Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Call for Entries: Asian American women artists visual and literary arts exhibition

Spread the word!
Submission Deadline: Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 11:59 PM PST

Note: This is a revised announcement, current as of Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Hungry Ghost
Yearning for Fulfillment

A Visual and Literary Art Exhibition,
at Thoreau Center for Sustainability
Curated by Lisa Chiu

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 11:59 PM

Notification of acceptance will be on or before March 14, 2012

Proposals, including size and sketches, will be considered. Please send samples of your current work.
Exhibition Premise: The Hungry Ghost, a concept based in Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, is a lost soul that roams burdened by unmet needs. Driven by insatiable greed and intense desires, the Hungry Ghost wanders, searches and feeds. In Chinese folk religion, families prepare food offerings for deceased relatives to keep ancestral hungry ghosts at bay.Hungry Ghost: Yearning for Fulfillment asks you to interpret and illuminate this powerful, culturally rich metaphor. How do Asian American women artists express deep emotional and physical desires? How do we relate to the idea of isolation and alienation? How do we reconcile our Asian backgrounds and American surroundings? How do food and family shape our identity? How do we deal with consumption and compulsion? How do we crave acceptance and fulfillment? What feeds us?
Eligibility: The exhibition is open to Asian American women literary and visual artists 18 years and older.

Visual art
Original 2D and 3D works of any medium completed since January 2010 will be reviewed. No greater than 50 pounds, no larger than 7' x7' x 2' wide.

Installation work
Freestanding, no fragile installation, no wider than 3 feet. 7' x 7' x 2' deep

Literary art
poetry, fiction or nonfiction completed since January 2010 will also be reviewed. 2 pages or less in length, 12-point type, double-spaced. Submit as a word doc.

Work will be selected by curator, Lisa Chiu and AAWAA's Curatorial Team.

Venue: Thoreau Center of Sustainability, Building #1014, Tourney Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 11:59 PM
Proposals, including size and sketches, will be considered. Please send samples of your current work.

Delivery of artwork: Sunday, April 15, 2012, 11 AM - 5 PM

Dates of exhibition: Monday, April 23 – Saturday, June 9, 2012

Opening reception: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 5-8:30 PM at Thoreau Center of Sustainability
Entry details: Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, March 6, 2012 11:59 PM PST. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Information submitted may be used for publicity purposes.
Entries must be submitted online via EntryThingy 
An $8 entry fee must be submitted via PayPal Here
Insurance: Provided by Thoreau Center for Sustainability while artwork is onsite.    
Drop-off and pick-up: Artist is responsible for transit of accepted works to and from Thoreau Center. No storage is available.

Sales: 10% commission of sales goes to AAWAA’s Emerging Curator Program.

LisaChiuCropAbout the Curator: Lisa Chiu is a Taiwanese American writer and food fanatic. Her essays appear in Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women (2007) and Who's Your Mama?: The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers (2009). Coming from a background in literature, journalism and marketing, she is fascinated with myth, metaphor and the craft of storytelling. Her interest in curation stems from a desire to cultivate creative opportunities that foster cultural awareness. She conceived Hungry Ghost as a forum to amplify Asian American women’s voices and showcase their art. She writes about family, food, culture and community on her blog, Rants, Ravings and Ruminations.

Emerging Curators Program: 
AAWAA’s Emerging Curators Program provides a platform fo
r aspiring curators residing in San Francisco Bay to develop their vision and encourage curatorial expertise in the Asian American community.

Presenting Organizations:
Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to ensuring the visibility and documentation of Asian American women in the arts. Through exhibitions, publications, and educational programs, we offer thought-provoking perspectives that challenge societal assumptions and promote dialogue. www.aawaa.net

Thoreau Center For Sustainability: Operated by Tides, Thoreau Center for Sustainability is a green nonprofit center dedicated to social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Thoreau Centers are named after the American writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau. As American’s first notable naturalist, Thoreau believed in the importance of democracy and advocated living in harmony with nature.  http://www.thoreau.org/

Send questions to cynthia@aawaa.net (415) 722- 4296

facebook-30x30youtube-30x30twitter-30x30 3blogger-30x30

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Asian American Women Artists Association Emerging Curator

I am thrilled and honored that the Asian American Women Artists Association selected me for their Emerging Curators Program! I will be working with the AAWAA team to curate a juried visual and literary arts exhibition at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability in San Francisco April 26 to June 9.

The Call for Entries will be out soon!

Here's the AAWAA announcement.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On democracy and oyster omelettes

A few weeks ago, my family ate at an Asian restaurant in Cupertino and chowed down on several Taiwanese comfort food dishes: bean thread noodles, oyster omelettes (also known as oyster pancakes) and steamed dumplings. The next day, I met up with a few fellow second-generation Taiwanese Americans in San Francisco and we reflected on what it was like to grow up as an Asian American in the Midwest and West Coast. 

There is a powerful connection between food and memory. Every time I eat Taiwanese food, I feel compelled to call my mom. So, feeling nostalgic, I called my parents in Ohio and we talked about my weekend of Taiwanese culture and the recent presidential election in Taiwan. My parents had been rooting for Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's first female presidential candidate. Our relatives in Taiwan, including my spunky 96-year-old grandmother had voted, while my parents followed election news on satellite TV. "We lost. It was close," my dad said. Both my parents cried. 

It was ironic that our conversation took place the weekend before Martin Luther King Day. I remember the first time I heard the word "We shall overcome" was as a child growing up in Cleveland. With heavy Taiwanese accents, my parents and their friends sang the words as they marched down Euclid Avenue to Public Square. They wore matching t-shirts and hoisted homemade signs that said "Democracy on Taiwan!" I have vivid memories of our family gathered in a basement with other Taiwanese families silkscreening dozens of those t-shirts. We hosted a party where all of us rounded our dining room table in an assembly line, folding, sealing and stamping letters to Congress petitioning support of Taiwan.

While I understood my parents' disappointment with the election results, I couldn't comprehend why they were so emotional about it. After all these years, there is still a language barrier between us when it comes to discussing emotions and complex topics. So I turned to a few of my Taiwanese American friends to get their perspective. 

Each of them reminded me that our parents grew up during World War II when Taiwan was under Japanese and then Chinese Kuomingtang (KMT) rule. Many of our parents, including my own, have bitter memories about the KMT, in particular. "The KMT seized property that belonged to my father's side of the family," my friend Vicki said. "My maternal grandfather was imprisoned for six months. My mother still gets emotional when she talks about it."

After growing up under martial law for many years, our parents dreamed of the day Taiwan would one day be independent. Many of them came to the United States for graduate and professional school opportunities. And then they stayed. By now, they have lived more years here than in Taiwan. They are U.S. citizens; they pay taxes, they vote, they serve jury duty (my dad raved about it!).

In the past decade, I've enjoyed a wonderful closeness to my parents, mostly because of my two kids. Where my mom and dad once were typical Tiger Parents with me, they are complete softies with the boys. My parents spent a lot of time caring for my boys when they were babies and I was at work, and as a result, I swear my older son's first word was "chocolate".

So even though I feel closer then ever to my parents, there is still a cultural gap between us. As a teenager, it frustrated me. As a middle-aged mom, it saddens me. I wish I could understand what they are going through. I can't help but wonder if my parents are giving up the dream of an independent motherland - and perhaps more than that. Is it about getting older? Is it about thinking my aging grandmother may have voted in her last presidential election? 

I wish I knew.