it encapsulates Cinevolution’s vision of a community that not only recognizes but embraces difference, whether it is social or cultural. The YK Festival uses film and media art to activate people’s capacity for curiosity, creativity, and encourage them to challenge convention and envision other ways of being in the world.”
Now in its seventh year, Cinevolution is run entirely by volunteers, who are always looking for more like-minded people to join the team. The organization is currently developing a drop-in program at the cultural centre’s Media Lab—a place to experiment with new technology.
As for Chang’s personal to-do list?
“Too many to list, but I would love to begin developing my love of words and literature into some form of creative practice.”