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Catalog:

RENDERING REAL

AAIFF Opened August 3rd, 2022 View 3D Gallery
Main image for RENDERING REAL

Statement:

This year, AAIFF is celebrating its retrospective with RENDERING REAL: Explorations of Asian American and Asian Diasporic Archives, an online virtual exhibition featuring 11 artists and 4 organizations selected as part of the new media category.

The new media category is an extension and expansion of AAIFF’s dedication to support Asian and Asian diasporic artists working with newer forms of media and moving image that fall out of the bounds of traditional cinema. We look to these artists to understand how storytelling can take shape in newer forms fit for the digital age.

RENDERING REAL revolves around interrogating archival material and the archival process. Especially within the Asian/Asian diasporic community, archives can be powerful reminders of the past and how it continues to inform our present and future. How can we engage with archives more interactively? How can we utilize archives in a manner that activates it rather than renders it passive? Are archives only materials of the past that gather dust or can they be living organisms in the present?

RENDERING REAL aims to contemplate these questions through our selection of new media artworks and projects. We want to thank the artists who have submitted their works, as well as the organizations who shared a selection of their projects reflective of their ongoing efforts to establish and push the boundaries of Asian/Asian diasporic archives.

Artworks in this space:

The Great Wave

Kenji Kojima

The project interprets classic paintings as 12-tone music by binary. The author tried to evaluate the music on the visual data. After COVID-19, he recalled he could get free images on the net. It was a good chance to reflect on analog art in the digital world. He developed the experimental art app on whether AI can reproduce human sensibility. His program exchanged visual data to a different output format which was music. His algorithm collected grids of binary colors with randomly disjointed visual information and converted them to musical notes and played by midi piano. All media in human history are now reduced and recorded as binary. Art material binary creates media cross sensibilities.

A billboard on top of a building that depicts a video playing on loop: The classic painting THE GREAT WAVE by Hokusai is in the background. In the foreground are lines of binary code, 0s and 1s, in white colored font. Sounds from a midi piano emanate.

Red Fuji

Kenji Kojima

The project interprets classic paintings as 12-tone music by binary. The author tried to evaluate the music on the visual data. After COVID-19, he recalled he could get free images on the net. It was a good chance to reflect on analog art in the digital world. He developed the experimental art app on whether AI can reproduce human sensibility. His program exchanged visual data to a different output format which was music. His algorithm collected grids of binary colors with randomly disjointed visual information and converted them to musical notes and played by midi piano. All media in human history are now reduced and recorded as binary. Art material binary creates media cross sensibilities.

A billboard on top of a building that depicts a video playing on loop: The classic painting RED FUJI by Hokusai is in the background. In the foreground are lines of binary code, 0s and 1s, in white colored font. Sounds from a midi piano emanate.

Choju Jinbutsu Giga

Kenji Kojima

The project interprets classic paintings as 12-tone music by binary. The author tried to evaluate the music on the visual data. After COVID-19, he recalled he could get free images on the net. It was a good chance to reflect on analog art in the digital world. He developed the experimental art app on whether AI can reproduce human sensibility. His program exchanged visual data to a different output format which was music. His algorithm collected grids of binary colors with randomly disjointed visual information and converted them to musical notes and played by midi piano. All media in human history are now reduced and recorded as binary. Art material binary creates media cross sensibilities.

A billboard on top of a building that depicts a video playing on loop: The classic painting CHOJU JINBUTSU GIGA is in the background. In the foreground are lines of binary code, 0s and 1s, in white colored font. Sounds from a midi piano emanate.

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Linda Mae's Building Transformations

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown is an interactive web project that tells stories about Calgary Chinatown's community through its architecture. Here, we explore transformations that have occurred in its buildings, since Chinatown was established in its current location in 1910. These transformations are visualized and investigated alongside community stories about the histories and activities that took place inside and around these buildings. This project was completed as part of the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency, and was commissioned by The City of Calgary and The New Gallery.

Link to Interactive Website
REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Linda Mae's Building Transformations

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown cityscape 01

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown is an interactive web project that tells stories about Calgary Chinatown's community through its architecture. Here, we explore transformations that have occurred in its buildings, since Chinatown was established in its current location in 1910. These transformations are visualized and investigated alongside community stories about the histories and activities that took place inside and around these buildings. This project was completed as part of the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency, and was commissioned by The City of Calgary and The New Gallery.

Link to Interactive Website
REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown cityscape 01

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown cityscape 02

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown is an interactive web project that tells stories about Calgary Chinatown's community through its architecture. Here, we explore transformations that have occurred in its buildings, since Chinatown was established in its current location in 1910. These transformations are visualized and investigated alongside community stories about the histories and activities that took place inside and around these buildings. This project was completed as part of the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency, and was commissioned by The City of Calgary and The New Gallery.

Link to Interactive Website
REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown cityscape 02

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown building index

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown is an interactive web project that tells stories about Calgary Chinatown's community through its architecture. Here, we explore transformations that have occurred in its buildings, since Chinatown was established in its current location in 1910. These transformations are visualized and investigated alongside community stories about the histories and activities that took place inside and around these buildings. This project was completed as part of the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency, and was commissioned by The City of Calgary and The New Gallery.

Link to Interactive Website
REFLECTIVE URBANISMS - Calgary Chinatown building index

Grand Rising

Black Gotham Experience x Think!Chinatown

A fashion story about Domingo Anthony, one of the first Black landowners in New Netherland circa July 13th, 1643 who lived in the south eastern corner of current day Chinatown. This commission is a duet between Kamau Ware, founder of Black Gotham Experience (BGX), and Charles Johnson, a model/stylist & visual artist who plays Domingo in the BGX Universe. A film by Black Gotham Experience , Written & Directed by Kamau Ware, Starring Charles Johnson, Presented by Think!Chinatown

An Ode To Our Generations

Think!Chinatown

In this special revival, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Treya Lam performs songs from Yellow Pearl, intertwined with the memories and hopes for the future from across generations of artist-activists in Chinatown of the past and today. Original music by: Chris Ijima, Nobuko Yamamoto, and Charlie Chin. Performed by: Treya Lam. Producer: Yin Kong. Story production: Rochelle Hoi-Yiu Kwan. Footage from Treya Lam performance on September 10, 2021 for Think!Chinatown’s Chinatown Nights Camera Crew: Jason Chew, Dylan Louis, Brandon Lee Sound Recording: Yixin Cen Video Editing: Hai-Li Kong

