Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art
A night time photograph of a road, with the words 'Wah Yen' in coloured wavy text over the top of the image
Four buoys float on the surface of the sea under the shimmering afternoon sunlight
Dates and Opening times

Fri 7 – Sun 23 June

Fri 7 June, 10am – 5pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 5pm
Mon – Fri, 12pm – 5pm


5 Florence Street
G5 0YX

Presented by

Wei Zhang

Supported by

Glasgow International with funds from the Scottish Government’s Festivals EXPO Fund and Assumption Studios


Good Access: The venue has ramped or level access and/or lifts to access upper floors

Toilets: Accessible Toilet

Wah Yen, 2024, is a new moving image work by artist Wei Zhang. Set in 1970s Glasgow, the film explores the rich, inner world of a young, queer, and neurodivergent Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, Chen, who works in the city’s first Chinese restaurant, through their emerging kinship with Scottish shipbuilder, James. 

Wah Yen employs non-linear narrative and non-verbal filmmaking techniques, underpinned by Wei’s interweaving of 3D animation, archival footage, and drag performances, creating a dynamic and compelling visual language. The film forefronts underrepresented experiences and promotes self-acceptance and intercultural exchange. Wah Yen centres the neurodivergent experience of Chen, and how the pain and horror they face leads Chen and James to discover the meaning of change, empowering them to live authentically. 

Through navigating this adversity, Wah Yen traces the protagonist’s empowering journey of courage. Both aesthetically captivating and narratively complex, Wah Yen invites diverse interpretations of its authentic yet fictional narratives. Through the film’s central theme of overcoming adversity it resonates with marginalised communities, particularly Glasgow's Chinese and queer residents. Wah Yen draws on the collective intelligence of queer East and South East Asians and is made in collaboration with Clarinda Yung Tse 雍記, Katherine Ka Yi Liu, Siyao Li, Wei Zhou, Xuan Gao, Eye Suriyanon, Yifan Lan and LingLong Wang.