Monthly Archives: April 2015

Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong at Museum of Chinese in America, NYC

Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong

March 26, 2015 – September 13, 2015


APRIL 9 – SEPTEMBER 10 | 6:30 PM

Explore Tyrus Wong’s craft, as well as lasting influence of his artistic vision and style. Free with admission!


In celebration of the Museum’s 35th anniversary this spring, MOCA is proud to present Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong. Celebrated painter, muralist, kite-maker, lithographer and calligrapher, Tyrus Wong is one of the greatest Chinese American artists of the 20th century. This highly anticipated exhibition showcases his extraordinary body of work including Disney’s iconic American children’s classic, Bambi. Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, CA.

This retrospective exhibition features Wong’s extensive body of work which includes his paintings, hand-painted ceramics, original greeting cards, works on paper, and latest kite creations. It was the ethereal beauty of Wong’s Eastern influenced paintings, his sense of color, richness, and imagination that caught Walt Disney’s eye and became the inspiration for the animated feature Bambi (1942). Wong’s singular vision and impressionistic art influenced the groundbreaking movie’s overall visual style and changed the way animation art was presented.

Arriving in the United States with his father in 1919 from the Toishan district in Guangdong, China, Wong was initially detained in Angel Island for three weeks because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. After his release, Wong and his father settled in Sacramento, later moving to Los Angeles’s Chinatown.

Wong was one of the bohemian artists whose creativity and drive helped shape the cultural, artistic life of Los Angeles during the 1930s and 40s. He carved out a creative career working as a Depression-era muralist, California watercolorist, and film production illustrator. Wong worked at the Warner Bros. studio from 1942 to 1968, creating concept images for many films includingRebel Without a Cause [1955] and The Wild Bunch [1969], to name a few. These artworks conjured stunning environments, in many cases resembling beautifully executed architectural renderings.

In 2001, Wong was named a Disney Legend. Wong has been inducted into the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame for his amazing creations, which include hundred-foot long centipedes, butterflies, and schools of delicately painted goldfish. These handmade kites inspired by the complex art of Chinese kite making will be a central exhibition showcase.

During the run of the exhibition, MOCA will offer a line-up of events, public programs, tours, and educational workshops.

On May 14, at 7PM, join Academy Award-winning filmmaker and animation historian John Canemaker on a talk on Tyrus Wong’s influential and unique contributions to the art direction of animated feature film Bambi (1942) and his experiences working at the Walt Disney studio.

Please check back on the Museum’s website for upcoming exhibition-related programs.

About Tyrus Wong

This exhibition and related programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by The Starr Foundation and Anla Cheng & Mark Kingdon. In-kind shipping has been provided by DHL.


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MOBILITIES conference at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne — CFP







This conference is hosted by the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (AASRN) in partnership with the Immigration Museum, Melbourne.



Professor Ien Ang (Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney)

Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission)

Research in Asian Australian Studies is marked consistently by critiques of static contexts and hermetic conceptualisations of sociocultural communities.

With the heightened – some might say hyper – mobility of people, capital, and information in the past couple of decades comes the necessity of new interrogations of community, nation, diaspora, and unbelonging.

What does this porousness of boundaries (whether geopolitical, community, or digital) mean for Asian Australian groups and their critical politics? Has the strategic essentialism of ‘Asian Australian’ lost its efficacy? Where is the crucial work that still needs to be done?

The ‘mobilities’ (aka AAI 5) conference focuses on the disparate, dispersed trajectories of Asian Australian subjects and communities, as well as the movement of its political and cultural boundaries.

It brings together academics, community and cultural workers, educators, creative artists, and industry speakers. At its core, the conference critically examines Asian Australian Studies today.


Critical views on Asia literacy

Educating about Asian Australia

Political subjectivities, public life

Creative cultural activism

Rural + regional Asian Australia

Asian Australian health

Diaspora + Asian identities

Digital activism

Screen cultures + mobile subjects

Histories of mobility + migration


Call for Papers deadline: 1 March, 2015

Please send submissions to, with “mobilities – <LAST NAMES>” in the email subject heading (e.g. mobilities – De Silva, Wang, Bloggs)

You are encouraged to submit:

Themed panel groups: Panel title and 100 word panel theme summary, 150 word abstracts and 100 word bios for each presenter.