Ming Fay and Epoxy

Think!Chinatown

An artist profile of sculptor and multi-media artist, Ming Fay and his role as a founding member of Epoxy Art Group. A collective of Chinese-American artists, mainly from Hong Kong, Epoxy played a role in NYC's art scene in the 1980s. Made possible by the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Research and curation by Stephanie Tung. Produced by Think!Chinatown. Video made by Hai-Li Kong

futureProof

Mark H. Ramos

futureProof, 2021 AI neural network implementation (GPT2 and Char RNN), interactive website futureProof is a network of four interactive AI Chatbots that live in the Cloud: https://mhr1235.github.io/future_proof/ The four bots are: swardspeak-bot : trained on social media posts in swardspeak (salitang beki): https://mhr1235.github.io/chatbot1/ leather-bot: trained on gay leather datasets: https://mhr1235.github.io/chatbot2/ manong-bot: trained on dialogue sets from archival I-hotel interviews: https://mhr1235.github.io/chatbot3/ showgirl-bot: trained on dialogue sets from SOMA cabaret performers: https://mhr1235.github.io/chatbot4/ Together the bots speak to and from a specific moment of convergent queer and FilipinX/American communities and (his)stories. FutureProof makes it possible to text chat with the bots live on the web. *The Yerba Buena exhibition also presents offline video footage of the bot's conversation on monitors and projected on the museum exterior.

Chat with the bots live on the web!

The Talk We Were Supposed To Have

Self Evident Podcast

When Gabe Mara contacted us to share his story, he had been living alongside his parents, in his childhood Pennsylvania home, for over a year. The reason he had moved back home, years after fleeing to New York City in search of a more liberating life, was to donate a kidney to his father. Gabe hoped that making this grand gesture would bring the two of them closer together, only to realize that nothing had changed in their distant relationship. He then made another gesture, by volunteering to work for his parents to help put on the “Fiesta in America,” which is the biggest Filipinx cultural festival on the U.S. East Coast. He pitched us the idea of recording his journey of working on this festival, as an audio record of learning to embrace the Filipino identity he had never felt fully able to claim. However, we soon realized that for Gabe, that process of claiming identity was inextricably linked to remaking the way he’d been thinking of his family since his teenage years. The story we ended up producing together was built on nearly a dozen raw one-on-one conversations with his father, mother, brother, and cousins — longer and more direct than any conversation Gabe had ever tried to start with them before. This process reflected the power of an intentional audio recording to open up the simplest, yet often most inaccessible, conversations that have never taken place between loved ones. Without a shared imperative to explore, document, and preserve, these conversational doorways often remain closed off — by whatever relationship dynamics have dictated who feels safe to speak, and who is willing to listen.

Link to full podcast episode

Saving The Seeds

Self Evident Podcast

In late 2020, our podcast host Cathy decided to start asking friends, listeners, and fellow Asian American podcast hosts about their history with fruit — whether that meant eating, preparing, or growing it. Drawing on her knowledge as a food writer and her personal history growing up Taiwanese American, she uncovered all the little ways that fruit was an anchor for joy, memory, and future hope. About half of the resulting podcast episode featured a conversation between Cathy, Indian American cookbook author Priya Krishna, and Korean Adoptee farmer Kristyn Leach. But along with that recording, we gathered over a dozen shorter conversations and voice notes from our own audience and network of podcast creators. That brought us stories about family heirloom trees, mango sharing techniques, persimmon obsessions, and an unbridled love for durian. This makeshift collection campaign to curate personal memories of fruit documented the ways that Asian Americans across the country have instilled a reverence for fruit and upheld countless rituals with it in their lives. To this day it remains one of the most beloved pieces of work in Self Evident’s portfolio.

Link to podcast episode

My Heartbeats

Self Evident Podcast

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of caregiving work — and the ways that this work is overlooked, under-resourced, or placed as a burden on families without a sense of fairness or compassion. In 2022 we released two audio stories about people taking on the role of caregiver, in a world that leaves many people with family as their only lifeline. One of these two stories recounted Indian American filmmaker Tanmaya Shekhar’s pre-vaccine race against time to reunite with his parents, who had both been hospitalized in Northeast India after contracting covid. Decades earlier, his mother and father had come to the U.S. for higher education and decided to return after achieving that goal, defying the trend of Indian immigration among their peers. But Tanmaya — who came to the U.S. determined to remake his personality and therefore his fortunes — had never considered returning to India as his parents had done before him. The months-long marathon of nursing his parents back to health changed the course of his life, and he’s since left the States and returned to India. Tanmya first documented his experience in the form of an essay, which followed a very deliberate framing of his experiences as personal transformations he had undergone. During the two and a half hours of raw audio interview that we recorded for this audio story, we were able to break away from that highly sculpted method of reflection and capture a much more direct document of what Tanmaya experienced, from moment to moment. The entire process was a reminder of how flexible audio can be as a medium and a primary source. While the final story has a runtime of around 22 minutes, the expanded space and time to record Tanmaya’s story was essential to truly comprehending and contextualizing this pivotal time in his life.

Link to podcast episode

Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Self Evident Podcast

One of our goals as a storytelling studio — and especially as emerging archivists — is to go well beyond the confines of sensationalist and trauma-focused news reporting on Asian Americans. If we were to allow our choices of story topics and archive curation to mirror the mantra “If it bleeds, it leads,” we would be narrowing the act of representation to a range of reactionary impulses that show very little of who we are as human beings. The insufficiency of media-led representation was a recurring subtext in this podcast episode about Asian American ska fans, in which our producer James explored the critical underground influence of Korean American record label owner Mike Park. At the time, Park — who had spent three decades nurturing and inspiring a generation of musicians and fans through his anti-racist values and uncompromising, grassroots approach to creating culture — was recording a new ska album named “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.” One thing that’s kept Park’s career thriving and evolving over the years is an unwillingness to wrap himself in a blanket of nostalgic memories — which, ironically, places him at odds with a great many fans of his music. As James dove into the power of nostalgia to block our engagement with reality, he recorded around a dozen conversations with the Asian American ska fans he’d met over the past several years. By unearthing their seminal musical memories and identifying what sentiments had survived the erosion of time, he came to affirm that this oft-misunderstood subculture still has something real to offer, in a world that can feel like it’s crumbling beneath our feet.

Link to full podcast episode

The Talk We Were Supposed To Have

Self Evident Podcast

When Gabe Mara contacted us to share his story, he had been living alongside his parents, in his childhood Pennsylvania home, for over a year. The reason he had moved back home, years after fleeing to New York City in search of a more liberating life, was to donate a kidney to his father. Gabe hoped that making this grand gesture would bring the two of them closer together, only to realize that nothing had changed in their distant relationship. He then made another gesture, by volunteering to work for his parents to help put on the “Fiesta in America,” which is the biggest Filipinx cultural festival on the U.S. East Coast. He pitched us the idea of recording his journey of working on this festival, as an audio record of learning to embrace the Filipino identity he had never felt fully able to claim. However, we soon realized that for Gabe, that process of claiming identity was inextricably linked to remaking the way he’d been thinking of his family since his teenage years. The story we ended up producing together was built on nearly a dozen raw one-on-one conversations with his father, mother, brother, and cousins — longer and more direct than any conversation Gabe had ever tried to start with them before. This process reflected the power of an intentional audio recording to open up the simplest, yet often most inaccessible, conversations that have never taken place between loved ones. Without a shared imperative to explore, document, and preserve, these conversational doorways often remain closed off — by whatever relationship dynamics have dictated who feels safe to speak, and who is willing to listen.

