We host and support events that contribute and encourage the sharing of resources, the building of communities, and the fostering of creative and professional development of Chinese Diaspora in the Arts.
We develop our programs in response to and to evolve with valuable input from our community and the kind contributions of members of our creative network. We are open to ideas and collaborations so shoot us a message and let’s connect!
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VICKY ZHOU & JACQUELINE KOK
11 MAY 2021
Triptych Arts independent curator and Spaces of Exchange co-host Jacqueline Kok chats with writer of “While Being Asian” Vicky Zhou – about their shared experiences as Chinese Diaspora in the Western world (they are both Toronto based!), Asian-Canadian history, COVID-19 racism and colorism within the Asian community, and Vicky’s new book, followed by a Q&A.
Vicky Zhou is a young Chinese woman who moved to Toronto for university and is now graduated. She is working full-time while chasing her dream in becoming a lawyer or public policy maker. Zhou is passionate about racial and social justice, and is a believer in positive social changes and people’s power. She is writing While Being Asian as a form of activism to battle against the anti-Asian hate that is rising overwhelmingly since the start of the pandemic. With her writing and story-telling, she also hopes to paint inter-racial and inter-cultural relationships in a positive way and encourages her readers to choose compassion in more situations in life. She is also a photographer when she is not writing or reading. She loves to take portrait photography, because it’s a great way to document stories and showcase humanity.
Jacqueline Kok is a Canadian-born independent curator of Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese descent and the co-founder of the non-profit organization Triptych Arts, a platform that explores the social role of art and how the potential of that role can be harnessed to build spaces of mutual understanding through innovative curatorial interventions and collaborations with various social justice organizations. She has worked in various organizations internationally including MO. CO. Montpellier Contemporain (Montpellier, France), e-flux (NYC, NY), Art in General (Brooklyn, NY), and Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan).
YI CAO & SU SU
6 MAY 2021
Yi Cao, independent curator and Director of Curatorial Administration for Arts of Asia at the Art Institute of Chicago, interviews artist Su Su in her studio in Pittsburgh, PA, about her recent nomination by The Bennett Prize and her ongoing painting practice in our "Portraiture, Identity, and Pandemic" Zoom Live.
Over the past year, Su Su's idiomatic scene paintings - evocative of American pop culture in an urban surrealistic setting - pivoted in preference for exploratory self-portraits. This artistic shift was borne of her newfound quarantine isolation and her evolving experience as a Chinese immigrant in America amid the backdrop of mounting xenophobic hatred against Asians/Asian Americans. In her recent artistic voyage, in search of a sense of belonging and reconciliation between the Chinese indigenous culture in which her race, ethnicity, and body dwelt and the Western perceptions, she grapples with the iconic motifs of the Chinese dragon, the totem animal of her Manchu family clan.
A Carnegie Mellon University MFA graduate, Susu has shown at Chautauqua Institution of Art, NY (2019), The Andy Warhol Museum 25th anniversary exhibition (2019), The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2020), The Momentary Museum (2020), The Carnegie Museum of Art (2020). Her work is in the collection of The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
GORDON CHEUNG & ANDREW WONG
18 FEB 2021
Inez Suen, art business consultant and Director of ICFAC, has a chat with Gordon and Andrew about art and food, childhoods and parents, their personal and professional experience and challenges of being British born Chinese, achieving high acclaim in their respective industries, their most recent #YearOfTheOx CNY art collaboration, and everything in between.
Gordon Cheung is a British born Chinese multimedia artist living and working in London. He is known for his innovative approach to painting, which blurs the line between virtual and actual reality to reflect upon the global relationship of the human condition within civilisation. Andrew Wong is an anthropologist, cultural observer, and chef-owner of London’s 2 Michelin-starred A. Wong Restaurant. British born of Chinese heritage, his environment and nurture have had equal impact. The marriage of both, combined with a strong academic background, has led to a cooking style that has one foot placed firmly in the future and the other inspired by the past. He trained as a chef in London, travelled to China to study at the Sichuan Culinary Institute in Chengdu, and journeyed across the country throughout various kitchens learning the methods and artistry of Chinese cooking.
CECILE CHONG & JAIRO ALFONSO
11 DEC 2020
A quick chat and Q&A with Cecile Chong and Jairo Alfonso on being diaspora artists in NYC, with Ananda DeMello of Make Art Habit. Both artists are part of Pinta Miami – with Cecile Chong represented by ICFAC and Jairo Alfonso represented by Coates and Scarry.
Ecuadorian born, New York based Cecile Chong is a multimedia artist working in painting, sculpture and installation layering materials, identities and histories. She addresses ideas of culture interaction and interpretation, and commonalities humans share in our relationship to nature. Jairo Alfonso is interested in exploring material culture from an archaeological perspective, particularly the multilayered nature of objects, their history and symbolism, in paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, performances, and mixed media works on paper. Alfonso reflects on the relationship we, as human beings, establish with the objects we create, use and discard. He explores two forms of relationships: hoarding and disassembling.
DIM SUM DIALOGUES
Dim Sum Dialogues is a quarterly series of panel discussions based on the idea of sharing valuable knowledge, experience, and insight, led by members of the creative community.
It was created as a platform to call for visibility, discourse, and intersectional unity in the face of social issues. While these complex and deeply rooted problems cannot be solved in one afternoon, we believe conversations like these can spread positivity, make a difference, and bring – as Dim Sum literally translates to – “a light touch on the heart”.
