Still from ‘I touch myself’

I Touch Myself by Cindy Jiang, Francis Cao, James Emmanuel Mckinnon


“‘I touch myself’ is a love note to our bodies in isolation. As we find ourselves deprived of con-nection through touch, we grapple with the grief of physical loneliness. This is especially felt amongst queer folks, and people of colour, whose already marginalised existences are further challenged by the distance from our chosen families.

‘I touch myself’ is our ritual of self-love and self-celebration during this pandemic. We tune in-to, and give thanks to all the energies and sounds in our bodies, that continue to carry us through survival.

This work was made through a series of Zoom screen recordings, where we encouraged participants to connect with their bodies in their own way, in their own time. Through reframing the idea of connection in isolation as a greater engagement with the self, we can imagine that when we touch ourselves, we are sharing touch with the world.”

Artists: Cindy Jiang (creative direction, text), Francis Cao (video, editing), James Emmanuel Mckinnon (sound).

Featuring (in footage): Ari Tampubolon, Euna Marie Catampongan, Senuri Chandrani, Ella Tabilog, Cindy Jiang.

‘I Touch Myself’ is the second collaborative project for Cindy, Francis, and James. Their first project was ‘Safe Word: Our Asian Sexploration’ (2019), exploring queer Asian sex and sexuality, which enjoyed a sold-out season and a nomination for the Best Experimental award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. In their individual and collaborative artistic practices, the trio share a passion for diversity in the arts, for experimentation and play, and for the radical pride of Asian excellence.

I Touch Myself by Cindy Jiang, Francis Cao, James Emmanuel Mckinnon is created for Shelter 2020.