Link to podcast episode
A cube with the same image on all sides: a photo of a man with thick black hair and mustache sitting on a couch with a child on his lap. The child has black hair and a bowl haircut wearing a white shirt with red dots all over

Saving The Seeds

Self Evident Podcast

In late 2020, our podcast host Cathy decided to start asking friends, listeners, and fellow Asian American podcast hosts about their history with fruit — whether that meant eating, preparing, or growing it. Drawing on her knowledge as a food writer and her personal history growing up Taiwanese American, she uncovered all the little ways that fruit was an anchor for joy, memory, and future hope. About half of the resulting podcast episode featured a conversation between Cathy, Indian American cookbook author Priya Krishna, and Korean Adoptee farmer Kristyn Leach. But along with that recording, we gathered over a dozen shorter conversations and voice notes from our own audience and network of podcast creators. That brought us stories about family heirloom trees, mango sharing techniques, persimmon obsessions, and an unbridled love for durian. This makeshift collection campaign to curate personal memories of fruit documented the ways that Asian Americans across the country have instilled a reverence for fruit and upheld countless rituals with it in their lives. To this day it remains one of the most beloved pieces of work in Self Evident’s portfolio.

Link to podcast episode
A cube with the same image on all sides: a young shirtless toddler with black hair in a bowl haircut and dark brown eyes holding a mango with hands, poised to bite into it

My Heartbeats

Self Evident Podcast

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of caregiving work — and the ways that this work is overlooked, under-resourced, or placed as a burden on families without a sense of fairness or compassion. In 2022 we released two audio stories about people taking on the role of caregiver, in a world that leaves many people with family as their only lifeline. One of these two stories recounted Indian American filmmaker Tanmaya Shekhar’s pre-vaccine race against time to reunite with his parents, who had both been hospitalized in Northeast India after contracting covid. Decades earlier, his mother and father had come to the U.S. for higher education and decided to return after achieving that goal, defying the trend of Indian immigration among their peers. But Tanmaya — who came to the U.S. determined to remake his personality and therefore his fortunes — had never considered returning to India as his parents had done before him. The months-long marathon of nursing his parents back to health changed the course of his life, and he’s since left the States and returned to India. Tanmya first documented his experience in the form of an essay, which followed a very deliberate framing of his experiences as personal transformations he had undergone. During the two and a half hours of raw audio interview that we recorded for this audio story, we were able to break away from that highly sculpted method of reflection and capture a much more direct document of what Tanmaya experienced, from moment to moment. The entire process was a reminder of how flexible audio can be as a medium and a primary source. While the final story has a runtime of around 22 minutes, the expanded space and time to record Tanmaya’s story was essential to truly comprehending and contextualizing this pivotal time in his life.

Link to podcast episode
A cube with the same image on all sides: A South Asian woman with short hair an gold rim glasses and man with a beard and black rimmed glasses sit on a wooden bench. In between them is an elderly South Asian man with a nasogastric tube lying down embracing a woman with long black hair. Everyone is smiling.

Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Self Evident Podcast

One of our goals as a storytelling studio — and especially as emerging archivists — is to go well beyond the confines of sensationalist and trauma-focused news reporting on Asian Americans. If we were to allow our choices of story topics and archive curation to mirror the mantra “If it bleeds, it leads,” we would be narrowing the act of representation to a range of reactionary impulses that show very little of who we are as human beings. The insufficiency of media-led representation was a recurring subtext in this podcast episode about Asian American ska fans, in which our producer James explored the critical underground influence of Korean American record label owner Mike Park. At the time, Park — who had spent three decades nurturing and inspiring a generation of musicians and fans through his anti-racist values and uncompromising, grassroots approach to creating culture — was recording a new ska album named “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.” One thing that’s kept Park’s career thriving and evolving over the years is an unwillingness to wrap himself in a blanket of nostalgic memories — which, ironically, places him at odds with a great many fans of his music. As James dove into the power of nostalgia to block our engagement with reality, he recorded around a dozen conversations with the Asian American ska fans he’d met over the past several years. By unearthing their seminal musical memories and identifying what sentiments had survived the erosion of time, he came to affirm that this oft-misunderstood subculture still has something real to offer, in a world that can feel like it’s crumbling beneath our feet.

Link to podcast episode
A cube with the same image on all sides: a grid collage of photos of Asian-Americans. One photo depicts someone in glasses playing the trumpet. One photo depicts a polaroid photo of a man with a mustache in a hoodie. One photo depicts two people, one with short cropped black one and one with shoulder length hair dyed red. One photo depicts a man with black hair and a beard wearing a collared shirt outside. One photo depicts a man with short black hair with sunglasses taking a selfie with his mouth open wide. One photo depicts a woman with long black hair smiling in front of a red curtain. One photo depicts someone with large chunky glasses, red lipstick, and black hair shaped in a jagged bob with a streak of green dye. One photo depicts a man with black hair, glasses, and a beard in front of a wood paneled background. One photo depicts yet another person playing the trumpet. One photo depicts a black and white comic illustration of someone sitting crosslegged next to an electric guitar. One photo depicts someone in a jean vest with a mighty pout. One photo depicts two teenager looking people, one has their mouth against a microphone and the other has a big smile.

Hot Pot

Close isn’t Home in collaboration with Caroline Xia

When I think of hot pot I think of cold winter weather, all my friends and family gathered around a long table, and everyone’s belly full at the end of the night, and one person who regrets not wearing stretchy pants (me). The vibe is very communal and fun since everyone gets to cook their own stuff but you gotta make sure to keep an eye on what you put in sometimes or else someone grabs the fishball you been waiting on. the dual hot pot is also nice because you can do one side spicy and one side regular broth, or you could do one side is for the meats and the other for the veggies and tofu. it’s always fun to see which hot pot ingredients people like. enoki is a crowd favorite. I personally really like glass noodles and rice cakes. my boyfriend really likes to experiment with making new dipping sauces. I remember eating hot pot as a kid during the cold months because it would help warm up the house, plus we could keep the same bone broth my grandma made for the 2-3 dinners at a time. then when I went to college it became a staple for friend gatherings and it was nice especially when I missed home. and now from time to time my sibling, my mom, and I hit up 99 favor taste in Chinatown. It’s an all-you-can-eat hot pot spot that has a sauce station, AND they bring out someone in a monkey costume if it’s your birthday.

