Alger Ji-Liang (BA, Visual Arts)

Alger Ji-Liang 梁家傑 (he/him) is a UBC visual arts and ACAM graduate, and an emerging interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, BC on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples. Alger situates the body as the centre of research and uses a lens-based practice to speak on identity, grief, memory, and space. He is currently exploring film, movement-based photography, and video art.

Why were you drawn to the ACAM program? 

I was drawn to the ACAM program because of the courses offered to students. There were courses that intrigued me that I wanted to learn more about and understand. Courses like “Sociology of Migration”, “Health of Asian Diaspora in Canada”, and “Asian-Canadian Community Based Media”. It was also a very accessible minor program that didn’t require a rigorous course load which made it manageable to complete in addition to my major program (visual arts).

How has ACAM impacted you or the people around you? 

The ACAM program has shown me the impact a community can have on people and how shared experiences can bridge connection and foster belonging. Although my experience with ACAM was entirely virtual due to the pandemic, I felt connected to my peers and my profs because of the material we were learning. Topics like (im)migration, identity, and culture felt less like academic curricula, and more like an introspection into experiences that we’ve lived. The ACAM program allowed me to feel seen and heard, and offered me another lens to reflect on what Asian-Canadian identity is and what being Asian-Canadian means. 

Have you completed any ACAM related projects? Would you like to share your most memorable experiences, and if possible a link to your project?  

So many fun projects! I created a photo series titled 兔兒神回來 “Return of the Rabbit God” that was published in Tributaries Vol.3, ACAM’s student journal. I also worked a summer internship with The Suzhou Women’s Alley Mural where I created a mini-documentary on cultural activism of the diaspora in Chinatown. For my ACAM 350 Asian-Canadian Community-Based Media class, I made a mini-documentary on experiences of queer Asian-Canadians titled Voices of Queer Asian Canadians. You can also read about that project here

What is one piece of advice you would give your first year self? 

Everything is temporary. Lean into your friends and into your communities. Be gentle with yourself. 

What are you most looking forward to in the future?

I am looking forward to pursuing more community-based art projects that tell the stories of Asian-Canadians, whether that be in film, photography, visual art, or writing. I am also looking forward to experiencing all that life has to offer.