Vanessa Le-Fan Yuen (Van Lefan, she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in rural northern Taiwan, where she spent her childhood playing in farm fields, growing food with her grandparents, cultivating a deep sense of connection to the natural cycles of life. In these early years she was drawn to many forms of creative expression including music, movement, poetry, and visual arts.  To her family, songs are the language of love, celebration, struggle, and sadness. When her hometown became industrialized, Lefan watched helplessly as those fields she knew turned into factories that poured toxic dyes into streams once filled with life. When Lefan was 11 years old, she immigrated to the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam & Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, where she currently resides.

These life experiences, along with her journeys with plant and fungi teachers, greatly influenced her passion in environmental and social justice. Vanessa sees art as a powerful vessel for healing, idea sharing, storytelling, and connecting communities in ways beyond language. Her debut album “What Holds Us Together?” is a sonic journey that synergizes folk, pop, world music, experimental soundscapes and poetry. Together, these stories weave an immersive tapestry of ancestry, identity, ecological reverence and social justice. Her work holds a mirror up to the audience as both an invitation for self-inquiry, and a collective call to action.

Vanessa received a Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance Award in support of this presentation. Thank you Cosmic Sister (@CosmicSister).