Transformation - Nushu Language

Close isn't Home in collaboration with Lina Deng

This digital sculpture interprets the characters of 'transformation' in the Nushu (女)language; Nushu remains one of the only languages in the world used exclusively by women. Originating from Jianyong County, Hunan, its usage has been recorded from the Song and Yuan dynasties. More recently, 20th-century socio-political upheaval in the region has rendered the language obsolete in modern-day China. By rejecting the colonial onto-epistemological framework of the monument as static and private models of digital ownership, this work follows the ethical mandate of feminist poethics and welcomes collaboration. Lina Deng is a British-Chinese artist based in London. She is currently completing an MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her interests include the politics of virality and circulation in the digital realm, drawing from internet subcultures and the esoteric whilst taking an interdisciplinary and experimental approach to her work.

Kollam Pattern

Close isn't Home in collaboration with Neha Mathew

Kollam Patterns are traditionally drawn by women in South India, outside their homes to trap bad energy, preventing it from entering the home.

Yakult

Close isn’t Home in collaboration with Grace Kwon

Yakult is a sweet probiotic beverage from Japan that's especially popular in Asian cultures. Despite the sweet and sugary taste, it’s often considered to be a healthy drink. When I was younger, I would be so excited for my Yakult, downing them in one gulp (which I still do to this day) or sticking a straw in a pack of them and then going down the line. As I grew older I found out that most of my Asian friends from different cultures had different versions of Yakult growing up that they had the same connotations with. Lately, I’ve seen the Yakult emerge as a symbol for Asian Americans in popular culture. For example, in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and in The Half of It, yakult almost becomes a digestible symbol of Asian culture: something cute, sweet, and yummy.

Mun Shou Famille Rose Ceramic Teacup

Close isn’t Home in collaboration with Lucia Tường Vy Nguyen

The Mun Shou Famille Rose Ceramic Teacup is now available in our Open-source 3D library! The teacup was originally created for the lovely @luciavyn 's collaboration with us for March Winds. My collaboration with Close Isn’t Home materialises a vintage mun shou (famille rose) teacup in 3D virtual space. The teacup is branded with the letters “4A”, in reference to the contemporary Asian art gallery for which I work in Sydney, Australia, and is filled with a brew of Chinese characters (from China’s millennia-long rule over Vietnam) and diacritics from the now-Romanised Vietnamese alphabet. This brew, long-steeped in the roots of Vietnam’s colonisation, sits on a floating lotus leaf – the national flower of Vietnam, which is mythologised as a symbol of beauty and endurance for being able to bloom from mud and grime. The defining ceramics style, “mun shou, famille rose”, is a name cross-bred from Chinese pinyin and French vocabulary. This speaks for itself. This 3D piece is a tribute to my personal grappling with heritage and language as a child of the Vietnamese-Australian diaspora. My trajectory from distancing myself from my heritage as an adolescent in favour of assimilating into Anglicised Australian culture, and now attempting to compensate for these years by teaching myself to advance my reading and speaking literacy (especially as it was recently required of me at my place of employment), has perhaps mimicked the trajectory of the Vietnamese alphabet and Vietnamese typology. Our alphabet has been fractured, remodelled and transformed along the fault-lines and contours of colonisation; from Chinese imperial rule, to the French alphabet imposed upon French Indochina territories, to our current alphabet of appropriated French diacritics fine-tuned to the cadence of Vietnamese's varied tones. It's a history of adaptation, and I believe the children of BIPOC diaspora have to shape-shift and adapt identities for survival and self-actualisation in their estranged lands. Famille-Rose porcelain gets its name from the pinkish hue that characterises the pieces. This colouring is created by adding colloidal gold, tiny fragments of gold suspended in water, to the glaze. The technique was introduced to China from Europe during the reign of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Yongzheng, who ruled from 1723 to 1735.Some authorities give Jesuit priests the credit for bringing the process to China, and the Chinese themselves called Famille-rose ‘fencai’, meaning foreign colourProduction of Famille-rose pieces continued throughout the Qing Dynasty until its end in 1911, with the finest pieces appearing during the rule of Emperor Yongzheng. The best famille-rose pieces are highly coloured with a crystal appearance and a very hard glaze with a notably translucent quality. Famille-rose porcelain was made at the famous Imperial kilns of Jingdezhen. The pieces were first fired and then painted and given a final glaze of quartz sand mixed with lead and sometimes fern ash before a second firing. The special glaze was used to enhance the brightness of the colours. Pieces were made both for the domestic and export markets, with the very finest pieces commissioned by the Imperial court. It’s worth noting that the pieces that reached Europe were much copied by artisans there. Experts can quickly identify copies by a range of telltale signs such as the quality of painting, the thickness of the enamel and the shape of the pieces. The character marks painted on the base of pieces are also a useful indicator of authenticity.

Indian Elephant Toy

Close isn't Home in collaboration with Neha Matthew

Indian elephant toy - reference to culture and childhood

Doppa Hat

Close isn't Home in collaboration with Leyla Gokcek

When I was a kid I used to visit my grandmother’s apartment in Sunnyvale California. She is from the province Xinjiang, China. Most of northern China that is near Russia and Uzbekistan have a bigger population of Turkic Uyghur, Kazakhs, Mongols, and so much more! She left at a young age and immigrated to California. She ended up growing up for most of her life in the Bay Area. I remember coming over to her apartment and eating Uzbeck food and seeing the headwear that Uyghurs wear. She loved having me wear these hats that are very popular in Central Asia. After doing more research on the topic, I learned that each province in central asia has a unique style of hat making. Most of the embroidery is designed in a symmetrical geometric pattern. I’m personally a huge fan of the colorful embroider the hat embodies. Both men and women of Uzbek ethnic minority like wearing little colorful hats. There are many kinds of little colorful hats, such as the hats with edges, the hats without edges, hats with patterns on the top or around the hats. Skull caps with bright colored embroidery in unique patterns are often made of corduroy or black velvet. The patterns are usually in the form of flowers and geometric figures. The hats which the elderly wear have few patterns, or even no patterns at all. The little colorful hats are usually made of pleuche and corduroy, in the color of purplish red, blackish green, black and purplish red. Women sometimes wear scarves on top of their caps. Some Uzbek women wrap a long colorful hood around the little colorful hats. In the old days women wore horse hair veils that were so heavy they resembled tents.“ Source Each province, district and even individual villages in Uzbekistan has its own headgear design, along with symbols and floral design that intended to bring the wearer good luck. A stylized fish on a woman’s cap symbolizes her wish for lots of children. Ram's horns on a man’s cap provide strength and protection from the evil eye.

