Thursday, November 5, 2015
A Klein Sun Gallery panel talk
525 West 22nd Street
Tuesday November 10, 6-8pm
RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org
AAAC Director Bob Lee will be amongst the panelists.
3-5pm, Sunday 8 November
Suggested donation $10
T'ai chi ch'uan is a gentle and contemplative form of martial art which can be practiced for self-defense or for the improvement of health and stress reduction. Combining deep breathing with slow, flowing movement, the meditative practice of Tai Chi rebalances our qi, or vital life force, turning nervous tension into vibrant positive energy and increasing our capacity to cope with stress.
Dino Blanche teaches Tai Chi as a form of martial art, emphasizing its abilities to fight stress and the associated ill health and bad temperament it causes each of us. Stress is what stimulates the fight or flight reflex, but the martial stances, gestures and controlled breathing pattern of Tai Chi communicates to one's subconscious that you are protecting yourself, which produces a calm mind and balances your central nervous system. Dino says, "Through taking on a Tai Chi attitude you fight back those hurtful thoughts and worries that vex and trouble your gentle heart. With Tai Chi, we learn how to relax, face the world with openness, fearlessness, and find the sacred warrior's path in everyday life."
For this beginner's workshop at Inner Fields, Dino will instruct you in three basic breathing (Qi Gong) exercises and teach you ten movements of the Laughing River Tai Chi Form.
Dino Blanche is the founder of The Laughing River, a martial arts training and consulting agency in Queens, NY, which specializes in Jujitsu, Tai Chi, meditation and 'Reverse Gravity Training'. He has been teaching martial arts for forty years and his programs are award winning and internationally recognized. For more information, visit www.thelaughingriver.comFind out more
Dino's work is in the permanent collection at the Asian American Arts Centre
Monday, October 12, 2015
Archives Week 2015: Meet Artasiamerica: The Presence of Asian American Artists in the U.S., 1945-2015
Artasiamerica is a high-quality research tool accessible globally to scholars, historians, curators, artists, as well as an educational resource for college and high school students, teachers, and community members.
Space is limited, and RSVP is required. Please complete the form in order to RSVP by October 15, 2015.
Friday, October 16, 2015
128 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
Friday, September 18, 2015
Feminism calls for freedom from restrictive gender roles and for gender equality in the realization of social, cultural, economic and political rights. "Aboveground—40 Moments of Transformation" documents young Chinese activists' impressive efforts to combat stigma, discrimination, and violence against women in pursuit of these ideals. These activists use public spaces as their battlefront to gain visibility and spark open dialogue. But, in China’s repressive environment, bringing the fight for gender equality above ground comes at great personal risk. This exhibition frames and explores the determination with which these young feminists are pushing for a China with true gender equality.
In 1995, 189 governments came together in China and adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. These documents were a remarkable milestone, committing to a vision for women and girls of equal rights, freedom, and opportunities in all spheres of society and of lives free from want, fear, and violence. Two decades later, ironically, feminists and lawyers in China who fight for such equal rights are subjected to search, harassment, and even detention. On March 7, 2015, the Chinese government detained five women activists on the eve of International Women’s Rights Day for their efforts to call attention to sexual harassment. The women received an outpouring of support from feminists, women’s groups, human right organizations, and politicians around the world. But dark clouds are still gathering inside China. Although “The Feminist Five” were released after 37 days, it was conditioned on a strict form of bail that limits their movement, associations, and speech, and they are still treated as criminal suspects by Chinese police.
On September 27, UN Women and China are co-hosting a “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action.” China’s President, Xi Jinping, will give the opening remarks and chair the first part of the meeting at the UN. While this political gesture will be welcomed by some global audiences as a sign of China’s progress, in reality, women’s rights in China will remain in peril as long as those who fight for them face violence and persecution.
