“Within the human body and the body of a book, the appendix is considered extraneous. This is not unlike the personal and historical trauma buried in cultural memories. In lucid moments of stress or pain, this organ and its unread cultural histories push their way into significance, carrying weight on an overlooked past, present and future.”
This is the powerful description given by Diana Li and Erina C Alejo — fellows of the Asian American Women Artists Association — for “Appendix”, an exhibit they are curating at the Pacific Heritage Museum in San Francisco. Featuring the work of ten Asian American women and queer artists local to northern California, “Appendix” will explore the artists’ narratives of trauma — physical, mental, emotional and historical — and their efforts to dissect, reclaim, and empower the intergenerational memories of their personal and our collective experience(s).
Works included in the exhibit range from photography and print to performance art. I have been privileged to preview some of the work in “Appendix”, and I’m completely blown away. The full work by Mariela Montero — a 2nd generation Pinay, an SFAI MFA candidate and interdisciplinary artist — which is included as the header image of this post is particularly evocative and I’m envious of those who might be able to visit “Appendix” and see this and other works in person.
I’m a big fan of AAWAA, an artists collective dedicated to amplifying the work of Asian American female artists. Last year I wrote about an exhibit titled “Hungry Ghosts”, and previously I talked about AAWAA’s showcase celebrating the work of artist Bernice Bing. I have nothing but good things to say about AAWAA and their mission of social change through the elevation of Asian American women artists, and I think “Appendix” will be no exception: I desperately wish I was in San Francisco to see and support this exhibit.
“Appendix” opens with an Opening Reception on Memorial Day weekend’s May 28th from 1-4pm at the Pacific Heritage Museum, and the exhibit will run from May 28 to July 9. I urge you to check it out!