Rooh Afza

Close isn’t Home in collaboration with Musfira Shaffi

These subcontinental drinks symbolize memories of intimacy and shared history while acting as an emotional anchor for those away from home. They serve as personal markers of cultural memory - Iftars in Ramadan where my grandmother would pour Rooh Afza into glasses of milk to celebrate the end of a long fast, mornings spent shopping for fruit and vegetables at the Sunday bazaar, where a chilled Pakola bottle would be fished out from an icy cooler and presented as a treat, and afternoons where Thums Up would be served with ice cubes and a sprinkling of garam masala as a rare accompaniment to my mother's spicy, fragrant biryani. Since Thums Up is not available in Pakistan, my family would order cans from relatives traveling to Dubai and ration these out over the space of a few weeks. These are drinks that do not only serve as refreshments but also a spirit of shared identity and nostalgia. Rooh Afza is embraced for its refreshing rose flavor, especially by those fasting during Ramadan in the hot summer months. Musfira Shaffi is a writer and creative strategist with work in Saatchi Gallery, Art Dubai, Photographic Museum of Humanity, and Cannes International Film Festival. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Montegrappa First Fiction Prize, FT/Bodley Head Prize, and longlisted for the Zeenat Haroon Rasheed Prize. She is a member of the Cannes Lions See It Be It accelerator program for female leaders in creative industries.

This Isn’t What It Appears

Short Film by Heehyun Choi

This Isn’t What It Appears is an experimental documentary film reexamining and reinterpreting photographs of Korean women from the 1950s and 60s taken by American soldiers stationed in South Korea. While these photos, collected and preserved by Korean Image Archive, feature Korean women performing in the US military bases in South Korea on various occasions, detailed information about the women and the photographers is absent. I decided to juxtapose such unfilled gaps in history with the hierarchy between the subject and the photographer to talk about what has been excluded from the frame due to the inevitable subjectivity of the camera. The super8 film of 20 minutes of running time is an introspective process that I—both as the filmmaker and the performer in the film—struggle to capture the frame, the behind, and the shadow of the photographs. Heehyun Choi is a moving image artist based in Los Angeles, CA, and Seoul, South Korea. Her recent works are grounded on the interest in discussing cinema from a structuralist viewpoint and exploring the materiality and virtuality of image. Her work proposes new ways of perceiving an image through examining relations within the fundamental components of film: camera, screen, lens, frame, filmmaker, and audience.

Web link
A floating cube with the same image on all sides: a hand holding a photograph against a mirror so that the viewer sees the reflection and what is written on the back of the photograph, which are Korean characters for "truth"

Shows for US Soldiers

New Subject Gallery

NCO Club Burlesque Show 3 1954 Photo ID: 21_03_01003 In conjunction with This Isn’t What It Appears, the Archive has formalized its collection of images featuring show girls, jazz bands, and nightclub performances into the “Shows for US Soldiers” subject gallery. These initial 50 images will exist alongside other galleries such as Cultural Exchange, Camptown Women, and Diplomacy under the International Relations banner as many of these shows occurred in camptowns directly adjacent to US military bases and were encouraged by the Korean government to maintain a level of “comfort” for these soldiers.

Web link
A floating cube with the same image on all sides: Two burlesque in red dresses and red top hats singing into a microphone in a dark wood paneled room filled with Korean men and American troops

한 옴금 (a handful)

Art Project by Gyun Hur

Interdisciplinary Gyun Hur recently used several archival images in an online art project responding to performances and events held by Danspace Project, a contemporary dance venue that holds performances in St. Mark’s Church, NYC. This image of women washing clothes in a stream somewhere near the DMZ appears in 한 옴큼 (a handful), her first response which combines images, drawing, and poetry. “I construct visual and emotional spaces where diasporic narratives of loss and beauty reside. Iterations of installations, performances, drawings, and writings become a collection of autobiographical abstraction and figurative storytelling. In the menial labor of accumulating and transforming materials, I ask myself what holds us together; stories, yearnings, rituals, and spirituality.”

Web link
A floating cube with the same image on all sides: A washed out photo where one can barely make out women washing clothes in a stream. There are ink doodles strewn across.

Traces of Memory

History Book by Director Park Myung-sik

Several of the Archive’s images appear in Traces of Memory, a history book about Incheon’s Bupyeong District and ASCOM City military base published in 2021. The credit line reads 한국 이미지 자료원, the Archive’s name in Korean, and marks the first time our images were used by a collaborator. This image was photographed by Allen Blair Thompson, Blair KH Naujok’s grandfather. See over 100 of his photographs captured between 1957-61 via the link above.

Web link
A floating cube with the same image on all sides: The ASCOM City military base in Korea with mountains in the background

Traces (Trailer)

Feature Film by Blair Kanghyuk Naujok

Korean Image Archive exists to collect, preserve, and provide access to historic Korean photographs discovered in the United States. To date we have 2376 original images on record, primarily 35mm slides and photographic prints. Every image is uploaded to our bilingual website KoreanImage.com where they are organized by subject, location, decade, and collection. We also partner with educators and artists wanting to use these images in their own work and as a way to help those with Korean ties engage with their history. We encourage any visitors interested in using these images to email us at contact@KoreanImage.com or message our Instagram account @KoreanImage to learn more. The Archive is one step of a journey taken by founder & director Blair KH Naujok to better understand his family history and place in the world. He spent 4 years in his grandmother's hometown, Seoul, once considering it his permanent home. During this stay he inherited 300 35mm slides taken by his American grandfather stationed there 60 years ago. A number of these slides appear in Traces, his feature-length essay film about a man looking for the location of his deceased grandfather's portrait taken somewhere in South Korea. There he finds a decaying US military base where he meets a Korean civilian from 1957 who teaches him how to see the past through his grandfather’s photographs, and he further encounters a history that lives alongside the present.

A rectangle plane with a video playing on loop. The video is the trailer for TRACES, a feature-length essay film about a man looking for the location of his deceased grandfather's portrait taken somewhere in South Korea

Visit website

Wishing Well, Image 1

Tif Ng

Wishing Well is an ongoing body of work, examining the conjunction of objects, rituals, and myth-making. Inspired by ancestral Chinese worship practices, this series highlights the intersections and divergences of American and Chinese food celebrations. Using a combination of personal archival materials, original photographs, and photo sculpture, I hope to explore how objects carry our dreams, wishes and spirits.

A flat plane depicting a still photo of an Eastern Asian girl with black hair looking at a cake which has a photo of two women screenprinted on top of the cake. The cake as a single lit candle in the middle.

