Skip to content

Artist reconnects with heritage through language in Richmond Gateway show

Second-generation immigrant relearns mother tongue to reconnect with her cultural heritage.
Jasmine Chen presenting Jade Circle at Gateway Theatre in Richmond.

An artist is sharing her proactive step in reconnecting with her cultural heritage through her latest performance at the Richmond Gateway Theatre.

Jasmine Chen's show titled Jade Circle at Gateway Theatre explores themes of identity, language and the ties that bind people to our heritage.

After the death of her grandmother, Chen recounts fragments of Taiwanese children's songs she was taught as a child and begins to relearn her mother tongue, which she lost through cultural assimilation as a second-generation immigrant in Canada.

Her journey of relearning the Mandarin language opens up a hidden story of her grandmother through interviews she had with her mother.

Jade Circle is about celebrating the "enduring bonds" that tie generations together such as Chen finding her place within the "legacy of her matriarchs," according to Barbara Tomasic, executive artistic director at Gateway Theatre.

"We are honoured to provide space for audiences to embrace their own cultural tapestry through the work presented in Jade Circle," said Tomasic.

"This is a unique and powerful experience that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt the call to reconnect with their roots.”

The performances will take place from March 6 to 17 and will be done in Mandarin and English with text subtitles

Tickets are $30 per person and the theatre is offering special performances including a Pay-What-You-Will Preview on Wednesday, March 6 and a VocalEye Live Audio Description performance on Saturday, March 16.

A  special post-show community dinner titled “Conversations Around the Table” on Sunday, March 10 following the 4:00 p.m. performance.

The family-style meal celebrating Jade Circle’s themes of community, family, and memory, invites guests to share a table and come together for an evening that feels like a cherished gathering of friends and family. Tickets are pay-what-you-will, ranging from $8 to $48.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Got an opinion on this story or any others in Richmond? Send us a letter or email your thoughts or story tips to [email protected].