Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) join forces to present the multidisciplinary art exhibition Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life & Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) , as part of the United States of Asian America Festival opening at SOMArts on Thursday, May 4.
Curated by Michelle A. Lee, Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life and Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) is a multimedia exhibition featuring over 40 artists illuminating the intersectional legacy of revolutionary activist Yuri Kochiyama. The artworks highlight the values and themes which guided Kochiyama, and the incredibly diverse people, struggles, and movements that inspired a lifetime commitment to fighting for a more humane and just world. Relating Kochiyama’s mission to our contemporary context, artists ruminate on a myriad of urgent topics such as the similarities between WWII Japanese Internment and post-9/11 Islamophobia, the experience of immigrants, refugees and people of color, structural racism and police violence, and the everyday labor that fuels substantive social change.
Kochiyama showed up for all who needed help, including African American, Asian, Latino, and Native American communities, and inspired artists across multiple cultures and generations. Honoring Kochiyama’s intended legacy of inspiring people to “build bridges, not walls,” Shifting Movements artists invite audiences to make connections between the
past, present, and future — and each other.
AAWAA moves beyond the circle of Asian American women artists. Following the inclusionary philosophy championed by Kochiyama, this historically significant exhibition includes talented and powerful artists from multiple generations, ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities. Shifting Movements showcases provocative art driven by the artists’ abiding passion for social justice.
In addition to visual art, film, performance and literary works, Shifting Movements will feature a Yuri Kochiyama biographical timeline, oral history recordings, the Smithsonian APA Center online exhibition Folk Hero: Remembering Yuri Kochiyama Through Grassroots Art, and a community-created public art installation.
The opening reception on Thursday, May 4 from 6:00–9:00 pm will feature performances by participating artists and a pop-up shop featuring affordable artwork by Shifting Movements artists.
Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life & Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) is curated by Michelle A. Lee (Eating Cultures, Hungry Ghosts) featuring artists selected by activist and curator Melorra Green and feminist poet, new media artist, and scholar Margaret Rhee. Invited artists include Sigi Arnejo and People’s Kitchen Collective.
Michelle A. Lee
Melorra Green, Activist and Curator (SOMArts Cultural Center, African American Arts & Culture Complex)
Margaret Rhee, Feminist Poet, New Media artist, and Scholar (University of Oregon)
Manon Bogerd Wada
Jane Yuen Corich
Antonia Grace Glenn
Genevieve Erin O’Brien
People’s Kitchen Collective
Jess X Snow
Laura Ming Wong
The Yuri and Malcolm Mural Project
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