Wishing Well, Image 2

Tif Ng

Wishing Well is an ongoing body of work, examining the conjunction of objects, rituals, and myth-making. Inspired by ancestral Chinese worship practices, this series highlights the intersections and divergences of American and Chinese food celebrations. Using a combination of personal archival materials, original photographs, and photo sculpture, I hope to explore how objects carry our dreams, wishes and spirits.

A floating cube with the same image on all sides: a sheet cake with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles. There are little peaches made of fondant on two diagonally opposite corners of the cake. The cake has a photo screenprinted on top of an elderly East Asian woman with glasses blowing out a candle placed on top of a pile of buns. Next to her is a middle aged East Asian woman with short black hair.

Wishing Well, Image 3

Tif Ng

Wishing Well is an ongoing body of work, examining the conjunction of objects, rituals, and myth-making. Inspired by ancestral Chinese worship practices, this series highlights the intersections and divergences of American and Chinese food celebrations. Using a combination of personal archival materials, original photographs, and photo sculpture, I hope to explore how objects carry our dreams, wishes and spirits.

A floating cube with the same image on all sides: a sheet cake with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles. The cake has a photo screenprinted on top, they are pages of a schedule book with squiggles and Chinese characters written down along with the year 1987. There are two spiralling birthday candles in the cake.

Wishing Well, Image 4

Tif Ng

Wishing Well is an ongoing body of work, examining the conjunction of objects, rituals, and myth-making. Inspired by ancestral Chinese worship practices, this series highlights the intersections and divergences of American and Chinese food celebrations. Using a combination of personal archival materials, original photographs, and photo sculpture, I hope to explore how objects carry our dreams, wishes and spirits.

A floating cube with the same image on all sides: a sheet cake with white frosting on the edges and peaches made of fondant on two diagonally opposite corners of the cake. The cake has a photo screenprinted on top, it is a small outdoor shrine filled with figurines of and framed photos of Asian dieties. There are three birthday candles in the cake.

Wishing Well, Image 5

Tif Ng

Tif Ng is an American-born Cantonese photographer raised in Hong Kong and Beijing. Her research and arts-based practice includes photography, and the manipulation of archival materials. Her work explores the relationship between documented and fictionalized memory, themes of longing and belonging, and Cantonese family histories. She is currently based in New York City.

A floating cube with the same image on all sides: a sheet cake with white frosting on the edges and rainbow sprinkles. The cake has a photo screenprinted on top, it is the trunk of a tree outside with two Chinese characters spraypainted in red on the bark.

Out Of The Basement

Christina Ong

Out of the Basement is a digital exhibit focusing on the history of the east coast’s first pan-Asian political and arts organization, the Basement Workshop. What began as a small group of graduate students and young professionals of Asian descent, blossomed into a collective of activist, artists, and community members whose work continues to impact not just Asian America, but the country writ large. The exhibit is a series of capsule collections that capture the various forms of activism conducted by the Basement Workshop. It serves as an introductory tool for learning about the east coast’s participation in the Asian American movement and how people were connected across geographies.

Link to digital exhibit
A large cube on top of a building. All sides show the same image: a black and white collage of archival photos depicting the Basement Workshop collective with text on top reading "Out of the Basement: a digital exhibit of Asian American activism and art in NYC's the Basement Workshop (1969-1986) curated by christina ong"

This past year, Asian Cinevision (ACV), parent organization to AAIFF, began the process of digitizing their archive of print and film assets. Through its 47 year history, ACV has amassed a fascinating collection of Asian American media materials, from the pages of Bridge Magazine, a print quarterly in the 1970s-80s focusing on the development of pan-Asian American political and literary identity, to video footage from CCTV, the first community-based television station in the United States to serve the Chinese American community beginning in 1975. Sifting through ACV’s archive brought up many complex feelings for us—kinship, shock, frustration, and excitement, to name a few. It was energizing to feel a connection with previous generations of Asian-American artists and activists examining the same issues that remain relevant today, such as violence against Asian bodies and representation in media. Simultaneously it was exhausting to realize how some of these issues still persist to today or even how history can repeat itself. But one overarching feeling pervaded through our archival research: we were inspired by how digitization allowed us to engage with the past and further inform our Asian/Asian diasporic identity. This pushed us to further interrogate the relationship between the digital and the archive on two fronts: First, how can we creatively reinterpret existing archives to give them new form and meaning? And secondly, how can we begin new forms of archive in the digital age? In RENDERING REAL: Explorations of Asian-American and Asian Diasporic Archives, we brought together a group of 11 new media artists and 4 organizations who, working from Asian and Asian diasporic lived experience, engage with the theme of archive in their own way. They challenged us to question: What does digitization do to an archive? Are archives wholly objective? What is archived, and what is actively left out? How can artificial archives be empowering? How can we decolonize archives? How and what can we contribute to archives today? With these thoughts, we are so excited to share the artists’ work in RENDERING REAL. We hope you enjoy! David Koh Hai-Li Kong

This year, AAIFF is celebrating its retrospective with RENDERING REAL: Explorations of Asian-American and Asian Diasporic Archives, an online virtual exhibition featuring 11 artists and 4 organizations selected as part of the new media category. The new media category is an extension and expansion of AAIFF’s dedication to support Asian and Asian diasporic artists working with newer forms of media and moving image that fall out of the bounds of traditional cinema. We look to these artists to understand how storytelling can take shape in newer forms fit for the digital age. RENDERING REAL revolves around interrogating archival material and the archival process. Especially within the Asian/Asian diasporic community, archives can be powerful reminders of the past and how it continues to inform our present and future. How can we engage with archives more interactively? How can we utilize archives in a manner that activates it rather than renders it passive? Are archives only materials of the past that gather dust or can they be living organisms in the present? RENDERING REAL aims to contemplate these questions through our selection of new media artworks and projects. We want to thank the artists who have submitted their works, as well as the organizations who shared a selection of their projects reflective of their ongoing efforts to establish and push the boundaries of Asian/Asian diasporic archives.

Remembering Our Roots

Alice Yuan Zhang

Remembering Our Roots

Alice Yuan Zhang

Mancala Game (Sungka Version)

Close Isn't Home in collaboration with Samantha Vassor

Mancala is a generic name for a type of two-player strategy board games played with small stones, shells, beans, or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth, a board or other playing surface. The name mancala is from the Arabic word manqala, which is derived from the verb naqala, “to move.” Mancala is one of the oldest two-player strategy games in the world and has been played throughout Asia and Africa for over 7,000 years. It's origins are rooted in ancient Egypt. Stone Mancala boards from 1400 BC have been found carved into the roofs of Kurna temples in Memphis, Thebes and Luxor. The game spread from Egypt to many parts of Africa and then East. This game has different versions and is called by many names in different regions. Oware in West Africa and the Caribbean, Alemungula in Ethiopia and Sudan, Ali Guli Mane or Pallanguzhi in Southern India, Hoyito in the Dominican Republic, Ô ăn quan in Vietnam, etc. This model and version of the game is modeled after the Filipino version, Sungka.

