saving a stranger from drowning, and the beautiful backstory about this man who may be neglected as just another "sketchy lunatic"

Today I went to the crab park to eat my lunch while trying to squeeze out some new ideas for 2 upcoming installation projects, I was starving after 3 hours of online meeting right after waking up. I heard of sound of someone falling, this guy named Allan was on the ground, I ran up and asked if he's okay and if I need to call the ambulance. He said he's okay and it happens to him a lot, and he wants to wash this rock that he had on his hand, it's his wife he said. I looked around and there were a few people around me that were just looking at me as if why I would even talk to that guy. I made sure that he sat down and told him to be careful. I was feeling like a weirdo or something, the people around me gave us a weird gaze almost saying "he's crazy why would you bother talk to him?"  After 10 mins, Allan stumbled towards the ocean and I immediately stood up and ran towards the water. I anticipated this accident as I can see that he was having some problem standing up straight and stay stable. 

To those of you who aren't familiar with the DTES neighbourhood, this area has the highest population of homeless, low-income residents, drug addicts, physical and mental disable folks. Since it's side by side with one of the most posh neighbourhood--Gastown, we get a very dramatic mix of different people. It could be that the people from Gastown immediately assumes, neglects or despises the DTES residents. I am aware of that there are numerous people who would repetitively make up any stories for money and that money might just goes into drugs, and I am able to tell a bit more who they are by living in this hood after awhile. 

At this moment, I didn't care about what's his back story, I just know that I need to save him from drowning. If he continues to go further into the water and falls backwards, he could potentially drown, as I ran towards him, he was fell over, and tried to stand up, and fell even deeper into the water, I ran into the water and tried my best to lift him back up and pull him out of the water. He didn't' choke or anything yet but as I was using all my strength trying to lift this guy who's about 5'9, it wasn't easy, and I looked around… there were a few capable young men, they were just sitting there and watching, especially these two really good looking young dudes, with nice built muscles, nice tattoos and slick hair, not only they were just sitting there, they were actually laughing at us while this whole thing was happening right in front of them. 

I took Allan to sit down and asked him to not go anywhere close to the water anymore, he agreed, he was trying to say something it it was really hard to comprehend him. A blond women (her name is Frankie), biked towards me and waved at me, "come here, can I talk to you for a second?". At that moment.. I was thinking, shit, have I done something wrong? Should I not get close to his guy? "Do you know him?" she said, I said "no, I just wanted to help him, is there something wrong?" She came up close and grabbed both of my hands and said "I saw the whole thing that happened from far away, I couldn't believe that you were the only one who stood up and helped this guy who might of died right there. You're such a great person. I am so glad that you are here." I was almost in tears when she said that, she said she wants to find a journalist to write about this. She was disappointed about how our city became so heartless. I told her that there are still people like her, and we just need to spread this good energy more, I think Vancouver is one of the best city I've lived. She smiled and gave me a big hug. We went back to see Allan and making sure that he doesn't go back to the water again. He then told us that he just wanted to wash his wife, the rock on his name. So we took a closer look at this rock, it's actually a memorial stone of his wife, with her name on it. He said that someone moved his wife and he wants to put her back to where she belongs. We then found the place that he was looking for and helped him replacing the memorial stone of his wife. He was very happy and smiled so brightly. Frankie looked at the large memorial stone by Allan's and was astonished, she said that the dates are the exact same date as her son's death. She pulled out her son's photo. "it's all meant to be", we both said to each other. I took a photo for Allan and Frankie, and Allan's wife's memorial stone. 

The story goes on.. Allan continues to stumble and sat down at the park, I asked him if he needs any help, from paramedics or social worker? He said something like "No no no, I'll be okay". I asked him if he is able to get home? "He shook my hand and said "Yes, you're sooooo kind, you have such a good heart, I am so happy that you are so kind to someone like me. I will be okay please don't' worry". I want to make sure that I give enough respect to him as an individual and not interrupt his life by calling the police or ambulance. I didn't want to be a bad helper who actually just overreacted and made things worse. I hugged him and left him alone.. I was a bit worried so I sat close by for a while and posted this status on Facebook asking my friends what I should do. And then I got a news about a friend who's life might be at risk and had to make a few phone calls to work out the situation (i'll keep this part private for now). And then I checked my Facebook status, I've got many replies from my friends suggesting me to call the police, especially with one of my friend who even was condemning me for not calling the ambulance as if I think I was the doctor or some sort.  So I quickly turned around to see if he's still okay, but he was gone. So I ran around the park and to the street and asked around people to see if I can find him. I started to worried if I would find him bleeding on the ground or something bad. I began to blame myself for the decisions that I am making.