Please RSVP to email@example.com
For press inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
|Heidi Lau, Lithos Sarkophagus|
|Nicole Awai, Audacious Asphalt (detail), acrylic paint, graphite, nail polish, bubble wrap, construction foam, polyester mesh, resin and flocking on synthetic paper|
|Jenny Cho, Suburbia: Cul-de-sac (detail), oil on canvas|
|Arthur Simms, Skunk, Rollerskate, wire, bones, wood|
|Armita Raafat, Untitled 1, Plastic, resin, mirrors and paint|
|Monica Palma Narvaez, Ti ti ta ta ta, Charcoal and color pencil on paper|
|Arthur Simms, Beaver Stick, Feathers, wood, wire, screws, rock|
|Caption: AAAC Exec. Director Bob Lee and Manager of Archive Mitsuko Brooks meet co-curators Naomi Reis & Heidi Lau and artists Jenny Cho and Esperana Mayobre during the closing of "Made in USA / Some Parts Imported" at TSA New York in Bushwick.|
TSA is pleased to present “Made in USA / Some Parts Imported,” curated by Naomi Reis with Heidi Lau and featuring the work of Nicole Awai, Jenny Cho, Ignacio González-Lang, Christopher K. Ho, Daisuke Kiyomiya, Heidi Lau, Esperanza Mayobre, Mónica Palma Narváez, Armita Raafat, and Arthur Simms. At a time when most American manufacturing has moved offshore and the question of origin is so hotly disputed (e.g. the debate about President Obama’s birthplace), where something is made—and by whom—remains a basis for perceived value. Using the Country of Origin label as a metaphorical starting point, this exhibition brings together 10 artists currently working in the U.S. who were born or grew up elsewhere. Their work blends an American reference point with a global consciousness that comes from outside the Euro-American canon; it is “Made in the USA” from a perspective that resists correlation to a fixed point on the traditional world map.
Grounded in a celebration of technique and a strong understanding of materials, this group of artists distills disparate cultural influences in the objecthood of the work itself, combining impossible geographies into a singular entity: the eye of a storm around which swirl questions of identity, formalism, and beauty. For some the work emerges from a meditative and repetitive motion that offers a retreat from language, a portal to a wordless space where the ego dissolves into the labor of making; for others the work represents a kind of map, a visualization of psychic space that transcends time and place; for another, meaning is derived through a reinterpretation of oil painting. The work is personal and realized through a studio-based practice of trial and error, embodying the ever-evolving process of becoming.
With 2043 set by the U.S. census as the year ethnic minorities become the new majority, the line between mainstream and Other continues to blur. This liminal space—which defies classification in a dichotomous culture of native/foreign, Republican/Democrat, us/them — will increasingly be the place we all inhabit. It’s not that we’re all becoming the same in a new “post-racial” era; it’s that our ability to decode the full spectrum of difference will become more refined. As the work in this show suggests, rather than seeing the world in terms of us versus them, learning the gradient language of Now will open up new ways of understanding and navigating through our shifting place in the new New World.
See reviews of the show at the Agora Culture and Hyperallergic.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
"In this courageous and passionate book, Deanna Fei tells the story of delivering a medically fragile child at 25 weeks. Even those who know the outcome will be gripped by the novelistic depiction of oscillating hope and despair. But the real accomplishment of this book is that it takes memoir as a jumping-off point for pondering the obligations attached to scientific progress and collective wealth.
In addressing the issue of how much a human life is ultimately worth, it becomes a deeply moving work of moral philosophy." -Andrew Solomon, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of FAR FROM THE TREE
"Deanna Fei has written three gripping tales in one--hertranscendent journey as the mother of a child born way too soon; her plunge into the harsh realities of corporate greed and bumbling when a certain CEO publicly labeled her daughter a 'distressed baby'; and her hard-won understanding of what society owes its most fragile beings. Readers will fall in love with Fei's daughter, and come to see that she is all of our children." -Lisa Belkin, author of LIFE'S WORK and former columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES's Motherlode blog
"Luminous . . . An unflinching testament to the improbable miraculousness of life. This is an astonishing book, full of dark beauty and grace and a hard-earned integrity, one that will haunt me for a long time." -Thrity Umrigar, bestselling author of THE SPACE BETWEEN US and THE STORY HOUR “Fei grippingly details her dread, anxiety, and wonder with her second-trimester delivery… An urgent call for corporate compassion by a woman with a baby in peril.” -Kirkus
From the publisher: Deanna Fei was just five-and-a-half months pregnant when she inexplicably went into labor. Minutes later, she met her tiny baby who clung to life support inside a glass box. Fei was forced to confront terrifying questions: How to be the mother of a child she could lose at any moment. Whether her daughter would survive another day—and whether she should. But as she watched her daughter fight for her life, Fei discovered the power of the mother-child bond at its most elemental.
