Author & Poet
"The only thing that keeps me
going through this eclipse
is the memory of having
once kissed Eternity's lips."
Originally from Singapore, Kagan Goh is a Vancouver-based multidisciplinary Mad Artist: award-wining filmmaker, published author, spoken word poet, playwright, actor, mental health advocate and activist. He was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of twenty-three, in 1993. Kagan is a well-known spoken word artist, essayist and poet, a respected and established voice in Vancouver’s literary community for over two decades. He has been invited to perform at readings, festivals and on radio, and has published in numerous anthologies, periodicals, and magazines. In 2012, Select Books in Singapore published his poetic memoir, focused upon his relationship with his esteemed father, Who Let in the Sky? Kagan is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a number of releases including the award-winning Mind Fuck (1996); Stolen Memories (2012); Breaking the Silence (2015); and The Day My Cat Saved My Life (2021);; his films have been broadcast on national television and gained entry into respected film festivals across Canada.
In Kagan Goh’s follow-up memoir, Surviving Samsara, he recounts his struggles with manic depression, breaking the silence around mental illness. From an honest and personal perspective, Surviving Samsara traces Goh’s experiences as he wanders through the highs of mania, the terrors of psychosis, and the lows of depression. From the welfare office to the hospital ward and many places in between, Goh struggles to discern the difference between mental health breakdowns and spiritual breakthroughs. Facing his experiences with courage and authenticity, Goh shares memories of family altercations, pushed to the brink of living on the street, and psychiatrist visits. He explores his diagnosis of bipolar mood disorder not only as a medical condition but as a spiritual emergence—a vehicle for personal growth, healing and transcendence. With raw language and deep insight, he combats the societal stigma, prejudice and discrimination people with mental health challenges face on a daily basis, and exposes the further damage it can do. Writing and sharing his story of living with a mental illness began a form of self-therapy, and now illustrates Goh’s transformation from victim to survivor to activist. Surviving Samsara tells a deeply personal story of recovery, acceptance and unconditional self-love and humanizes the challenges of those living with mental illness.
IN THE PRESS
'KAGAN GOH'S BREAKOUT SEASON'
- Tom Sandborn,
'MARK OF A MAVERICK - KAGAN GOH'S ARTISTIC CONFRONTATION OF STIGMAS AND STEREOTYPES'
- Haley Cameron,
'READ ALL OVER -
- Erica Mattson,
VANCOUVER IS AWESOME
'RECOLLECTIONS OF DAVID BOWIE'S SERIOUS MOONLIGHT TOUR TO SINGAPORE'
METRO LIVING ZINE
NEWS AND EVENTS
Kagan Goh awarded Geoff McMurchy Development Grant Recipient
January 01, 2020
We are thrilled to announce the recipient of our 1st Annual Geoff McMurchy Artist Development Grant, Kagan Goh. ( Author / Playwright / Spoken Word Poet / Filmmaker / Actor)
For our formal announcement and to learn more about Kagan, click the link below:
We look forward to continuing to celebrate Geoff McMurchy's legacy in the coming years with this grant. Thank you to all of the extremely talented artists who applied, we hope you will consider applying again next year.
June 15, 2017
by Kagan Goh
A celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit to transcend the suffering of the stigma and discrimination of mental illness
WHERE: THE INTERURBAN GALLERY
1 EAST HASTINGS (@ CARRALL)
WHEN: THURSDAY JUNE 15 & THURSDAY JUNE 29, 2017
Doors Open 7 PM
Show Starts 7.30 PM
Suggested Donation $20
(Pay what you can. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds)
A Multimedia Multidisciplinary Theatrical Performance
KAGAN GOH – Actor & Spoken Word Artist
SALOMÉ NIETO – Butoh Dancer & Choreographer
ANGELO MORONI – Director & Composer/Musician
JUJUBE JACINTO – Rapper
RENA DEL PIEVE GOBBI – Filmmaker
Surviving Samsara is a multimedia multidisciplinary live theatrical production that incorporates acting, spoken word, Butoh dance, rap, music, film and video. Surviving Samsara recounts the author Kagan Goh’s struggles with manic depression. This story takes place over two decades as Kagan Goh struggles to survive the highs of mania and the lows of depression. As a survivor, Kagan gives us insight into an ‘insider’s’ experience of madness. He exposes the damaging effects of the stigma of mental illness, and explores manic depression not only as a disorder, but as a spiritual emergence -- a vehicle for personal growth, healing and transcendence. Kagan’s deeply personal stories illustrate his transformation from victim to survivor to activist.
