1. Central Pavilion

From China, to Canada

Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance’s photo weavings can be seen in-person at Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto from September 21st to October 21st, 2021.

Statement from the artist: The original footage was taken in Saskatchewan in 2020 during a road trip from Montreal to British  Columbia. As I have never crossed Canada before, the idea of traveling the entire country was highly  appealing to me, and so does the idea of traveling back to my native land. From China, To Canada represent an imaginary/delusional dream I hold onto and wish to preserve even when the expectations  are not met after moving to another location. This piece raises the lack of knowledge I have about both  my native and host country. With humbleness, it also raises the desire to take the time to deconstruct a fictional/idealized land in order to thoroughly understand it once reconstructed.

Artist: Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance


︎Click here to view the BlackGrange translation collaboration︎

BlackGrange performance documentation, March 3, 2018. Photograph by Anise Truman for WalkingLab
For this year’s Chinatown Biennial, we worked with artist Camille Turner and her assistant Alvin Luong to produce two textual translations of BlackGrange, one in Vietnamese translated by Tak Pham, and one in simplified Chinese by Yijia Zhang.

“From the perspective of a fictional time traveler, BlackGrange is a self-guided walking tour that rethinks and re-imagines the present by illuminating histories of the African Diaspora in Toronto’s Grange neighbourhood.To begin your walking experience, have this project page ready on a mobile device, and begin at University College (27 King’s College Circle). To start, simply click on each location’s image to begin the audio. Follow the map’s instructions to navigate the BlackGrange.”

Composer/Sound Engineer –  Ravi Naimpally
Singer –  Quisha Wint
Voices – Camille Turner and Alvin Luong
Photographer – Jalani Morgan

BlackGrange is a project by artist Camille Turner-- to learn more about her, check out our artist bios, or visit her website here.


With luck, you will be out walking one rainy evening and find yourself accompanied by footsteps visiting the site of a long forgotten business, the walls marked with ticket stubs or vegetable scraps, dancing dragons and neon signs.

There are many Chinatowns in Toronto; one is buried under Nathan Phillips Square, another is threatened by new development, yet another is accessible only by car. Still, inhabitants of these enclaves have forged connections with the greater Canadian community despite repeated attempts at displacement.

We want to celebrate the exchange of commerce and culture (signage, tickets, food) and the people who walk these neighbourhoods (footsteps). Each installation consists of a solar powered light fixture that projects a past or present condition of the Chinatown community that goes unnoticed or forgotten, while an accompanying rainwork reveals the transient movement of visitors and locals through footsteps.

We have four sites of note: a historic hand laundry located on Spadina, the iconic Big Four Chinese Canadian restaurants on Elizabeth St., the performance of dragon dances in the road, and the women who sell their home-grown produce curbside. This collection of installations represent many stories of marginalization and resiliency, of survival and celebration through community from the First Settlement to Chinatown West.

“Approchez, Je Vous Raconterai Ce Que J’ai Oublié”

This work by An-Laurence can be seen stickered throughout Toronto, but it is a main feature of our Montreal Pavilion, which can be viewed here.