A year after she brought her daughter home from the hospital, the CEO of AOL—her husband’s employer—blamed the beautiful, miraculously healthy little girl for a cut in employee benefits and attached a price tag to her life, using a phrase, “distressed babies,” that set off a national firestorm.
Girl in Glass is the riveting story of one child’s harrowing journey and a powerful distillation of parenthood. With incandescent prose and an unflinching eye, Fei explores the value of a human life: from the spreadsheets wielded by cost-cutting executives to the insidious notions of risk surrounding modern pregnancy; from the wondrous history of medical innovation in the care of premature infants to contemporary analyses of what their lives are worth; and finally, to the depths of her own struggle to make sense of her daughter’s arrival in the world. Above all, Girl in Glass is a luminous testament to how love takes hold when a birth defies our fundamental beliefs about how life is supposed to begin.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
On Saturday, May 30th 12pm in First Street garden/pavilion near 2nd Ave
Extended - 1pm to 230 pm at CSV - Teatro Latea 107 Suffolk St 2ed Floor
The Asian American Arts Centre and the Cultural Equity Group (CEG) will bring artists and members of CEG together to see art images and speak about a greater role for the art and culture of this city’s diverse neighborhoods and communities. This conversation brings to light what has been largely invisible in the underbelly of forgotten neighborhoods. CEG is a network of art organizations of color whose cultures represent many if not most of New York residents.
A bill for developing an equitable Comprehensive Cultural Plan for New York City passed into law recently. Thus equity is finally on the agenda of NYC. Now is the time for open public dialogue and to begin a process to understand what “equity” will mean for our neighborhoods, our city and our nation.
Artists: Zhang Hongtu, Charles Yuen, Nancy Hom, Nadema Agard, Melissa Staiger, Pena Bonita, Athena LaTocha, Maria Hupfield, Cecil Lee, Ed Sherman, Minerva Diaz, Ademola Olugebefola. http://www.ideas-city.org/#event/hinterland-arts
Sunday, May 3, 2015
What is Nuo?
Nuo is a form of Chinese masked drama enacted by a priest or specially trained shamans as a means of exorcism; it is also a theatrical performance with a presentational aspect, and festival, with the idea of gathering to establish ties and norms between heaven and earth, life and death, man and gods, the ruler and his subjects, a very prominent Chinese cosmological concept.
The Nuo rituals have been deeply incorporated into Chinese living. It has also spread widely among people of various ethnicities throughout the ages. One can see many of the similarities to shamanistic practice that knowing the spirit world requires masks, dancing, motion, and theatrical or ceremonial set-up. Considered "spiritual tutors", professional Nuo performers are believed to be capable of wielding magic power to disperse evil demons, spirits, and pestilence. Besides training in ritual procedures and exorcism, the performers also have to be adept in the Nuo opera. The whole ritual procedure includes inviting, welcoming, and thanking spirits. Following the solemn ritual, the Nuo opera will be performed to entertain the spirits. And according to the Chinese folklore, a street parade of legendary generals and deities could best expel evil from the community. Nuo performers at the performing hall or in procession are often equipped with whips and dance in mysterious tunes. They also wear masks painted with black, white and red in various countenances -- some amiable and others ferocious and frightening. Stylistic features and characteristic of the masks vary widely and reveal much about the regions, cultures, and civilizations from which they come. Guizhou and Jiangxi area is famous for the greatest varieties of Nuo opera. Wherever there is a Nuo opera performance in an outlying village, farmers in surrounding villages will trek dozens of kilometers of hillside path to watch. Though some elderly folks still have awe and reverence for the Nuo dancing "gods", fewer now are familiar with the content and expertise of the ritual.
