Sarah Pritchard, Director of Communications & Strategy
415-863-1414 x103, [email protected]

SOMArts Cultural Center Presents


Exhibition March 8–April 5, 2018
Opening reception & performances Thursday, March 8, 6–9pm

Artists of the global diaspora explore ancestry, mythology and cultural heritage as the foundational elements for transformation and creative mutation.

February 12, 2018, San Francisco, CA— SOMArts Cultural Center presents Diasporic Alchemy: Transforming Ancestral Traditions into Ritual Futurisms co-curated by Louis Chinn and missTANGQ. The third exhibition in the 2017–2018 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency, this group exhibition centers artists whose identities as immigrants, activists, LGBTQ, and people of color inform their experience of diaspora.

Opening with a free public reception on Thursday, March 8, 6–9 pmDisaporic Alchemy will engage audience members in performative and interactive installations that invoke communal celebration and collective ritual-making through storytelling, movement, music and dance.

“Art content which bridges ancient and contemporary tools to address systemic and internalized oppression, intergenerational trauma, illness and alienation from nature is of critical relevance at this time. We believe that activating multi-sensory perception can open portals and pathways to new realities and healing. In an era of divisive social and political forces, co-creative ritual and the communal celebration of new narratives is paramount,” Chinn and missTANGQ assert in regard to their curatorial debut for Diasporic Alchemy.

The opening reception on March 8 will feature performance activations by Kaley Isabella, India Sky and Sammay Dizon. In addition, audience members will be invited to engage with five interactive installations, co-creating new rituals for collective expression.

Multidisciplinary artist Shilo Shiv Suleman’s installation “Grove: The Forest Inside Your Lungs,” uses breath sensors to create a meditative and immersive experience that reflects the interdependence of breath — an exchange between the macroforest outside ourselves and the microforest of alveoli within our lungs.

Shamanic Labs’ installation “Deities of Yesteryear” incorporates projection mapping, augmented reality, and traditional art techniques to create an immersive temple space bridging spirituality and art.

Co-curators missTANGQ and Louis Chinn will debut their interactive installation The Oracle, inviting audience members to receive a customized Yi Jing reading through animations and music. As well, missTANGQ’s mixed media masks exploring the many junctions of her identity will reveal the fertile unions where collaboration between seemingly disparate elements can facilitate transformative, emergent experiences.

Public programs in conjunction with the exhibition include a SOMArts Social happy hour plus performative lecture and magic show on Chinese philosophy and alchemy by Dr. Meilin Chinn and Dan Doohan plus site-specific performance by Dohee Lee on Thursday, March 15, 5–9pm and a closing reception with performances by LEXAGON, Gabriel Christian, Majo y la Esotérica Tropical and The ANiMA Show on Thursday, April 5, 6–9pm.


Judy Shintani
Kevin Balcora
Lauren Crew
Louis Chinn
Mother Tongue
Shamanic Labs
Shilo Shiv Suleman

Dohee Lee
Gabriel Christian
India Sky
Kaley Isabella
Majo y la Esotérica Tropical
The ANiMA Show
Void Sailing

March 8–April 5, 2018

Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm

The exhibition is free to visit during gallery hours and during the opening reception. SOMArts Cultural Center is located at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible. More information on accessibility is available here:

Opening Reception
Thursday, March 8, 6–9pm
The opening night celebration features performances by Kaley Isabella, India Sky and Sammay Dizon. To learn more, visit

SOMArts Social: Talk & Performances by Dr. Meilin Chinn and Dan Doohan aka Void Sailing
Thursday, March 15, 5–9pm
Professor of Chinese philosophy Dr. Meilin Chinn and collaborator Dan Doohan will present a performance lecture and magic show, followed by a site-specific performance by Dohee Lee. Come early for SOMArts Social happy hour with food by La Cocina culinary incubator. To learn more, visit

Closing Reception & Performances
Thursday, April 5, 6–9pm

Featuring multi-media music, dance, video and spoken word by LEXAGON, Gabriel Christian, Majo y la Esotérica Tropical and The ANiMA Show, the closing reception will be the final chance to experience the interactive installations in the gallery. To learn more, visit



SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths.

For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Image credit: Nüwa-Fuxi, missTANGQ. Image courtesy of the artist.

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