Libby Leshgold Gallery

Please join ECU Press and Artspeak Gallery on Tuesday, May 30, 6pm for a Community Talk on Public Art in Vancouver, with Sandeep Johal, Quyen Hoang, and Laiwan, followed by the launch of TEMPER: one hundred brief missives within a character limit by Laiwan, with an essay by Bopha Chhay. TEMPER will be available for $25 at the event, at READ Books, or by online order at


TEMPER springs from an ongoing online project by Laiwan, in which the artist uses the constraints and possibilities of social media to deliver mini-manifestoes on liberation, doubt, activism, privilege, environmental degradation, protest, racism, and art. TEMPER chooses key moments from this stream of contemplation and provocation from 2019 to 2021 and re-presents them in print, accompanied by Bopha Chhay’s essay “Keeping Doom at the Edges.”


TEMPER is the second volume in ECU Press’s Reflector series, Reflector is a series of publications representing artists’, curators’, writers’, and cultural workers’ responses to aspects of the current moment. The previous title, Against Ageism: A Queer Manifesto by Simon(e) van Saarloos, was released in March 2023. More information on Reflector can be found at


“In its iterative and serial format, TEMPER is a reminder that language can work to hold us accountable to one another, and that our words are never enough when uttered in isolation. As TEMPER questions the weight of oft-repeated words and phrases, it becomes clear in highlighting this repetition that the insincere performance of language can quickly be emptied of any meaning. Our cumulative engagement with TEMPER reveals wayward impulses, as the missives weave in and out of topics, overlap, and go underground, only to re-emerge again later in a form and context we may not immediately recognize.”
Bopha Chhay, “Keeping Doom at the Edges”


Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, her family immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. Her art training began at the Emily Carr College (1983), and she returned to academia to receive an MFA from SFU School for Contemporary Arts (1999). Recipient of numerous awards, including recent Canada Council and BC Arts Council Awards, and the 2008 Vancouver Queer Media Artist Award, Laiwan has served on numerous arts juries, exhibits regularly, curates projects in Canada, the US, and Zimbabwe, is published in anthologies and journals, and is a cultural activist.


Bopha Chhay is a writer and curator who lives and works on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ First Nations, also known as Vancouver. She is the former Director/Curator at Artspeak, an artist-run centre with a mandate to encourage dialogue between visual arts and writing practices.


The Reflector series of publications, of which TEMPER is the second title, is made possible by a grant from the British Columbia Arts Council.





Canada Council for the Arts


TEMPER: one hundred brief missives within a character limit