Into East River(s): Chinese / American
Artists and Asian American Poets

Date: Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time: 4PM to 8PM

Place: 25 West 43rd Street, 19th Floor
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

Free Admission

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 Scholar 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.


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 artistCorky 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.

Into East River(s): An Asian American Poetry Reading

To Recognize All those Who Enter America

On June 6, 1993, at around 2AM, 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.

Speakers include:

  • Meena Alexander (CUNY Graduate Center & Hunter College/CUNY)

  • Ken Chen (Asian American Writers' Workshop) 

  • Jennifer Hayashida (Hunter College/CUNY) 

  • Andrew Hsiao

  • Lisa Chen

  • Audrea Lim

  • Mai Mang

  • Russell C. Leong (UCLA & CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor)

  • Huang Xiang

  • Jiayan Mi

  • Zhang Zhen

Literary Affiliate: Asian American Writers' Workshop






Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182 / 0187   
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