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #1
Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 Racism in the Creative Community
28 MAY 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that the fear of contracting disease has an ugly cousin: racism. As the coronavirus has spread through the United States, discrimination against Asian – along with Black and Latinx communities – have followed closely behind. Furthermore, the details of the pandemic’s impact has brought to light the striking wider economic disparities in various industries. Among those made vulnerable are members of the creative industry – whose livelihoods are threatened by the disappearance of the gig and performance economy.
The first event’s topic covers how to face and navigate the current social situation, stand in solidarity and fight back. With Dee Kerrison, Dejha Carrington, Karen Tam, Mel Chin, Phil Chan, and Theresa Mah. Click below to check out a recording of the talk and resources shared by panelists and attendees.
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #2
Navigating the In-Between: Bridging Cultural and Generational Gaps in 2020
24 SEPTEMBER 2020
For many, the COVID-19 lockdown and recession means being confined at home or in restricted spaces, whether it be online or offline. From trends, to beliefs, to lifestyles, and in many cases, identities, we may find ourselves in a constant struggle between our perspectives and others. While these cultural and generational differences have always been part of relational lives, for better or for worse, we seem to be forced to reckon with it now, more than ever before.
In Overseas Chinese families and communities, there’s a lot of rhetoric of avoiding confrontation – where the negativity associated with having a conversation where one may create conflict or challenge each other’s viewpoints becomes a barrier preventing mutual understanding and real dialogues from being made.
The webinar dives into the intersections between relationships, communications, and culture. With Andrew Wong – Michelin star chef, anthropologist, and cultural observer; Anthony Key – artist, cultural iconographer, and historical narrator; Jenny Wang – licensed psychologist, Asian diaspora mental health specialist, and creator of @asiansformentalhealth; Laura Auricchio – Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Professor of Art History, and author; Sin-Ying Ho – porcelain ceramic master, associate professor, and MFA chair of Department of Art at Queens College; moderated by Inez Suen, ICFAC Director.
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #3
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #4
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #5
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #6
DIM SUM DIALOGUES #7
SPACES OF EXCHANGE
Spaces of Exchange is a bi-monthly online initiative created in collaboration with independent curator of Triptych Arts, Jacqueline Kok. Borne in response to the racism due to the pandemic as well as the need for uncomfortable conversations over a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to: activism, the notion of identity, political violence, and the failing capitalist system, Spaces of Exchange aims to connect international and national Chinese art professionals and generate moments and conversations that allow for deeper understanding, learning, and unpacking.
Spaces of Exchange features a conversation between two arts professionals, with one moderator. No two participants will be based in the same area - the idea of this project to generate conversations between art professionals who have different physical, experiential, psychological backgrounds. Conversations will revolve around topics related to “Chineseness”, the notion of being Chinese in different sociopolitical and geographical settings, and relevant contemporary issues in the Chinese Diaspora creative community.
SPACES OF EXCHANGE #1
Myths and Legends: Beyond Chinese-ness
28 JULY 2020
For SE’s inaugural session, Furen Dai, Catalina Ouyang, and Jacqueline Kok explore revisionist capabilities of historical narratives including myths and legends. The discussion considers how both artists cite these stories whilst navigating in and beyond established structures across generations and geographies: Dai's interest in languages has led her to Nüshu, a secret language created in China to defy patriarchal society, while Ouyang turns to folklore as a source of counternarratives, new spatio-temporal formations, and spiritual surrogates.
SPACES OF EXCHANGE #2
Chinese Identity and Gender Roles
7 OCTOBER 2020
For SE’s second session, Rose Mary, Jia Sung and Jacqueline Kok delve into the meaning of gender within and beyond the international Chinese context. The discussion unpacks how both artists channel, appropriate and hijack these definitions in their work and consider the implications behind such acts.
Rose Mary's interest in drag has led her to explore the different ways in which drag can be contextualized, while Jia Sung seeks to critique and subvert common narratives and value systems found within folklore.
SPACES OF EXCHANGE #3
Painting Reality: What Is Going On Right Now?
23 OCTOBER 2020
For SE’s third session, Misato Pang, Susan Chen and Jacqueline Kok unpacks the rich and layered meanings of the Asian-American experience. Anchored on the theme of being exposed and raised in the context of two (or more) cultures, the discussion explores how both artists tap into and illustrate their understanding of their ever-changing surrounding contexts in their paintings and consider the nuances behind the fast-growing online international Asian community, Subtle Asian Traits.
Pang’s abstract Fauvist paintings are inspired by her interest in cultural events, like social phenomenon and political discourse in Asia, while Chen’s intimate portraits of Asian Americans become an entry point to better grasp the psychology of race, from various lenses and perspectives.
SPACES OF EXCHANGE #4
Oral Fixation: Food for Thought
24 NOVEMBER 2020 8PM EST
For SE’s fourth session, Crys Yin, Shellie Zhang, and Jacqueline Kok dives into the various popular Asian iconographies presented as food and consumer goods packaging to unpack notions of tradition, nationality, and diaspora.
While food is often celebrated and described as being a uniting force, we cannot help but wonder where the line between appreciation and assimilation is drawn. Looking at tangible goods, the discussion unpacks the contradictions and frustrations that exist in everyday presentation and consumption of Asian imagery and motifs.
Zhang’s use of Asian motifs are inspired by her interest towards the concept of cultural diversity, while Yin’s exploration leans more towards understanding the complexities behind cultural inclusion.
If you or your organization have an event that relates to art or Chinese Diaspora you'd like to share, please don't hesitate to contact us here or through any of our social media platforms.