“Appendix”: Powerful Art Exhibit Will Showcase Narratives of Asian American Women and Queer Artists

Mariela Montero - Working Title - A Self Love Story (Mananangal) (Photo Credit: AAWAA / Mariela Montero)
Mariela Montero – A Self Love Story (Manananggal) (Photo Credit: AAWAA / Mariela Montero)

“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).

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“Hungry Ghosts” Art Exhibit to Feature AAPI Artists & Explore “Personal and Collective Struggle”

hungryghosts

I wake up almost every day wishing I lived in California — and not just because of the sun (and the drought) — but also because it is one of the few beating hearts of AAPI cultural and political life; I’m always bummed when I find out about an awesome event or exhibit that I can’t attend because I live elsewhere in the country.

One such event is Hungry Ghosts, the latest art exhibit by the Asian American Women’s Artists Association (AAWAA), a 25-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the work of Asian American women artists. Hungry Ghosts opens tomorrow (April 2nd) in San Francisco in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) and Manilatown Heritage Foundation.

Hungry Ghosts will feature AAPI artists using art to explore “personal and collective struggles”, and how these unconfronted traumas can emerge in the public consciousness in often damaging ways.

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“Divided Attention” explores life & art of pioneering Asian American queer artist Bernice Bing

Pioneering artist and community activist, Bernice Bing.
Pioneering artist and community activist, Bernice Bing.

“Once upon a time it was rare to find any Asians in prestigious art schools.”

This is the first sentence of groundbreaking artist Bernice Bing’s statement for the 1990 six-woman exhibit “Completing the Circle” featuring notable Chinese American female artists, and which showed at the Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco. That this is how Bing chose to begin her statement is telling; Bernice Bing was one of the nation’s earliest Asian American artists to break into the elite world of modern art.

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