Riffing off Roland Barthes’ notion of “punctum” as the element in a photograph that unintentionally “rises from the scene” to prick or pierce the viewer and disrupt cultural codes that organize the photograph, Puncta is an in-person, multi-disciplinary exhibition that takes up explorations of fracture to unsettle dominant coded narratives of cohesion and uniform Asianness within Canadian nation-state multicultural frameworks. 

Puncta is interested in creative acts of punctum that prick and pierce, to engage earnestly with the difficulties and limitations of identifying (or not) with the term “Asian”, complex negotiations with the narratives entangled with these identity categories, and the socio-political implications of performing outside the legibility of a recognizable “Asian”. 

We are interested in uneasy access, untranslatability and indecipherability as provocative experiences and realities that disrupt simplified notions of Asian representation.


  • Submitted work can be in any medium (visual, text-based, sculptural, textile, ceramic, audio, video, digital), but should be in conversation with or considering photographic and video material. 
  • We welcome submissions from artists who are part of the pan-Asian diaspora, working in Canada (citizenship and PR not required).
  • We welcome submissions from artists working at any stage of their career.
  • Accepted artists will be programmed in digital artist talks happening at the 2022 Reel Asian Film Festival, and should indicate availability to participate. 

Submission materials checklist:

  • Name of Submission (to be used in exhibition materials)
  • Artist statement (250 words max, to be used in exhibition materials)
  • Upload submission materials (as files or urls)
  • Method of installation (please include required tools and parts)
  • Are you available for artist talk programming between November 9 – 20?
  • CV and presentation history (as file or url)
  • Website or social media handles (to be used in exhibition materials and for marketing purposes)

Submissions will close September 5th (EOD, 11:59PM).

RA:X Puncta is part of the 26th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 9-20). The exhibition will be housed in the Bachir-Yerex presentation space in The Commons at 401 Richmond adjacent to Reel Asian’s festival lounge.

Reel Asian is committed to paying fair fees (calculated based on CARFAC).
Accepted artists will be compensated an artist fee for exhibition, a reproduction fee for their work being documented in the festival archive, and a program fee for participating in the artist talks. 

Deadline – Applications must be received by September 5th, 11:59PM EST.

For questions or additional support, please contact Jasmine Gui at jasmine@reelasian.com.

This exhibition is supported by
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