Kearny Street Workshop

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We close out this podcast mini-series with writer and performer, Samantha Chanse , who has worn just about every possible APAture hat: from emcee in 2001 to coordinator in 2002 to featured artist in performance/theater in 2008.

After serving Kearny Street Workshop for seven years with four different staff titles, she passes on years of institutional knowledge today as a board member.

Perhaps Sam’s longevity with the organization can be credited to a passion for her community and an uncanny ability to laugh at herself.

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Mark Baugh-Sasaki
Mark Baugh-Sasaki is a busy sculptor and installation artist. He’s shown all over the Bay Area including Swarm Gallery, Diablo Valley College art gallery, and Triton Museum of Art, and had a solo show at 5 Mined Fields Studio.

Yet he still donates his gallery installation skills generously to KSW.

A fine artist as well as a community artist, Mark is in the midst of fundraising for a six-month art installation at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley by invitation of the Hayes Valley Arts Coalition. Care to contribute?

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robin2
Robin Sukhadia says he performed in APAture 2007 to represent South Asian artists in the festival. “Asia is a massive part of the world and we need to do more to bring all of the communities within Asia together.”

Although his APAture performance blended classical North India music mixed into a contemporary context, Robin promotes traditional Indian music through his teachings and performances. “There’s something to be said about respecting thousands of years of culture and history,” says Robin.

Robin’s musical ensemble, PremaSoul, performed in the Shifted Focus Performance Night combining sacred Indian and soulful American sound.

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matthew
Matt Abaya teaches digital multimedia and video production to East Palo Alto youth and uses technological tools to make high concept, low- to no-budget films.

But back in the day, Matt helped launch the first APAture. Besides curating the APAture film night, he contributed an illustration of Asians with sunglasses for one of the APAture 2 t-shirt designs.

Matt is soooo O.G., he references Yahoogroups’ predecessor, eGroups in this following clip from 2000.

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amy ho
Amy Ho’s work dances between film and visual art, with a psychedelic installation that required ladder-clilmbing at APAture 10. (Yes, that’s Amy dressed up as a durian.)

In addition to challenging her creative growth, Amy says her participation in APAture has introduced her to some of her closest friends.

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michael hornbuckle
Our third segment in the Artists of APAture features actor Michael Hornbuckle, a founding member of the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. 18MMW are an Asian American comedy sketch group founded in 1994 .

Since then, they were the featured artist in theater for APAture 2004, were named 2005 Bay Area’s best comedy group by the SF Bay Guardian, won the 2006 International Sketch Comedy Championships, and were featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Mighty Warriors of Comedy.”

Members of 18MMW will be performing at KSW’s SHIFTED FOCUS: Performance Night at the de Young.

I cornered Michael for this interview at the 2000 APAture thank you party.

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Pireeni Sundaralingam
The second post in our exploration of the Artists of APAture features Pireeni Sundaralingam.

Pireeni is a poet who often performs with her husband, musician Colm Ó Riain, in Words & Violin.

She performed in APAture in 2001 with her writers group, Dhaia Tribe, and was the featured artist in literature in 2008.

Combining her dual skills as a poet and a professor of cognitive development, Pireeni is teaching the upcoming Shifted Focus workshop, Changing Your Brain, Changing Your Poetic Practice.

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Over 10 year ago, a group of Asian American community artists said, “Yes, KSW, an arts organization from the ’70s, is still relevant,” and we created an all-day arts expo for emerging Asian American artists.

This video captures APAture’s impact on emerging artists by tracking the growth of 2008 featured artist, Hellen Jo.

Collaboration: Originally this was supposed to be a compilation of audio interviews with former APAture artists mixed with photos like a soundslideshow. But I realized we could create something viral via youtube and enlisted the help of previous collaborator, RJ Lozada.

I was to mix the audio while RJ and I thought up a visual concept. We came up with the time lapse idea and then Hellen’s interview revealed such a strong narrative, we decided to stay focused on her story.

I’ll be using the other interviews in an audio piece I make for the APAture Retrospective website.

Music: Once again, Scrabbel Dan helps out with the music.

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov), Flash Video (.flv)

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Artist Statement: In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began a series of informal fireside chats, evening radio talks to the American public. He calmed fears over the Great Depression by offering a sense of hope and security.

Unlike the presidential addresses, this fireside chat is multi-vocal. “Talking bricks” reveal stories about Kearny Street Workshop’s multiple homes and multiple displacements: from the International Hotel to North Beach to basement of the Manilatown Senior Center to the California Flower Market. These stories expose the resilience of KSW’s community and our ability to turn any place into a home.

Production Notes: This installation couldn’t have happened without the collaboration team of Max Chen and Sue Pak. With their help, we were able to construct the fireplace with wood and chiseled foam (by Max), make the "talking bricks" with very inexpensive speakers and short elbow 1/8" plugs (again, Max), and apply the images to the "talking bricks" (by Sue). We also each chipped in our resources to "borrow" the more expensive materials (mp3 players and frames).

And with our varying degrees of working with KSW, were were able to learn more about KSW history and current incarnation.

Featured interviewees: Al Robles, poet; Bob Hsiang, photographer; Chris Huie, photographer; Curtis Choy, filmmaker; Jim Dong, co-founder and printmaker; Leland Wong, printmaker; Mark Izu, musician; Nancy Hom, poet and printmaker; Norman Jayo, poet and musician; and Zand Gee, graphic designer.

Press:
Pacific Time
San Francisco Examiner (scroll down)

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Photo by David Huang

Description: When the Chicago Asian American Showcase accepted Mike Sakamoto’s film to the festival, we booked our tickets and prepared for an adventure. Mike hauled around his video camera and I double fisted with my digital camera and minidisc recorder.

We captured all of our explorations of the city and the adventures that were peaked by the attendance of the Better Luck Tomorrow cast and crew!

I wanted to do something with all the material and turned it into a CD and audio installation that integrated a map of Chicago with my own highlights of the city. This project became Remapping Chicago and was accepted into KSW’s 2002 APAture gallery show.

Collaborators: Jo Slota was a huge help in making this a real installation piece. He built a mock railroad rail to house the cd players, figured out how to hang the huge map, and offered moral support.

Broadcast History:
Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture 2002
KPFA’s Full Circle

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