Roundtable groups: Roundtable title and 200 word roundtable theme summary, 100 word bios for each participant.

Individual papers: 250 word abstracts and 100 word bios.

1 May – Accepted speakers will be notified / Registrations open

25 July – Last day for early-bird registration

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, and presentations from a broad range of humanities and social sciences fields (including political science, public health, cultural studies, education, critical race studies, cultural geography, history, and sociology).

The conference encourages a wide range of presentation format submissions, including themed panels, individual papers, round-tables, and Q&A-style sessions.


Dr Tseen Khoo (La Trobe U), Dr Dean Chan (Curtin U), Dr Sukhmani Khorana (U of Wollongong) Professor Jacqueline Lo (ANU).

All conference enquiries can be directed to

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WORK WERQ Art Exhibition and Performances featuring Chicago-based Asian American Artists at FLATSstudio

This exhibition has been organized in partnership with the April 23-25, 2015 Association for Asian American Studies annual conference. Along with Mark Chiang from UIC, I am serving as the site committee co-chair. This is one of two of our events that is free and open to the general public. Special thanks to our site committee member Larry Lee for facilitating the organization of this exhibition.


Contact:  Jacqueline Chao

Aram Han Sifuentes


Art Exhibition and Performances featuring

Chicago-based Asian American Artists at FLATSstudio

CHICAGO, IL – March 26, 2015 – Work Werq is a group art exhibition featuring work by Matthew Avignone, Aram Han Sifuentes, Regin Igloria, Audra Jacot,Kiam Marcelo Junio, Hee Ran Lee with Kinnari Vora, Patricia Nguyen, Soo Shin, Leonard Suryajaya, and _jJ4XXX5YN_ (collaboration between jonCatesand 愛真 Janet Lin), curated by Jacqueline Chao and Aram Han Sifuentes. The exhibition will have an opening reception featuring live performances on Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 6-10 pm at FLATSstudio No. 1050, located at 1050 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL. The exhibition will run April 23-May 8, 2015.  To attend the opening reception, please RSVP to by Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Work Werq_Press Release_FINAL

Leonard Suryajaya. Mom and all the jewelry she bought herself with her own money. 2015. Archival inkjet print.  40” x50”. Image is courtesy of the artist.

About the Exhibition

Work (\ˈwərk\) noun, verb, adjective:  labor, process, art.

Werq (\ˈwərk\) verb: to wear (whether clothes or skin) with ferocity.

Work Werq challenges preconceived notions of Asian (American) identity. The exhibition presents Chicago-based Asian American artists who explore a range of topics including: migration, globalization, gender, queer politics and identity. Opening night will include visual arts of various media and live performances.

This exhibition is organized in partnership with the Association of Asian American Studies 2015 Annual Conference, to be held at the Hilton Orrington in Evanston, IL, from April 23-25, 2015.

About the Artists

Matthew Avignone is a Korean-American photographer born in 1987. In 2011, he obtained is B.A. in photography from Columbia College, Chicago. He has been nominated for the 2012 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographer (The Baum Foundation, San Francisco, CA). His work has been exhibited at the Aperture Foundation (2011) and in the Pingyao Photography Festival: Student Exhibition, Pingyao, China (2011). His book, An Unfinished Body, is now part of the collections of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film (Rochester, New York) and the International Center for Photography (New York, NY). He is currently working and living in Chicago.

Regin Igloria maintains a studio practice in Chicago, IL, which revolves around teaching and serving as an arts administrator. He has taught at Marwen, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Rhode Island School of Design, and many local institutions. In 2010, he founded North Branch Projects, a community bookbinding project based in Albany Park, Chicago. Currently he serves as the Director of Residencies & Fellowships at The Ragdale Foundation. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally, including the ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Out of Site Performance Festival Chicago, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, The Franklin, Zg Gallery, and The Center for Book Arts NYC. He is a recipient of a 3Arts Teaching Artist Award, Propeller Grant, 96 Acres Project Grant, and an Americans for the Arts Fellowship. Residencies include Ucross, ACRE, and The Wormfarm Institute. He received his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design.

