For thousands of years, rivers – both East and West – have been used as a source of food and drinking, for energy, and for navigation. Culturally and politically, rivers have also been used to delineate the boundaries of nations, regions, and communities. New York City’s East River, for instance, is a “navigation” passage way for the city’s natives, immigrants, and refugees alike. Other rivers, both East and West, be it the Yangtze, Tigris, Thames, Los Angeles, or the Mekong, and their tributaries, have both linked and demarcated cultures, countries, and politics.
Curated by Russell C. Leong, AAARI’s CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at Hunter College; and Yibing Huang, Professor of Modern Chinese Literature at Connecticut College, Leong and Huang hope that this program will lead to more bilingual and bicultural dialogue.
4PM – Registration
4:30PM – Images of Exclusion and Inclusion
Zhang Dali in Conversation with Curators Yibing Huang and David Rong (Bilingual Program)
*Chinese artist Zhang Dali’s work focuses upon the constant revision, erasure and exclusion of certain moments and figures in modern history, particularly, late 20th-Century Chinese history. By exposing the man-made blank or absence beneath various official news and photographical documents, Zhang shows that there is always a “second history” that needs to be dug out and restored against collective amnesia and silence.
Corky Lee in Conversation with Prof. Peter Kwong
*Chinese American artist Corky Lee selects images from his 250,000 images of Asian America. Lee has for 40 years sought to “include” what has been neglected by the mass media: the expression, politics and culture “inside” communities rather than from the outside, viewing his subjects as the determining “subjects” rather than as the “objects” of history. Turning a stereotype on its head, Corky refers to his work and forthcoming book as “what’s not on the menu”—in other words, both as what is absent and what is authentic and cannot be located in the tourists’ guidebook.
5:30PM – Supper
What’s Not on the Menu – Join artists, writers, and curators for a light supper.
7PM – Into East River(s): An Asian American Poetry Reading
To Recognize All those Who Enter America
On June 6, 1993, at around 2 a.m., the Golden Venture – a ship bearing 286 immigrants from China (mostly from the province of Fujian) along with 13 crew members – ran aground on Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York after a mutiny by the smugglers. The ship had set sail from Thailand, stopped in Kenya and circled the Cape of Good Hope en route.
Russell C. Leong
Asian American Writers’ Workshop