Co-curators Cecile Chong and Sophia Ma are proud to present Gathering, an exhibition highlighting the relationships between forty-five Asianish artist members and their works at Tiger Strikes Asteroid–New York (TSA-NY) in Bushwick (Sat, June 24-Sun, July 30, 2023) and FiveMyles in Crown Heights (Sat, July 8-Sun, August 13, 2023).
In March 2018, Chong, Gabriel de Guzman, Sara Jimenez, and Maia Cruz Palileo formed Asianish, an informal group of AAPI artists and art professionals, to create a safe space for a community of varying Asian identities. Since then, they have continued to gather around conversation, art, and food to share vulnerably and openly about code-switching in art contexts and the need for belonging in a country they call home. When the pandemic hit, a global reckoning of racial injustice arose along with the terrifying increased attacks on Asian Americans. The group shifted, like the rest of the world, and became a virtual monthly gathering to hold space for discourse around one another’s concerns and lived experiences. By early 2021, the meetings became weekly, which alternated between artist presentations and discussions on thoughtful anti-racist scholarship. Gathering celebrates the comradery developed
over these trying years.
Gathering is, therefore, an unsurprising title and theme for a show of Asianish members who gather! Chong and Ma, a fellow Asianish member, invited the entire group of about a hundred to join the show in an open call—they received enthusiastic responses from nearly half the group. Four sub-themes around gathering emerged with many of the artists’ work illustrating more than one. In no particular order, they are:
● Meditation and self- and community-reflection on COVID feelings. Artists created works that acknowledge and help process anti-Asian hate.
● Familial and cultural hi/stories and folklore as the basis for connection.
● Domestic objects and the illusion of home life as the gathering point.
● Fragmentation and reassembly as the formation of something new.
The show is not necessarily about the member’s identities, but rather why they choose to gather. Their claim to the “-ish” in their Asianish experience is theirs alone. The group assembles for connection, visibility, and a place for their experiences and voices to be heard. This exhibition reveals the deep friendships between the artists and the intersections in their work.The list of participating artists below is in alphabetical order by venue. In cases of collaboration, the grouping starts with the Asianish member.
● TSA-NY, June 24-July 30, 2023: Heejung Cho, Rachelle Dang, Gi (Ginny) Huo, Sara Jimenez, Melissa Joseph, Kyoung eun Kang, Ae Yun Kim, zavé martohardjono, Kristel Baldoz, & Andrew Suseno, Sa’dia Rehman, Pauline Shaw, Winnie Sidharta Ambron, Maria Stabio, and Jia Sung
● FiveMyles, July 8-August 13, 2023: Kate Bae, Mimi Bai, SiSi Chen, Vivian Chiu, Priyanka Dasgupta & Chad Marshall, Caroline Garcia, Beatrice Glow, Kira Nam Greene, Gyun Hur, Evgenia Kim, Christina Yuna Ko, Alison Kuo, Julia Kwon, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Adelle Lin Yingxi, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, zavé martohardjono & J Dellecave, Chanel Matsunami Govreau, LuLu Meng, Tomo Mori, Natalia Nakazawa, Harley Ngai Grieco, Alex Paik, Maia Cruz Palileo, Risa Puno, Naomi Kawanishi Reis, Jaye Rhee, Jiwon Rhie, Annesofie Sandal, Amy Lee Sanford, and Seldon Yuan
With a keen interest in building solidarity and allyship with the communities of color, Chong and Ma work with TSA-NY and FiveMyles to develop a robust program to share Asianish stories with New York-area communities and beyond. Through learning about Asian American experiences, the exhibition engages the neighborhood in dialogue around shared histories of oppression under white supremacy. Full Program for the two-sited exhibition:
● Sat, Jun 24, 5-7PM – Opening Reception @ TSA
● Sat, Jul 8, 2PM – Live & Virtual Community Tour @ TSA with curator Cecile Chong
● Sun, Jul 9, 5:30PM-8PM – Opening Reception @ FiveMyles and 6:30PM – 12-min Performance of Tether Us (to Devour in Peace) by Chanel Matsunami Govreau
● Sat, Jul 15, 2PM – Live & Virtual Community Tour @ FiveMyles with curator Sophia Ma and 4:30PM – Performance of Break Pot: Saint Johns Place by Amy Lee Sanford
● Sat, Jul 22, 4:30PM – Performance of three finger salute by zavé martohardjono, Andrew Suseno, & Kristel Baldoz @ TSA
● Sat, Jul 29, 5PM – Panel Discussion, moderated by Gabriel de Guzman with participating artists: Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Evgenia Kim, Julia Kwon, Tomo Mori, and Natalia Nakazawa @ FiveMyles
● Sun, Aug 13, 6-8PM – Joint Closing Potluck @ FiveMyles
Cecile Chong is a visual artist. She was born in Ecuador to Chinese parents and grew up in Quito and Macau. Her public art installation EL DORADO – The New Forty Niners was installed in each of the five boroughs of New York City (2017-2022). Solo exhibitions include Kates-Ferri Projects, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, Selenas Mountain, ICFAC at Pinta Miami, Smack Mellon, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, BRIC, and more. Chong’s work is in the collections of El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of Chinese in America, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Center for Book Arts, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and Citibank Art Advisory. She has curated exhibitions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, the Dedalus Foundation, and Emerson Gallery Berlin, Germany. Chong received an MFA from Parsons, an MA in education from Hunter College, and a BA in Studio Art from Queens College. Chong is currently part of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program and an artist member at Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY. She is also part of the College Art Association Services to Artists Committee and is a board member for Art Yard
Bklyn and Smack Mellon.
Sophia Ma is an independent curator and writer. Ma completed her master’s in art history and curatorial studies from Hunter College, CUNY, Fall 2020. Her thesis was on the relationship between the work and spiritual practices of the abstract painter Bernice Lee Bing (1936-1998). Ma also curated for Project Art Distribution’s five-year traveling retrospective exhibition of 200 artists and 400 artworks from Walter Elwood Museum to St. John’s University’s Yeh Art Gallery. Her solo projects include the curation of Alison Kuo’s “We Will Meet Again” at Think!Chinatown. She conducted studio visits with the residents of
the International Studio & Curatorial Program, Parsons New School, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and Residency Unlimited. Ma has written for multiple online art publications, including The Brooklyn Rail, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, Art Spiel, Arte Fuse, and White Hot Magazine. Ma currently coordinates the
Storefront for Ideas for Immigrant Social Services, a unique cultural space focused on the well-being of community members in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
About Asianish – In March 2018, Sara Jimenez, Maia Cruz Palileo, Gabriel de Guzman, and Cecile
Chong formed Asianish. The idea of the group came out of their experience after participating in the NYC Creative Salon around the theme “identity.” The group is interested in informally sharing and discussing the nuanced and complex Asian identities and experiences in the US art world. The group holds space for these hybridized “Asian-ish” identities that are unique and specific to each member. The community continues to grow and recognize each other as a resource for growth, strength, and wisdom. As of May 2023, the group has 163 members.
The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) and the Asian Women Giving Circle, a donor-advised fund of the Ms. Foundation for Women. Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The co-curators thank the staff of FiveMyles and the artist members of Tiger Strikes Asteroid for their efforts.