Godfre Leung

A critic and curator based in the territory currently known as Vancouver. His writing has appeared in magazines such as ArtAsiaPacific, Art in America, C Magazine, The Third Rail, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and has been commissioned for publications by a number of institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art and Walker Art Center. He worked as a curatorial consultant on the Walker Art Center’s touring exhibition International Pop, which traveled to the Dallas Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art.


  • In the Meantime

    March 3–April 21, 2018

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Artspeak - Christian Nyampeta - "In the Meantime"

    Christian Nyampeta’s exhibition ‘In The Meantime’ is a continuation of his research into modes of working together and being in common. ‘In the Meantime’ is a hosting structure and working space that is a meditation on the process of translation as a continual work-in-progress. A selection of Nyampeta’s publications will include his translations of selected texts from Alain Mabanckou’s Penser et écrire l’Afrique aujourd’hui, an edited volume containing lectures delivered at the Collège de France in 2017 by Souleymane Bachir Diagne and Lucy Mushita among others. The nature of translated texts is that they always exist ‘in the meantime.’ Dependent upon the context in which they were translated, they remain open to various interpretations by their readers. The processes of translation becomes a form of sociality; one that creates, annotates, records, and interprets together. In this way, one never reads alone, but always with and alongside others. Differences between translations evoke concurrent or parallel forms of reading and legibility, unfolding ‘within’ and around an original frame of reference.

    In recognizing the limits of translation and the malleability of interpretation and meaning, Nyampeta focuses on ‘rhythm’ as a discursive tool to ad- dress political and ideological shifts in philosophy and religion in former colonies. In his film ‘Comment vivre ensemble,’ Nyampeta interviews a number of Rwandan philosophers and educators, asking “What is rhythm for you?” This question of how people define rhythm is part of Nyampeta’s ongoing project ‘how to live together’ 1. Taking cues from Roland Barthes lectures also held at the Collège de France in 1978, Nyampeta’s study of the historical notion of idiorrhythmy considers rhythm as the organization of one’s own space and time, and the role of rhythm in how it shapes our subjecthood, our communities and our localities. Through this notion, Nyampeta investigates how rhythm has the capacity to regulate, or be regulated by patterns and movements, to form or disrupt them.

    Rhythm is not only an index of difference, but generative in its potential to work towards invention or reinvention. This translative capacity of rhythm also questions Barthes’s own silences about his familial connection to the colonial legacies of France, as narrated by Ivorian writer Gauz in Penser et écrire l’Afrique aujourd’hui, whose text is also translated for this occa- sion. ‘In the Meantime’ situates this query, in a manner that is equivocal to the function of the parenthesis. It becomes a permissive space, in which we might wait for something to happen, or a time and space outside of our control, or a time during which we contemplate action.

    1 Idiorrhythmy is the subject of the lectures held at the Collège de France by the French literary critic Roland Barthes in 1978, titled Comment vivre ensemble: simulations romanesque de quelques espaces quotidiennes, ed. Claude Coste (Paris: Seuil, 2002), and translated as How To Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Living Spaces, translated by Kate Briggs (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

    Postscript 73: Godfre Leung on Christian Nyampeta

Talks & Events

  • Reading Series

    October 13–October 17, 2020

    In the place of live programming, to which we do not wish to add at this time, we offer as a book launch event this reading of several poems from granted to a foreign citizen and its appendix, Transracial adoption in the US and Canada in the second half of the twentieth century, for you to enjoy at your convenience.

    Find Sun Yung Shin reading their poems:
    Tiger | Fade In, Fade Out
    Proxy | In the Orient | the warmth and love of your homes
    Lullaby | Goodnight
    Translate this Body into Everything

    And Godfre Leung reading his appendix to the project:
    Transracial adoption in the US and Canada in the second half of the twentieth century (a minor history)

    granted to a foreign citizen is a new book of poetry by Sun Yung Shin. It sifts through ephemera from Shin’s naturalization as an American citizen as a young Korean adoptee in the late 1970s, and writes them into a minor history that connects the early years of the transnational, transracial adoption industry to the ongoing tactic of family separation in US border and immigration policy. Throughout, Shin’s poetic voice struggles to achieve moments of self-actualized lyricality amid the banal violence of bureaucratic procedures.

    granted to a foreign citizen was commissioned as part of UNSTATELY, a yearlong series of programs on fiction and the nation-state curated by Godfre Leung. Together, the projects that make up UNSTATELY pursue an ethics through kinds of speculative thinking found in the practices and cultures of migrants. Part one, the exhibition Pao Houa Her: Emplotment, took place at Or Gallery from June 2 to July 18, 2020 and on public sites from April to June. This book is UNSTATELY’s second installment. The third and final program, which brings together the bookwork by Shin, Jinny Yu, and Republic of the Other, will be presented at Hotam Press Bookshop/Gallery in March 2021. UNSTATELY acknowledges the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council.

  • Artist reading

    March 3, 2018

    At 2pm Christian Nyampeta will read from “Footnotes to Comment Vivre ensemble“, an accompaniment to the video work on display in the gallery during Nyampeta’s In The Meantime.


  • granted to a foreign citizen

    Title: granted to a foreign citizen
    Category: Poetry
    Artist: Sun Yung Shin
    Editor: Godfre Leung
    Design: Victoria Lum
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printed by: Colour Code, Toronto
    Year published: 2020
    Pages: 58p
    Cover: soft
    Binding: saddle stitched
    Weight: 119 g
    Dimensions: 229 x 152mm
    Edition of 300
    ISBN: 9781927630105
    Price: $10

    Pick-up & Mail Order