Edward Gunawan

Artist Statement

As an interdisciplinary storyteller, I integrate practices and creative elements from the cinematic, literary, visual, and performing art traditions to tell community-rooted impact-driven stories.

A queer immigrant from Indonesia and of Chinese heritage, I grew up in Singapore and have worked in Los Angeles, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. Perhaps not surprisingly, my works are often transnational and intersectional — interrogating notions of power and status, (in)visibility and displacement, as well as healing and belonging, for marginalized minorities.


Edward Gunawan is a writer and filmmaker.

He first developed his craft and passion for storytelling as a theater practitioner in Southern California, before completing over 25 award-winning feature and short films as producer, writer, actor, and/or director. His last two producing projects — How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) and By the Time It Gets Dark – premiered in Berlin and Locarno respectively, and were honored as Thailand’s Best Foreign Language Film entries for the Academy Awards.

Recently, Edward was named as the featured film artist of Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture multidisciplinary arts festival and a recipient of Oakland Neighborhood Voices artist grant.

His love for genre-melding literature led him to write across forms and media. In addition to screenplays and plays, he created Press Play – a non-fiction comic that was translated into 6 languages and published as a chapbook (also a recipient of ARTogether’s mini-grant), and co-wrote Folding City – a speculative fiction graphic web series. His short stories, essays, and poems have also been published in Jakarta Post, The Ana, and Sweet Lit as well as anthologies Beyond Queer Words and Intimate Strangers.

Edward was a fellow at Torino Film Lab, Berlinale Talents, Hawai’i Creative Lab, Busan’s Asian Film Academy, Talents Tokyo, and Film Independent’s Project:Involve. Now residing in Oakland on unceded Ohlone land, he frequently collaborates with local artists and organizations, and is currently developing multiple projects that interrogate notions of home and belonging for queer immigrants.

For more info, visit addword.com.

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