Donna Chan
I'm a vulnerable performer, whole-hearted storyteller, and overall supremely passionate human being. Occasionally, I'm a brush pen artist.
I'm currently on a journey toward
finding, speaking and sharing my truth.
To this end, I'm exploring spoken word and bodily movement in the context of solo performance, a space where I can write and perform my own stories around the delicious squishiness of identity, womanhood, and race.
TBD for a bit
Knock, Knock
[Solo Performance @ Stage Werx Theater, SF - December 2018]
Who's there? Oh, just another sumthin' sumthin' that we don't talk enough about in society... After 6 weeks of severe brain-heart constipation, I wrote this piece in three days when I finally realized that the thing I wanted to talk about was right in front of me - literally. #yay #finally #selfawareness
The Next Time You See A Petite Asian Woman, Do Not Mistake Her Silence For Weakness. You Are Not Her First Rodeo.
[Solo Performance @ Stage Werx Theater, SF - June 2018]
This is my second solo performance. In trying to process personal and societal trauma, I explore anger and sorrow - emotions that I don't think we talk about enough, especially for women. This piece was absolutely excruciating to write and prepare. One day of writing was followed by four days of numbing, but I knew that this was a story that I wanted to tell.
(Trigger warning: This piece contains descriptions of sexual harassment and abuse, so please tend to yourself appropriately.)
[Solo Performance @ Stage Werx Theater, SF - December 2017]
This 15-minute piece is an exploration into one of the crappiest years of my life in contrast to the incomparable struggles of my badass-immigrant-warrior-goddess of a mother. I weave in and between layers of sexism, identity and race, as well as cultural and generational differences - all with smatterings of humor. I wrote and performed this piece during a bout of depression (yay for high-functioning depression!). At the beginning of this process, I felt aimless and emotionally constipated but once my mother's stories popped into my head, the words practically hurled themselves onto the page (while I was eating at a Korean restaurant - which quickly became eating and sobbing and writing :D) and I didn't stop writing and refining until the morning of the show.
Zine Release Performance
[Online - April 2018]
My friends Christina and Albert hosted an online release party for their new, deeply reflective zines and invited myself and Jessie, another wonderful artist, as guest performers. Check out the details of this event and these brilliant people here. I performed two spoken word pieces. The first is an experiment in synthesizing the incredible pain of women and POC around the ongoing dumpster fire of 2017. The second came right as I was reawakening my creative self and I think ultimately speaks to some form of creative ambition. The pieces are really different in tone and content, but both practically wrote themselves; I wrote them at the height of their respective emotions.
Visual Art
A sample of some of my brush pen and mixed media art. My illustration practice is something that I want to grow but how to use it most impactfully is something I'm still figuring out. I grew up with my mother telling me stories of her whole life. One day, I'd like to illustrate these stories into a graphic novel.
I love the ritual and sharing of tea. I once went to Guatemala on a whim. It was heart-changing. In previous lives, I was a bioengineer, data analyst, and breast cancer researcher. I care deeply about gender and racial issues (if you haven't noticed). Now make the pineapple shimmy:
During the Crappiest Year of My Life™, three amazing friends held space for me and showed me what true friendship can be. They are also phenomenal artists; please help me pay it forward by checking out their brilliant, heart-moving work and showing them some love: Ahran, visual artist Christina, essayist & comic artist Jennifer, writer & poetess
Let's chat, I'd love to hear from you:
ddc 2018