Soba's Corner: A Chinese-Canadian Cooking Show

"Soba’s Corner" is a video installation that unpacks distinct Chinese-Canadian dishes from specific provinces. Posted on YouTube and disguised as a typical how-to cooking show, another conversation and narrative are hidden in the Canadian English closed captions and the “recipe” linked in the description box.

Food, like art, is not neutral. Looking at cuisines as windows through which to study perceptions of tradition and authenticity, Cheung draws viewers in with humour and the familiar, to confront the uncomfortable histories embedded in the everyday.

Each episode is under 20 minutes (generally around 10 - 15 minutes).

Youtube Playlist:

  • Snack Witch Joni Cheung
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Web / New Media, Other
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Food
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

🔮 Snack Witch aka Joni Cheung 🍡 is a grateful, uninvited guest born—and knows she wants to die—on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, Stó:lō, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh peoples. They are currently toiling over their MFA on the stolen lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka peoples to become a Certified Sculpture Witch at Concordia University. She holds a BFA with Distinction in Visual Art (2018) from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. As a wicked #magicalgirl ✨ who eats art and makes snacks, she has exhibited and curated shows, off- and online, across Turtle Island.

They are a recipient of numerous awards, including the BC Arts Council Scholarship and the Dale and Nick Tedeschi Studio Arts Fellowship. She was waitlisted for the SSHRC - Joseph-Armand Bombardier: Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship.

Aside from art-making, Joni likes wandering down grocery store aisles and drinking bubble tea.

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Director Statement

Through an interdisciplinary artistic practice, I investigate the interdependent relationship between objects, place, and identity. As a Canadian-born Hong Kong-Chinese queer, anglophone woman, I use this lens to navigate discourses of transnationalism, migration, and diasporas.

Growing up tirelessly grasping at my language ∴ culture, I soothed my hunger for connection via online communication/sharing platforms and by eating. These ingredients helped a hopeful pessimist calm rolling waves of loneliness and learn about their heritage and ancestry. Sifting through family memories of displacement—usually in-between conversations held over food-covered tables—and prickly experiences of trying to blend in until smooth, nourish points of interest to reflect and respond to global contexts and (hi)stories.

Conducting research is a ritual that molds the way I work. Chewing on the spectrum of transparency ↔ opacity and translation of forms (physical ↔ digital) and stories, I collect and layer still and moving images from archives and contemporary media, words, sound(scapes), objects, and places. This research simmers into installations conjured up with sculptures, performances, texts, audio explorations, photographs, and videos—marinating and transforming accumulated ephemera often overlooked by those outside of my communities. As of late, I have been using food and humour to draw people in with the familiar, to confront the uncomfortable histories embedded in the everyday.