Chinatown Records

Yiu Yiu 瑶瑶

Chinatown Block Party 夏日歡聚 + Chinatown Records

Think!Chinatown

Chinatown Block Party 夏日歡聚 is a neighborhood celebration in the heart of Manhattan's Chinatown, where YiuYiu 瑶瑶 brings down her special collection of Chinatown vinyls and CDs to get us listening and grooving to our favorite Canto- and Mandopop hits together again. For a taste of this community party, also check out Chinatown Records. Pulling from family records collections inherited from her Chinatown neighbors, YiuYiu 瑶瑶 (aka Rochelle Hoi-Yiu Kwan) guides us through the decades of Chinese music, ranging from the 1940s through the 1980s. Every single one of these records has a story that comes with it, offering rich memories of family, home, and the immigrant experience in Chinatown and the Chinese diaspora. Chinatown Block Party 夏日歡聚 is presented by Think!Chinatown. Produced by 8OX SET. Music by YiuYiu 瑶瑶. Artwork by Prisca Choe 최하연. Photo by Cindy Trinh. The parties take place on Mosco St, in front of the beautiful mural titled "In the Future Our Asian Community is Safe" by Jess X Snow.

Chinatown Block Party 夏日歡聚 + Chinatown Records

Container - Political Objects

Debbie Ding

Container - Revolutionary

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Container - Teaching Aids

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Container - Absurd Phobias

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Container - Pirated Goods

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Container - Regrets

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Container - Expired Goods

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Token - Alpaca

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Token - Bacon

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Token - Baleen

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Token - Beaver

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Token - Cheese

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Token - Cochineal

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Token - Deer Horn

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Token - Sulphur Ore

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Token - Tobacco

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Token - Vellum

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Token - Vermillion

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Token - West Indies Madras

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Token - Whale Meat

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Token - Yam

Debbie Ding

Ten Miles Of Track In One Day

Yuge Zhou and Hwa-Jeen Na

From 1863–1869, Central Pacific Railroad employed thousands of emigrant Chinese as manual laborers to construct the transcontinental railroad. These “railroad Chinese” laid 690 miles of tracks toiling through harsh conditions with low pay. Historical records rarely identified these workers. The video, which spirals around viewers onto 36 pillars, memorializes these silent workers who are the ancestors of many of today’s Chinese Americans. It interlocks two hundred names that scholars have been able to recover with the landscape in Utah where the workers labored. The sculpture consists of small and large gaps between the pillars in a circle connoting a sense of distance and displacement.

"The Collector” is an immersive experience that allows the player to visually explore commodity flows through a modern-day retelling of a shipwreck event. An inspiration for the work is the sinking of the “Fame” in 1824. Hired to return Raffles and his family from Singapore to London, the ship had been a veritable ark of flora and fauna and materials - but the collections were destroyed in a fire, triggering a frenzied attempt to recover the lost tropical imaginary before setting sail again. Commodities are defined as any bulk good or raw material that has entered into international trade. Commodities are key to the global economy, but their physical production and circulation is often associated with questions of their environmental impact to societies and the world. Today commodities are exchanged without physical goods even exchanging hands – instead futures contracts are bought and sold. With a hands-on understanding of tropical commodities becoming increasingly out of reach, I wanted to produce an interactive experience where the player could visually explore representations of commodities and the lost tropical imaginary. Using data from “Trading Consequences”, a big data project on international commodities in the British Empire during the 19th century, commodities that flowed in and out of Singapore in the 19th century are re-imagined through google image scrapings and neural style transfer. “The Collector” is a VR game in two parts. In “The Sorter”, you play as an agent inside an Unforgetting Machine, sorting commodities into nonsensical but serendipitous categories. In “The Collector”, you’re onboard a modern-day Fame, where you can generate an infinite flow of commodities with ease. But beware: if you force the machine to generate more commodities than the boat can hold, the boat will catch fire, and you have no choice but to go under…

When Elephants Come to Town (Trailer)

Hyejeong Yun

When did the ongoing history of brutality against other creatures, species, and ethnicities start? How many people died without a name? Why has a herd of elephants appeared in Chelsea? Hyejeong saw a book called "When Elephants Come to Town" at a bookstore in Berlin. One of the most eye-catching pictures in the book is two elephants climbing on a drum and looking at each other in perfect symmetry. Using 360-degree cameras to construct narratives, she found a new central point for her work: When did the ongoing history of brutality against other creatures, species, and ethnicities start? How many people died without a name? Why has a herd of elephants appeared in Chelsea? Our languages today are a product of colonisation. Returning to Berlin, Hyejeong concludes that she is an irregularity in the power of the colonial matrix.

Link to full video

Lucky Gourd

Close isn’t Home in collaboration with Kathy Guo

The bottle gourd, or calabash, is extremely powerful: versatile and culturally significant among many parts of the world. A young gourd is edible, and its vine is ornamental. But most importantly, a dried gourd is used for musical instruments, utensils, and holding liquids or medicine. It has self-cooling properties and is durable. In China, the gourd is also symbolic of luck and prosperity. The word gourd in Chinese 葫(hú) 芦(lù) is pronounced similarly to the words 福(fú) 禄(lù), which translates to an all-encompassing meaning of fortune, good luck, prosperity, wealth, and happiness. Chinese love to attach metaphors to objects with similar-sounding blessings in this way and will often spread these good wishes through the decoration of these metaphorical objects on their bodies or in their homes. At Gourd Friend, we want to pass on our blessings to you through our handcrafted charms and invite you to hold on to a little piece of our culture.

Explorations of Asian-American and Asian Diasporic Archives

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown

The Rust In The Furrow

David Han

Hyejeong Yun

When Elephants Come To Town

Yun Hyejeong (*1991) is a multimedia artist from South Korea who has been living in Germany since 2015. Her work is reflective of contemporary public debates about culture, race and power and is informed by post-colonialism, stories of immigration and identity. In her latest videos, installations and interactive digital works, she investigates her surroundings, observes what is often overlooked, and questions our modern society.

Hyejeong Yun

Tif Ng

Wishing Well

Tif Ng is an American-born Cantonese photographer raised in Hong Kong and Beijing. Her research and arts-based practice includes photography, and the manipulation of archival materials. Her work explores the relationship between documented and fictionalized memory, themes of longing and belonging, and Cantonese family histories. She is currently based in New York City.