The production of Surviving Samsara is proposed, managed and facilitated by people with personal, lived experience with mental health challenges.
KAGAN GOH – Producer, Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Actor.
Kagan Goh is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, spoken word poet, and mental health advocate and activist. Kagan has been published in numerous anthologies, periodicals and magazines. Select Books in Singapore published his first book, Who Let in the Sky? Goh is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a number of releases, including the award-winning Mind Fuck (1996) and Stolen Memories (2012). His films have been broadcast on national television and gained entry into respected film festivals across Canada. His personal mission is to educate people about mental health issues and fight the stigma against the mentally ill.
(www.kagangoh.com / www.stolenmemoriesdocumentary.com)
SALOMÉ NIETO – Butoh Dancer/Choreographer.
Renowned for her emotionally-charged performances, audiences have described pataSola co-founder, Salome Nieto, as ethereal, evocative and enchanting. Her work explores the essence of Butoh and the integration of spirituality with her cultural identity. An accomplished dancer and choreographer, Salome has 23 years of specialized Butoh training with internationally-renowned instructors and has danced extensively with Kokoro Dance Company. As well as executing her own works in Vancouver, BC, Salome has performed in Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua, Thailand, England and Poland. Recent collaborations include projects with Butoh Masters Gustavo Collini-Sartor (Argentina) and Valentin Tzin (Russia), Dianne Farnsworth, Donna Redlick Dance and since 2014 with Poet Kagan Goh (Canada).
ANGELO MORONI – Director, Musician/Composer, Social Theatre Facilitator
With more than 15 years practicing Theatre and Music, Angelo has performed in numerous theatre and modern dance companies, including in experimental music ensembles. Furthermore, he has given social theatre workshops to kids, teens, adults, the visually impaired, Amnesty International, and to educators at UBC in Canada and Mexico. In Surviving Samsara, Angelo, the musician/composer, has also given Kagan Goh (actor) directorial support with his written pieces.
JUJUBE JACINTO – Rapper, Stage Manager, Audio Visual Designer
Jujube Jacinto is a self-taught lyricist, performer, and visual artist living with bipolar. Through her work, she heals personal trauma, inspiring others to do the same. As stage manager in Surviving Samsara, she assists with all technical aspects of the production: successful timing and delivery, costumes, props, projector, and lighting.
RENA DEL PIEVE GOBBI – Filmmaker, Production Assistant, Audio Visual Designer
Rena Del Pieve Gobbi is a Vancouver Artist and Filmmaker. Her work has screened in 15 countries and opened for the Images Film Festival Gala in Toronto as well as the Canadian Images Gala at the VIFF IN Vancouver. Rena was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1993. Her art work is concerned with issues surrounding PTSD and sexual violence. Rena collaborated with Kagan Goh on the Surviving Samsara piece photographically five years ago. She is very excited to continue collaborating on this material. "My feeling is that work that demonstrates the experiences of mental illness are crucial to raising awareness." To this end Rena has made a video, seclusion, out of photographs shot on a camera smuggled into a psychiatric hospital when she was in her early 20s and a painting depicting herself locked in the seclusion room for seven days. The video is narrated with three journal entries woven together from the same time. An improvisational soundtrack accompanies the narrative and brings to life the hallucinated monkey in the next room. (www.rena.ca)
DTES Small Arts Grant
Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts
Portland Hotel Society
The Floor 9 Salon Presents "City State to Harbour City"
March 29, 2017
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada invites you to join us for the latest instalment in our Floor 9 Salon Series, a quarterly interdisciplinary art and cultural showcase of local and visiting artists who have roots in the Asia Pacific.
DATE: Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
TIME: 5.30 - 7.30 pm
LOCATION: APF Canada's Vancouver Office
9th Floor - 675 West Hastings Street
City State to Harbour City, the third event in our series, features:
Kagan Goh is a spoken word poet, journalist, playwright, and mental health advocate who emigrated from Singapore in 1986. The author of the memoir "Who Let In the Sky?", Goh's stories have been published in several anthologies throughout the Asia Pacific. The Vancouver-based artist is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a number of releases, including the award-winning "Mind Fuck" (1996), "Breaking the Silence" (2008) and "Stolen Memories (2012). His films have been broadcast on national television and gained entry into respected film festivals across Canada. Goh's presentation will include a number of short screenings and readings.