 After 20mins, I found him sitting in the corner of Columbia and E. Hastings. Thank god that he was okay and he was able to make it this far! I went up and said hi, he looked at me and said "HEY SAMMY!" with a big smile. I asked him if he's okay, he shook my hand again and said that I'm so kind, and he's really okay, just wanted to get out of the sun. I tried to offer him some water or cold drinks and he kindly refused. I eventually said goodbye to him, and asked him to be safe, so we can meet again. I slowly walked away… 

As I slowly walked away… I was look back at the people around him.. the further I walk away, the more he has just blends into this image of the DTES… the junkie and poor neighbourhood. I can start to see that from an eye of the Gastown or Yaletown people.. this is just a sad scenery that they probably just want to stay away from and watch from a distance, whether if it's with pity or   disgust. Allan has became smaller and smaller… I almost couldn't see him anymore. And I told myself that Allan is one out of the millions that might actually need some attention and support from us. And this is just one out of the million things that I want to do for this world. 


Sammy's Bio as of 2014 05 13

This is my updated short biography as of 2014 05 13

Sammy Chien (Chimerik) is a Taiwan born, Vancouver-based interdisciplinary media artist who seeks to merge cinema, sound art, new media, and dance performance techniques into a new individual practice. He has studied film at Simon Fraser University (BFA Honors) and developed an expertise in electroacoustic music and digital technology in performance environment. After learning real-time performance software from Troika Ranch (NYC/Berlin) he continues his deep interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and forges deep connections between image, sound, and movement. He has collaborated visually, aurally and conceptually in numerous multi-disciplinary projects range from film, theatre, dance, audiovisual performance to interactive installation which have exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia. Sammy has also been involved in research, collaborations or mentorship in projects that focus on the integration between art, science and technology as well as engaging with the local community. Sammy is the Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Chimerik collective.

Sammy’s work appearance includes: New Form Festival 2008 & 2010, Dancing on the Edge Festival 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011, Theatre For the Ears: Audio/Visualization,  RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES PARIS/ BERLIN/ MADRID - New cinema and contemporary art - FILM AND VIDEO SCREENING: Reina Sofia National Museum (Madrid), Centre Pompidou(Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Taipei World Design Expo 2011, DOXA Film Festival 2012, Subtle Technology Festival 2012 (Toronoto), Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival 2012, Queer Arts Festival 2012, Lacking Sound Festival L27 (Taipei), the 10th Push international Performing Arts Festival, 2014 China National Centre for Performing Arts Dance Festival, Khoj International Artist Association (New Delhi), Museum of Contemporary Arts Taipei, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Hellerau: European Centre for the Arts Dresden (Germany)


Modeling for Lululemon 's new design

Some sneak previews of Lululemon Lab Menswear Designer Tiffany May's new work. She's pushing Lululemon towards quite stylized aesthetics yet still keeping its simplicity and functionality. The materials are really nicely made. I really liked her design and enjoyed modelling for her and this new look for Lululemon.

for more of her photography work:



my street credit

I was at the Astoria for a bass music party, someone came up to me and asked if I am Sammy Chien. I said yes. He smiled and said that he knows my work and it's (*he paused for a beat) "fucking gangsta". 

I want this in my review, please.


Dance In Vancouver 2013: Made In China v2


Program One:
Wen Wei Dance - Made in China v.2

Wednesday November 20, 7pm + Saturday November 23, 9pm
The Dance Centre 

Wen Wei Wang’s intimate new work is a collaboration with Gao Yanjinzi, Artistic Director of Beijing Modern Dance Company, Qiu Xia He, of Vancouver’s Silk Road Music and Sammy Chien, of New Media Art CollectiveChimerik 似不像. Through dance, music, storytelling and new media they explore individual personal narratives that are bound by a shared Chinese heritage, and how their traditional artistic forms have evolved in a modern world.

this is our second collaboration of the work-in-progress version of Made In China. I'm very excited about this piece, as the last time we had a very deep and experiential movement, audio, visual and a very intuitive energy flow… This time we are experimenting with a bit more context and dynamics. We had a very interesting and organic 6 days of rehearsal, working with these genius, so much has arrived to the table. How do I keep it up and keep it down at the same time? Jinzi is 6 months pregnant, too. I'm taking one of her part from the last piece into a very weird version of my own movement. Wen Wei tells a story while Qiu Xia dances. And for the first time, you'll hear Jinzi speaking English on stage. As cliché as it sounds, we all stepped out of our comfort zone towards interdisciplinarity.