Tif Ng

Think!Chinatown

Think!Chinatown is a women-led team that coalesced to foster inter-generational community through neighborhood engagement, storytelling & the arts. In doing so, we aim to highlight the diversity and beautiful complexity of Manhattan’s Chinatown and to advocate for equity in access to neighborhood resources. The basis of Think!Chinatown’s work is built on listening and archiving our neighborhood’s stories and continuing cultural practices. A core part of our mission is to bring multiple generations and communities together in engaging conversation and creative processes. To work with archival material and to create archives is an act that bridges newcomers, old timers, socio-economic lines, language, and more. We mend our collective histories by creating new connections and rebuilding passages for memory and knowledge. Selected projects on view: Grand Rising Ming Fay & EPOXY An Ode to Our Generations Chinatown Block Party 夏日歡聚 + Chinatown Records Think!Chinatown is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Think!Chinatown

Kenji Kojima

Kenji Kojima has been experimenting with the relationships between perception and cognition, technology, music, and visual art. He was born in Japan and moved to New York in 1980. He painted medieval materials and techniques paintings for the first 10 years. He switched his artwork to digital. He developed art apps that converted the color data of an image or video to music. His digital art series has been exhibited in New York and at media art festivals worldwide, and online exhibitions.

Kenji Kojima

Close Isn't Home

Close isn’t Home is a multidisciplinary collective and 3D resource platform by and for BIPOC & immigrant identities. They have also collaborated with other platforms and collectives such as Macrowaves (2021) and DATEAGLE ART (2021) to apply 3D objects from the library in Web XR and AR projects. Their work is based on the community of BIPOC creatives working on 3D, design, and interactive digital art projects while also bringing the representation of ‘niche’ experiences into mainstream media.

Close Isn't Home

Christina Ong

Out Of The Basement

christina ong is a PhD Candidate in Sociology and holds a certificate in Digital Studies and Methods from the University of Pittsburgh where she studies the development of Asian America though an in-depth case study of New York City’s the Basement Workshop. When she is not working on her doctoral degree, christina writes YA novels, screenplays, and audio stories that elevate the perspectives of activist and immigrant women.

Christina Ong

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

REFLECTIVE URBANISMS: Mapping Calgary Chinatown

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong is a New York based artist and trained architect. Her multidisciplinary practice lies at the intersection of art, architecture and the public realm, in which she investigates the transformation of space over time. Cheryl received her BA in Art and Italian at the U.C. Berkeley and her Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP. Her work has been commissioned by NYC Parks, NY State Thruway Authority, Washington DC government, The Laundromat Project and City of Calgary.

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

Alice Yuan Zhang

Remembering Our Roots

Alice Yuan Zhang 张元 is a media artist, educator, and community weaver. She cultivates socio-ecological praxis in networked relations, across browsers and AR/XR as well as embodied and analog sites of exchange. Alice is the founding steward of virtual care lab, a past resident artist at CultureHub, recent research resident with 0x Salon, and community member of NAVEL Los Angeles. She is particularly interested in justice-oriented possibilities of dialogue, play, and solidarity.

Alice Yuan Zhang

Mark Ramos

futureProof

Mark Ramos is a Brooklyn-based new media artist. Mark makes fragile post-colonial technology using web/software programming to create interactive work that facilitate encounters with our own uncertain digital futures. He has exhibited and lectured widely including as part of Rhizome's New Art Online with the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Times Museum in Beijing, and at the Peter Weibel Institute for Digital Culture in Vienna.

Mark Ramos

Hwa-Jeen Na

Ten Miles Of Track in One Day

Hwa-Jeen Na is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, photographer, and film director based in Michigan. His projects explore definitions of identity and communities through personal anecdotes gathered through qualitative methods.

Hwa-Jeen Na

Yuge Zhou

Ten Miles Of Track In One Day

Yuge Zhou is a Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist whose work addresses connections, isolation and longing in natural and urban spaces as sites of shared dreams. Yuge has exhibited in prominent venues with an upcoming solo show at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago.

Yuge Zhou

Debbie Ding

The Collector

Debbie Ding is a visual artist and technologist whose interests range from historical research and urban geography to visions of the future. Using interactive computer simulations, rapid prototyping, and other visual technologies, she creates works about subjects such as map traps, lost islands (Pulau Saigon), World War II histories, soil, bomb shelters, and public housing void decks.

Korean Image Archive

Traces

Korean Image Archive is an independently run archive that exists to provide the Korean public with access to historic (pre-1970s) Korean photographs currently located in the United States. We achieve this by collecting 35mm slides and photographic prints, scanning and properly storing these images for their long term preservation, and creating access through our carefully-curated website. We also partner with educators and artists who wish to utilize the images for their own academic and artistic endeavors . The Archive has 2300 original images on record, several hundred more yet to be accessed, and plans to continue acquiring material.

Korean Image Archive

Self Evident Podcast

Self Evident Podcast

Macro Waves

Altar-n8 Realm: Self Guided Augmented Reality Tour

The Altar-n8 Realm Project was an outdoor augmented reality (AR) art exhibition in support of small businesses in San Francisco’s Chinatown, honoring our ancestors through virtual offerings of food, prayer, and reflection. Viewers were welcome to experience the exhibition as an interactive walking art tour of SF Chinatown using smartphones. In response to the global pandemic and the current hate crimes against Asian Americans, Altar-n8 Realm fostered recovery, resilience, and regeneration in the Chinatown community, by utilizing interactive technology as a form of storytelling, uplifting Chinatown voices in support of small businesses. Inspired by the Qingming Festival traditions, Altar-n8 Realm poses the question, “how can offerings form a spiritual bond between our ancestors and our present self?” The Altar-n8 Realm Project debuted at the 24th Annual United States of Asia America Festival: Forging Our Futures, presented in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center in 2021. This project featured conversational interviews with five Chinatown-based small businesses, Chinatown Kite Shop, Li Ly’s Hair Salon, Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, Little Paris, and Washington Bakery and Restaurant. Macro Waves members, Anum Awan, Dominic Cheng, Robin Birdd David, and Jeffrey Yip, in collaboration with artists Alice Yuan Zhang and Qianqian Ye created AR art altar installations inspired by conversations with each business owner. In collaboration with Broad Target, The Altar-n8 Realm Project released a mini-documentary series examining the diverse lived experiences of these five Chinatown business owners and their journey before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macro Waves

David Han

The rust in the furrow

David Han is a film, video & digital media artist living in Toronto. He received a BAA in Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University and completed an MFA in film at York University. Often employing playfulness and absurdity, his work negotiates the liminal state between cinema, video art and new media. His most recent work explores the ways in which traditional cinematic relationships with the screen are being challenged, altered and expanded by interactive technology.

David Han

Machine

Debbie Ding