Audra Jacot is a Filipino-American artist and curator based out of Chicago. Raised in the Mormon faith, Jacot’s work celebrates the empowerment of sexuality through sculptural form. She recently received her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, through the Art and Technology program. Her work was recently featured in Bravo’s 100 Days of Summer. She is currently the Chief Curator for FLATSstudio in Chicago as well as the Tech Coordinator for the CPS Advanced Arts Program at Gallery 37.

Kiam Marcelo Junio (preferred gender pronoun: “they/them”) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist creating work through various media, including but not limited to, photography, video, performance (blending butoh, drag and burlesque), sculpture and installation, and culinary arts.  Their research and art practice centers around queer identities, Philippine history and the Filipino diaspora, post/colonialist Asian American tropes and stereotypes, military power dynamics, the politics of personal agency, and social justice through collaborative practices and healing modalities. Kiam served seven years in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. They were born in the Philippines, and have lived in the U.S., Japan, and Spain.

Hee Ran Lee is a performance artist whose body centered work explores private and public gestures of the Asian female body in the patriarchal power structure and investigates cultural marginalization. Her recent grants have included the ARKO Young Art Frontier from Arts Council Korea (2013), she was a Semi-finalist for the emerging artist prize from The Claire Rosen & Samuel Edes Foundation (2012) and The Anna Louise Raymond Fellowship (2012). Her work has been shown at Culture Station Seoul 284(Korea 2014), Grace Exhibition Space (New York 2013), The Watermill Center (New York 2012), Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago 2012), and Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 2011). She holds an MFA specializing in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently a fellow artist of LEIMAY 2014-2015 at CAVE in New York.

Patricia Nguyen is a Chicago based performance artist, healer, and educator. She has over 10 years of experience in performance, arts education, community development and human rights, which has taken her work to the United States, Vietnam, Brazil, and the Philippines. Her current work explores the dialectic between modernity and dispossession as it relates to notions of freedom and home. She has performed at the Nha San Collective in Vietnam, the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, Oberlin College, Northwestern University, and University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2010, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to work in Vietnam. She has since co-founded cây, the first life skills and art therapy reintegration program with the Pacific Links Foundation for human trafficking survivors along the border regions of Vietnam. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Soo Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and currently lives and works in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. She is interested in the duality of having faith in the unknown and the codependent nature between faith and struggle. Through sculpture, painting, and drawing she turns the psychological struggle into physical experience using the latency of body in her work. She is a recipient of the Vilcek Foundation Fellowship at Mac Dowell Colony Artists residency (Peterbrough, NH) Program and has recently shown her work at Peregrine Program (Chicago, IL), the Dominican University (River Forest, IL), the Rhodes College (Memphis, TN).

Influenced by the cultural milieu of experiencing intra-ethnic relations in Indonesia,Leonard Suryajaya’s work explores identity, culture, gender, and sexuality. By utilizing photography, video, along with elements of performance and installation, his work challenges and deconstructs the perspective we use to scrutinize and observe our roles in a transnational global world. He is currently in his second year as a candidate for an MFA in photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kinnari Vora, a versatile dancer and choreographer, was born in India. She started learning Bharatnatyam, Classical dance form of South India at the age of 5 and continued her advanced training under Guru Sarmishtha Sarkar (India). She also learnt Kathak, a North Indian Classical dance form and various Indian folk dances with Setu folk dance group. Kinnari, has performed both Classical and Folk dances in several prestigious dance festivals in India, US, Greece, Poland, Italy, Israel. Currently based in Chicago, Kinnari found the right platform to suffice her creative thirst for classical, folk, contemporary and fusion Bollywood at Pranita Jain’s Mandala and Kalapriya Dance Company. Her recent performances include Redmoon Theater’s winter pageant, all night World music festival, Harris Theater, Chicago summer dance, Chicago humanities festival.

