Singing in the Dark

I’m in a group show in Los Angeles which opens September 7, 2019.

Singing in the Dark: A Meditation on Migration is an exhibition reflecting on migratory displacement, refuge, exile, and belonging. For immigrants and refugees in the US, cultural adaptation and survival is a relentless negotiation between there/here and then/now/tomorrow. Longing, regret, and affirmation mix with fear and desire for what the future might hold.   

The artists of Singing in the Dark offer strategies to embrace, remember, and rebuild the past through art. Their works point to shared yet often neglected histories with the goal of inspiring reflection and hope against the new normal that envelops our deeply polarized country. They mine personal and family histories reaching back across decades to negotiate identity and find ways to arrive at a tentative peace that, even if filled with contradictions and gaps in knowledge and narrative, can give root and provide a vantage point from which an ever-evolving sense of belonging can grow.

How can one begin to belong in a place where one is not from – whether one is situated in a location by choice or chance, or perhaps by force? How does one begin to survive and cultivate a viable existence in a foreign place under any of these circumstances? The impulse to find safety and stability lends itself quickly to establishing belonging, often tied to a grounding sense of place. To ensure one’s chances to survive, one must adapt and be prepared. Like inhaling and exhaling, one dedicates time, builds improvised communities of family and friends, learns new languages and customs; one begins to see oneself framed by new possibility in an adopted place. But the work of belonging is easily complicated by distance in time and geography, guilt, trauma, and haunted by memories treasured, painful, and unspoken.

This exhibition was originally conceived as a response to the previous group exhibition, called Made in Asian America, in which many of the artists presented work focused on themes of war- or migration-related trauma, loss, cultural memory, and family history. Especially dark days of late provide substantial motivation for the exhibition, too, as we bear witness to the growing casualties of hate-fueled nihilism and the expanding fascism of the state. 

Artists in the exhibition are Susu Attar, Mitsuko Brooks, Yasmine Diaz, Cirilo Domine, Farsad Labbauf, Ann Le, Việt Lê, Tu Nguyen, and Fereshteh Toosi. All of the artists are themselves immigrants or refugees, or their parents are. The same is true of the curators of Art Salon Chinatown. 

Featured artwork by Việt Lê

fingers plucking at a piece of spiky palm bark in a well lit gallery

On Sunday, August 18th from 1 to 2 pm, I’ll be presenting an experimental plant concert at Radiator Comics’ Pop-Up Shop at EXILE Books. It will feature a collaboration between me, Nicole Salcedo, Bo Tye, and amplified plant materials. The event will also include readings by Onajide Shabaka, and plant information presnted by Brett Jestrow, PhD. I hope you will join us at 5900 NW 2nd Ave, Miami FL 33127. More information and updates can be found at the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2368121706802304/​

photograph of a grassy shoreline in the foreground with an wooden ramp structure in background on a sunny day with blue skies

SoundCamp 2019

The beach and water park features at Miami’s Thompson Park are closed until renovation is complete, but the campground is still open! It’s here that Water Radio will present its first public program, a soundcamp to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day.

This overnight, outdoor event is limited to 10 people. If you’re interested, please reserve your spot through Eventbrite. Learn more about it here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/water-radio-soundcamp-for-international-dawn-chorus-day-2019-tickets-60020795816

February events

I just returned from packing up my solo exhibit Who Saves Who? in North Carolina. I’m organizing the photos and video documentation, so I’ll plan to include a link in a future update. In the meantime, I want to let you know that I’m hosting two extra special events in the Miami area and I hope to see you at one or both.

koi pond in the center with green folliage of tropical plants and ferns surrounding it

Wednesday, February 13, 7pm
FREE film screening of the short film Miami Beach Elegy by Chip Lord of Ant Farm, followed by Q&A and discussion at Florida International University’s Miami Beach Urban StudiosMiami Beach Elegy is a visual poem to remember Miami Beach as it was in the early 21st century – a colorful canary in the mine shaft of climate change.
https://www.facebook.com/events/285960618762516/

Saturday, February 23, 9:30am
Unique forest bathing retreat at Patch of Heaven Sanctuary (pictured above)
If you’ve been waiting to sign up for a forest bathing walk, this location can’t be beat! The retreat is a chance to treat yourself to a soothing sequence of outdoor mindfulness and meditation activities. Sink in deeply to a gorgeous green oasis nestled among the farms of the Redlands. Tickets are going fast, so snag yours here: 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-bathing-retreat-at-patch-of-heaven-sanctuary-tickets-55610785356