Lydia Kwa has lived and worked in Vancouver since 1992 as a psychologist and writer. Her writing spans various times and spaces in the Asia Pacific region and imagination. A published poet, Kwa's first novel, "This Place Called Absence" (2000), was nominated for several awards including the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her next novel "The Walking Boy" (2005) was nominated for the Ethel Wilson prize. Her most recent novel, "Pulse" (2014), is set in both 1960s and 21st-century Singapore, as well as in Toronto. Kwa's presentation will feature short excerpts from "Pulse", "sinuous", and her forthcoming book, "Oracle Bone."
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Friday, March 24, 2017
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Mandy Ng - email@example.com
or curator Phinder Dulai - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rain City Chronicles Presents Record Club: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
November 17, 2016
Record Club : David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust
Presented in Partnership with Here There
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is partnering with the creative minds behind Rain City Chronicles and Sensory Cinema to present their latest creative endeavour: Record Club. Record Club is an evening of curated stories inspired by a legendary musician and themes from their notable album.
On November 17 we pay tribute to the science-fiction inspired album by David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The night begins with a happy hour listening party, before transitioning into a live storytelling event and musical act in the Planetarium Star Theatre. Beer and wine will be available for purchase before the show.
7:00pm - Happy hour listening party
8:00pm - Storytelling Planetarium event
Special guest co-host CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe and true stories told by:
special musical guest Revered [featuring Emmett Hall of Sunday Service & members of Weekend Leisure]
Write Mastering the Craft of Writing Short Stories Through Narrative Poetry
November 19, 2016
Presented by Royal City Literary Arts Society
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2016
Facilitator Kagan Goh
“Mastering the Craft of Writing Short Stories Through Narrative Poetry”
Full details and payment options here: https://rclas.com/workshops/
In this 3-hour hands-on, interactive workshop, learn to master the craft of writing short stories through narrative poetry.
Award-winning filmmaker and published author Kagan Goh will facilitate a workshop in which he shares his knowledge of how to craft a narrative short story.
He will provide examples from his own work, as well as from short-story writer and poet Raymond Carver.
Participants will learn to turn a recollection, memory, anecdote, imaginary idea or an impression into a short story.
Participants will have plenty of opportunities for interaction, as they practice writing exercises in the spirit of exploration, experimentation, fun and play during the workshop. Come with a curious and open mind, pen and writing pad. Be prepared to be surprised and astonished by the new stories you will generate during this workshop.
YACTAC GALLERY PRESENTS SPATIAL POETICS WEMIX XIII
July 03, 2014
Yactac Gallery present Spatial Poetics; featuring spoken word artist Kagan Goh, cellist-composer Nicholas Epperson and Butoh dancer Maria Salome Nieto
Western Front: 303 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Info Line: (604) 876 9343
VanDocument - SPATIAL POETICS XIII: WeMix
MISFIT LIT MAGAZINE LAUNCH
May 24, 2014
Misfit Lit magazine launch presents spoken word artist Kagan Goh; featuring Butoh dancer Maria Salome Nieto, cellist-composer Nicholas Epperson and singer-songwriter Fraser Mackenzie
Cafe Deux Soleils: 2096 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC (at 5th Avenue)
$7 at the door; magazines for sale
THE ARTS HOUSE PRESENTS THE SCREENING OF THE BOOK LAUNCH OF KAGAN GOH’S “WHO LET IN THE SKY?”
March 23, 2013
A son’s tribute to his father Goh Poh Seng’s courageous struggle with Parkinson’s disease
The Arts House presents a special screening of a video of a multi-media spoken word performance by author, poet and filmmaker Kagan Goh, incorporating documentary film, music, video and dance. This event features Professor Koh Tai Ann as moderator; a screening of a documentary film by director Almerinda Travossos entitled “GOH POH SENG: A POET IN NEWFOUNDLAND”; a special dance performance by dancer and choreographer Maria Salome Nieto as well as a live Q & A Skype chat with author Kagan Goh and Professor Koh Tai Ann.
THE ARTS HOUSE – 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
RHIZOME CAFE - BOOK LAUNCH OF 'WHO LET IN THE SKY?'
February 02, 2013
Rhizome Café presented the book launch of Kagan Goh’s “Who Let In the Sky?”
The book launch consisted of a live multi-media spoken word performance by author Kagan Goh incorporating documentary film, video, slide projection, music and dance. The event featured a screening of a documentary film by director Almerinda Travossos entitled “Goh Poh Seng: A Poet in Newfoundland” as well as a special dance performance by Butoh dancer/choreographer Maria Salome Nieto.
For any media inquiries, please contact Kagan Goh:
Tel: 604-446-3366 | email@example.com
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