I would like to give a BIG THANK YOU shout out to Mark Coniglio, the creator of Isadora (arguably the most creative real-time audiovisual software for performance environment up to date), the Artistic Director of Troika Ranch (the pioneer company for digital performance) and one of the most important new media artist/educator today. He sacrifice his utmost valuable time to help me get through an unexpected technical issue in the software, not only to show his love of art and also a huge encouragement to the young interdisciplinary artist who's still struggling between the both sides of the brain. 

I believe though, that creativity can also come from understanding technicality and even beneath codes/technology, without such a flexibility and intuitive quality in my tools, I wouldn't be able to create something like this--a truly organic and creative process with dance, music, film and new media that includes live sound processing, live audiovisual and real-time/reactive video. Most importantly, it all slowly becoming more and more natural, as if these separated fields really morphed in this common playground, and we're all playing, with our bodies, intellect and find resonances in our soul… the tools that we have, are the extensions of our imagination. 


Photography by Chris Randle & Sophia Wolfe — with Wen Wei Wang at The Dance Centre.

(photo from Made In China v.1, Dancing on the Edge Festival 2013)

Made in China v2 for DIV


Pechakucha talk

My talk at Pechakucha is out!

Please "APPLAUD" it if you like it! I want more people to see it and continually to spread positivity and creative spirits to the world!

"I realized I could see the universe ... in an internal way."

"Becoming Chimerik"


Artist Sammy Chien highlights (at PKN Richmond, BC Vol. 2) his life-long journey of creating art and defining himself. 
He details his quest to increasingly connect with and act as a messenger for the spiritual world through his creative works.


Video Art installation exhibition in MADL 特別強調完全沒有畫面 影像創作聯展

I have a new video art/ experimental film installation that is being exhibited in MADL in Taipei.  exhibition goes til Sept. 8th, 2013. more info to come.


這些人通過清澈、率直的靈魂觀看這污穢、悲傷的社會,他們看到美麗幻境使他們這樣的人,興奮萬狀並讚嘆不已於是滔滔不絕的說了起來,在沒有人聽他們說時,他們便說給自己聽。」捷克文學家赫拉巴爾(Bohumil Hrabal)總是管這群人叫「底層的人們」,這群人講述事情是既來自現實,但卻又充滿了誇張,戲謔、怪誕和幻想。我們這群底層的人們, 生處在國家法制機構裡,有著痛苦的歷史記憶、有著良善的忙碌生活、 有著艱困的生存環境。但終究無法以自身對抗國家機器的運作、無法反抗社會困頓的潮流、無法過著愚人式的生活與思考,時時擔心着自我不同於「社會制度」而被屏除在社會結構的框架外。
此次展覽,由四位影像創作者江凱維、韓承燁、張修齊、林立翔(小目),與跨領域藝術家Sammy Chien(簡上翔), 如同「Pábetelé」:藉由靈感的鑽石孔眼 ,看到的世界與現實生活行程強烈的反差,並藉由相機觀景窗去省視現今紊亂的現實社會。

江凱維『遠方的河』闡述着自我迷失在城市裡,藉由無意識機械化的動作與攝者的社會意識形態,反映創作者心中已失去的美好回憶。韓承燁『迴』以其快門的速度不斷地重複播放著反覆且規律的快門聲,試圖將過往的生活經驗,透過具有時間性的靜止畫面,再次將「瞬間」具體化。Sammy Chien(簡上翔) 『Proscenium』藉由芭蕾舞者連續動作與劇場互動,暗喻著自以為是的美好演出,背後往往針鋒相對、明爭暗鬥,如同政治人物般,總在人前光鮮亮麗的說著預演千百次的謊言,但實際上背地裡做著見不得人的勾當。林立翔(小目) 『 Part of the Weekend Never Dies』與張修齊『夜鷹』擷取長年拍攝的台灣夜生活與不為人知的地下樂團場景片段,具體而微的呈現此世代的慾望表徵,當中的疏離意識反應背後流動的寂寥。


迪化展場藝術家:張修齊、Sammy Chien(簡上翔)
開幕茶會:2013年8月10號(星期六)下午兩點 萬隆展場
展覽時間:2013年8月10日至2013年9月8日 週二~週日 1300—2000
展覽地址:萬隆展場 /北市羅斯福路五段241-1號
迪化展場 /迪化街一段46巷18弄4號