Remnants: Artists Respond to the Chinese American Experience

Opening April 12, 2012

In the Year of the Dragon, 2012, the Chinese Historical Society of America will revitalize its museum, giving its history exhibits an infusion of art. CHSA has reached out to its artistic community to create works that interpret and respond to the themes of its history galleries. The first art installations will appear in the museum in April, marked by an opening reception on Thursday, April 12.

Five artists are participating in the spring installation: Nancy Hom, Michael Jang, Lenora Lee, Cynthia Tom and Flo Oy Wong. Another group of artists’ works will be installed in September. With this creative approach to its exhibition program, CHSA hopes to invent a new experience for its visitors, bringing a deeper understanding of the Chinese American experience. The selected work for the spring installation focuses on personal narrative, memory and family – concepts that characterize Chinese America.

Among this group of artwork, the centerpiece will be a site-specific installation of the set from the performance “Passages” by Lenora Lee Dance. A powerful portrayal of the journey endured by Lee’s grandmother through Angel Island and into American life, “Passages” presents a memorable narrative through stunning visuals. Works by the other artists will further explore themes of family and remembrance using a range of artistic expression, bearing unique witness to Chinese American history.

Exhibition curated by exhibition designer Gordon Chun

FEATURING:
Nancy Hom
Michael Jang
Lenora Lee
Cynthia Tom
Flo Oy Wong

OPENING RECEPTION:
April 12, 2012 – 6pm

“PASSAGES” BY LENORA LEE DANCE PERFORMANCE:
April 14, 2012 – 1pm

ARTISTS Q&A PANEL:
June 2, 2012 – 1pm

Remnants Press Coverage & Photos >
 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Nancy Hom

Nancy Hom is an artist, writer, curator, and arts consultant with over 37 years of experience in the non-profit arts field. Born in Toisan, China, she came to the United States when she was five years old. She grew up in New York City. After graduating from Pratt Institute, she moved to San Francisco in 1974 and initiated ground-breaking projects for several non-profit arts organizations, most notably Kearny Street Workshop.

Known for her silkscreen artwork, she has created numerous images for community events, political and social causes. She has also been a graphic designer and children’s book illustrator, as well as a published writer. She now works in mixed media, executing digital posters and large sculpture installations.

Her work has been documented in several publications and her art has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the de Young Museum and Stanford. Her awards include the Gerbode Fellowship (1998) and KQED Local Hero Award (2003). She is currently a curator and organizational development consultant for several non-profit arts organizations in the Bay Area.

For more information, visit www.nancyhomarts.com

Michael Jang

“For three decades, Michael Jang has earned his keep making photographic portraits of prominent San Franciscans, regular Joes and Silicon Valley big shots. But all the while he’s been taking other pictures for the sheer pleasure of it: punk rockers, cowboys, gang members, Castro’s Cuba, baptisms and barbershops in Hunters Point, old abandoned Idaho houses and his own family….

Jang describes the images as “an often humorous look into the life of an Asian family trying to assimilate into the American mainstream of the ’70s.” He wasn’t thinking that when he took them. It was only in retrospect, looking at them 35 years later, that he saw these pictures in a larger social and historical context.”

Read More: Hamlin, Jesse (2008 November 10). Michael Jang: Family snapshots become fine art. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/10/DDGG13N1SB.DTL&ao=all

www.michaeljang.com

Lenora Lee

Lenora Lee is a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past fourteen years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Her training is diverse, with a BA in Dance: Performance and Choreography from UCLA, and experiences as a taiko (Japanese drumming) performer with the celebrated San Francisco ensemble Genryu Arts (2001-2004), in karate (Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo 2009 – present), and Chinese forms (Kei Lun Martial Arts 2009 – present). She has pursued private study in dance composition, contact improvisation, Afro-Brazilian Dance, ballet, modern dance and other forms as well. As such her works have integrated these various approaches to tell stories that shed light on social issues and give voice to experiences of Asian American communities. Lenora is also an experienced arts administrator, having served as Managing Director of Asian American Dance Performances (AADP) and is currently Project Manager for the presenting organization Asian Improv aRts.

In the past two years, however, she has pursued the realization of large-scale interdisciplinary works integrating dance, media design, martial arts, music, and text that share the still largely untold story of how Chinese struggled to immigrate to America and built a viable community under the extremely hostile conditions of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act only repealed in 1943.  www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Olivia Ting is interested in the role of digital technology in the fabric of contemporary lives and how our perception of recorded media (film, photography, audio) as “reality” has shifted as technology becomes more ingrained and “invisible” in our daily functions.

Formally trained as a graphic designer, Olivia worked in branding in New York City before finding that story-telling through images and videos in three-dimensional space suits her calling far more. Returning to San Francisco, she collaborated with dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee to create video collages of stills and moving images to be projected into performance spaces with live dancers. She has made experimental films exploring the dreamlike landscapes of the subconscious that has a way of linking together crucial truths that do not reveal themselves easily in the waking life.

Olivia has done design work for San Francisco Dance Center, San Francisco Performances, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Children Discovery Museum of San Jose. She is currently working on commissioned video projection pieces slated as permanent exhibit of Oakland Museum of California’s Natural History Gallery, under renovation to be opened October 2012. www.olivetinge.com

Cynthia Tom

Cynthia Tom is a working artist and a 3rd generation Cantonese native of San Francisco. Her work, sometimes referred to as Cultural Surrealism, is often feminist in scope, intense in color and often fanciful in execution. She is referenced in 2 academic art publications and her work has been seen at the de Young Museum, Legion of Honor and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She lectures at Universities and just about anywhere people want to know about Cynthia’s work and her themes and about Asian American women in the arts. She is currently the board president of AAWAA, Asian American Women Artists Association, a member of the International Museum of Women and the National Women’s Caucus for the Arts.
www.cynthiatom.com

Flo Oy Wong

Flo Oy Wong, a Sunnyvale, California-based mixed media installation artist, is a visual storyteller who began her career at the age of forty.  Born and raised in Oakland California’s Chinatown, she has received numerous awards for her narrative work.

Flo has exhibited widely on a regional, national, and international basis.  In California, she has shown at the de Young Memorial Museum, the Angel Island Immigration Station, the Oakland Museum, the Euphrat Museum of Art, the 40 Acres Art Gallery (Sacramento), the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles).

On a national level, Flo has exhibited in New York at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Ethan Cohen Gallery, and the Flomenhaft Gallery. She is represented by the Flomenhaft Gallery in New York.

A co-founder of the Northern California-based Asian American Women Artists Association, Flo also served as a national board member for the Women’s Caucus for Art, and has served on the boards of the Arts Council Silicon Valley, the Euphrat Museum of Art, the Asian Heritage Council, and the Asian Americans for Community Involvement.

Flo Oy Wong is currently working on a 2013 75th birthday project entitled 75 x 75 x 75: A Slice of Life, which will feature a collaboration with the African American jazz artist Marcus Shelby and the Rooftop Alternative K – 8 School of San Francisco. That collaboration will culminate in an exhibit at the San Francisco-based Luggage Store Gallery in October.

www.flo-oy-wongartist.com


Special thanks to our sponsors:
SF Arts CommissionCultural Equity Grants of the SF Arts Commission

 

Candelaria Fund