_jJ4XXX5YN_ is the Noise Country duet of jonCates && 愛真 Janet Lin, who got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.

About the Curators

Jacqueline Chao has a doctoral degree in Art History from Arizona State University with research emphasis in Chinese art.  She has organized and independently curated several art exhibitions, including at the Phoenix Art Museum, ASU Art Museum, and the University of Toronto Art Centre, as well as published extensively on early and contemporary Chinese artists. She currently teaches East Asian Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and researches Chinese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work at the LuXun Academy of Fine Art in Shenyang, China, and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, “73,000 forms” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL, and “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC. Han earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.

Work Werq

Featuring Matthew Avignone, Aram Han Sifuentes, Regin Igloria, Audra Jacot, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Hee Ran Lee with Kinnari Vora, Patricia Nguyen, Soo Shin, Leonard Suryajaya, and _jJ4XXX5YN_ (collaboration between jonCates and 愛真 Janet Lin)

Curated by Jacqueline Chao and Aram Han Sifuentes

Exhibition dates:  April 23-May 8, 2015

Opening reception: Thursday, April 23, from 6-10 PM

Featuring performances, DJ, and drinks throughout the evening.

To attend the opening reception, please RSVP to by Wednesday, April 22, 2015.


FLATSstudio is our way of using empty storefronts and vacant commercial spaces in FLATS buildings to support, engage and encourage the artistic spirits of our community. FLATSstudio is an organically evolving program with the core goal of using the Arts to develop the community where FLATS residents live. FLATSstudio creates spaces to live, produce, and exhibit – tying the artists directly with the community by creating services available to give back. Our program hosts monthly galleries on the third Friday of every month and also offers an artist housing program to those who qualify.

FLATSstudio, 1050 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL, 60640

(CTA:  easily accessible on the RED Line, Wilson stop).

All viewings after the opening reception are by appointment only. 

To schedule a visit, please email

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“Wong Kit Yi: North Pole Futures” at K. 334 Broome Street— April 12–26, 2015

Wong Kit Yi: North Pole Futures
April 12–26, 2015
K. 334 Broome Street

Private preview: Sunday, April 12, 5–7pm (by invitation only)
Opening reception: Sunday, April 12,7–9pm
Please join us on Sunday, April 12, 5–7pm for a private preview of North Pole Futures, a solo exhibition by Hong Kong / New York-based artist Wong Kit Yi. Gallery founder Prem Krishnamurthy will give an overview of the show and introduce the artist. North Pole Futuresremains on view through April 26.

For the duration of the exhibition, Ali Wong, investment manager for Wong Kit Yi, offers intrepid collectors a chance to commission a custom-made work, which will be created by the artist this fall on a sailing expedition to the North Pole.

Prospective patrons may choose three elements out of Wong’s lists: a date, a color, and a weird word. These three terms will be combined together in a photographic, sculptural, performative, or painterly manner in the Arctic. The price of each work is generated by a complex calculation that factors together weather conditions, sun cover, moon illumination, and randomized variables; this determines both the artwork price and a percentage of the sale that will be donated to a nonprofit organization of the artist’s choosing. Patrons thus become co-producers, fellow adventurers, speculative investors, and inadvertent philanthropists all at once.

The exhibition features texts, objects, and time-based works. Video interviews with select experts — including an art dealer, a commodities trader, a pawnbroker, and a fishmonger — consider the nature and techniques of valuation and pricing. The exhibition also includes a publication and website for contracting the artworks.

There are only a limited number of contracts for sale, so don’t wait to invest in the future now.
Wong Kit Yi is an artist based in Hong Kong and New York. Recent projects have appeared in the exhibitionsRegarding Lightness: On Life’s Way, Oil Street Art Space, Hong Kong (2015); Bringing the World into the World, Queens Museum, NY (2014);The Ceiling Should Be Green, P!, NY (2013); and EXCHANGE, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD (2013). Wong’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, ChinaDaily,Asian Art News, Time Out Hong Kong, and South China Morning Post. She holds an MFA from Yale University.

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