Well… Like they say… All good things must come to an end. My two year residency at the Chinese Historical Society of America is ending at the end of this month.
It’s been good to be excepted by a Chinatown community organization. I’ve always thought that the Chinese community doesn’t really support their artists. I am really glad CHSA brought me in. They provided me with a space to work and showcase my art.
The subject of Chinese American history has always been of interest to me since high school. Emil Deguzman once said, "Artists are the makers of history." I really take that to heart.
I was given the Yick Gallery space which I came and went whenever I wanted. I used it as a workspace and exhibition space.
No...it was not a paid full time job. CHSA did find some funding for some of the projects I did. But it's not a living wage. So in the end it was more about love then anything else.
Some accomplishments during the two year residency:
- Artist Studio
- Dragon and Kois at Dragon Gate mural
- APILO Summer Youth Anti-Violence Poster Workshop
- Perfecting the Xiaolongbao at CHSA's kitchen
- Developing the award winning xiaolongbao/guotie at CHSA's kitchen. Winner of Kearny Street Workshop's Dumpling Wars.
- Bringing in speaker Pok Chi Lau about his Cuban Chinese Photographic project.
- Bringing in speaker Cuban Chinese Mitzi Espinoza from Cuba about the Hungmen Society in Cuba
- Bringing in speaker John Jung about the Chinese Restaurants of the South
- Chinatown night at CHSA
- Winterblast with Jest Jammin'
- Summerblast with Jest Jammin'
- Chinatown Studio
- #Chinatown; photographic sketches
- Day in the Life of Asian America lecture
- Portrait studio
- A bunch of sketches in my sketchbooks
- Winter dumplings for the Winter Solstice
- Posters; Dream, Leway Reunion, Marysville Bok Kai Festival, Summerblast, Big Picnic, Winterblast, Ending Violence, From the Mist
- Nine Dragons Mural at Utopia Restaurant (work in progress)
- Proclamation by SF Supervisors
I guess from here it’s back to working out of my house. The doghouse. The basement. The garage.
I’m looking at space at pier 70 also. But not that crazy about the place. There’s no plumbing. No toilet. A portapottie. Electric is just pulled in. It’s a daytime space only. Given my habit of working into the night that would be tough.
It’s spooky there at night too. A perfect place to dump a body. Plus it’s not in the community and a lot farther from where I live.
The developers got their eyes on the area like a hawk. It can get sold in no time and it’ll be time to move again.
Don’t know if I will be able to stay in the house I’m at too. It’s going through a forced partition and I don't know where I will wind up in the near future.
Anyway… As a closing party for my art residency at CHSA, I’ll be having a traditional winter solstice party there this Saturday from 1-4pm. I’m making a big pot of tongyuen and celebrate our coming together. We will all grow older by one year.
Free to the public! Tell all the mou's at Portsmouth Square!
But....it's not really over. I still owe them this mural of the Golden Spike with all Chinese workers. Because of the force partition lawsuit I'm going through, I had to devote my left side of the brain to deal with it. Originally we were going to do it on the wall of the Yick Gallery. But now we are going to do it on three 4x8 panels which will measure 12' x 8' when finished. At the moment I plan to work on it at CHSA which hopefully means I can work there at night too. Just that I won't have the Yick Gallery to hang out in like before.
So...thinking back, it was all good.
Regrets? I wish I could have spent more time there especially during museum hours when it was open to the public. I can't say I made much money from the residency though CHSA did find some funding for some of the projects but it's not a living wage. While there was a lot of interest in my art and photography, there was not much sales of my artwork. But I feel if that is to happen I must physically be there to talk to potential customers to make a sale...it takes a bit of salesmanship.
CHSA has a lot of potential but the staff is really small and the organization could use a lot more funding to do bigger and better things.
Winter Solstice Reception with Leland Wong
December 13 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Leland Wong and the CHSA Museum cordially invite you to our Winter Solstice Reception on December 13th. We will gather to mark the start of winter and to celebrate Leland’s accomplishments throughout his two year-long residency at the CHSA Museum, which will conclude at the end of 2014.
We will look back at Leland’s accomplishments during his time at CHSA. Over the span of two exhibitions, Creative Spaces (2013) and Leland Wong: Chinatown Studio (2014), this unprecedented collaboration between a visual artist and CHSA has produced the following: original artwork and photography highlighting daily life in San Francisco Chinatown; new connections with the Asian American community and the Chinese diaspora; and dumplings, lots of dumplings.
Don’t miss out on this chance to view Leland Wong’s impressive large-scale works in the CHSA Museum: Kois at Dragon’s Gate and #Chinatown: Leland Wong’s Photographic Sketches.
Music and light refreshments will be served. Winter dumplings will be served.