But with the passage of time and increasing popularization of scientific knowledge, the primitive superstitious ritual has now been transformed into a theatrical performance for entertainment and a genre of folk art. Formerly, the ritual gives expression to the uncertainty of early peoples towards the unknown world and universe, but nowadays the most fascinating part is the vivid Nuo opera that follows. The opera itself contains long-standing knowledge about religion, society and ethnic groups in the early stages of human society and provides an important reference for the in-depth study of music, dance and painting as well as other arts. Nuo ritual, considered to be one of the oldest forms of Chinese dancing, is not only a theatrical performance for entertainment in modern society, it is also a matrix of the Chinese arts. From these magical-looking facial coverings, the spectators can theorize on the mythology, art and ancestral view of their creators. The Nuo masks, as the major vehicles in the ritual to transmit gods’ power and benevolence to man, bear a potent, vivid testament of its link with Chinese ancient culture and its folk arts.
The origins and historical background of the Nuo mask ritual
In ancient China, there is a form of dance called Nuo. The Nuo ritual has been practiced in China for thousands of years from the primitive times when early men performed sacrifices and conducted ceremonial services to pay tribute to ancestors, gods, and goddesses while exorcising demons. Dancers used masks to perform at ritual ceremonies to frighten off the ghosts and evil spirits and to relieve people of epidemics. The origins of Nuo culture in Zhejiang province are one of the most ancient and can be traced back over four thousand years to the Liangzhu culture of the neolithic period. In Liangzhu’s ancient sites in Yuhang county large numbers of engraved Taotiedesigns on jade have been discovered and are considered the most ancient and the only source of the designs on Nuo masks. Major Nuo rituals in the courts were documented in the classic "The Book of Rites" which mentioned "the golden four eyes", a reference to the metallic masks performing in the Nuo ritual. Today the Nuo exorcising ritual is best known to be carried on yearly in an outlying villages of ethnic Tujia people at the base of Fanjing Mountain and in southwest China's Guizhou and Jiangxi provinces.
In some districts, the Nuo ritualistic dance later developed into a theatrical and formal performance. A story relates that during the North Qi Period (550-557), Lanling King was too handsome to terrorize the enemy even though he was excelled in martial arts. He began to wear a ferocious-looking mask on the battlefields in order to overwhelm the enemy. This story was later brought onto the stage in South-North (420-589) and Sui-Tang dynasties (618-907), which is known as "The Lanling King" The masks used by the performers in ritual ceremonies and in the performing art had a strong bearing on the origination of the facial make-up in the Chinese operatic performances. In Tang dynasty, masks still were used in low comedy, but started to dye the masks in portrayal of super-human beings. In Ming dynasty (1318-1644), roles among actors divided into more classifications, and operas and facial make-up were gradually standardized. During the Qing time, with the rise of Peking opera, the art of facial make-up became increasingly perfected. Toward the end of Qing dynasty, the facial make-up became finalized. It is also believed that the Nuo mask has its direct historical and stylistic connection with other foreign mask rituals in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Nepal, India, Tibet, and Mongolia as well as Sri Lanka.
Nuo ritual, dances, and plays have always flourished in the Chinese cultural areas, right up to the present day, and in olden times performances took place virtually every month. It later spread widely among people of various ethnicities in the Yangze River valley, the Yellow River valley, and also the secluded southwestern region. It is important to note that while Sichuan, the believed birth place of Chinese Nuo dance, is in the northern cultural zone, it is in the southern religious and spiritual centers that Nuo culture continues to exist and be preserved until today.
This article is researched and authored by Robert Lee, Executive Director & Curator Ling-Yi Chien, Art & Education Consultant Asian American Arts Centre