The W.O.W Project’s mission is to engage the community in shaping the future of Chinatown by bringing together youth, elders, business owners, and concerned residents in conversation and innovative idea generation.
Featured Upcoming Program:
Similar to many other industries, the film industry has historically been dominated by not only white, but also male voices. Asian American female narratives and voices are often silenced and it’s clear that representation matters both in front of and behind the camera. What obstacles does being an Asian American female filmmaker create in a predominantly white and male film industry?
Join us in conversation with three Asian American female filmmakers,ManSee Kong, Ursula Liang & Theresa Loong, as we discuss how their race and gender intersect to inform their work and address their challenges working in the film business. This conversation will be moderated by NYU film student and W.O.W short film director, Denise Zhou.
This event will open a summer youth series in which we will hold screenings of all three filmmakers' films at 26 Mott St. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by a Chinatown youth.
This event will prioritize youth attendees, but also welcomes the public.
*Note that this W.O.W program is fully W.O.W intern run!
We're excited to announce a collaboration with Chinatown writer, Henry Chang, to launch the ~ * Chinatown Writers Workshop * ~ beginning on September 17th - October 8th.
The W.O.W Project x Henry Chang Chinatown Writer's Workshop supports aspiring writers in the Chinese American community who have proficient writing skills and a passion to share their untold stories. The workshop hopes to encourage, mentor and shepard writing projects along over a four Sunday session period from September 17th - October 8th hosted in W.O.W's studio space.
If you're interested in applying please note that applications are open
from June 1 - August 1.
For more information visit our W.O.W Project x Henry Chang page.
May 31, 2017 - W.O.W Project 1 Year Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser
W.O.W hosted an evening of celebrations for the W.O.W Project's 1 Year Anniversary. The line-up included:
- A reading with doctoral candidate, Diane Wong, who will share some oral histories she collected about the gentrification of Chinatowns across the U.S.
- Official launch of the W.O.W Project's Anniversary Video
- Reveal of Cynonyc Chinatown Clothing Company's W.O.W 1 Year Anniversary sign
Mingling with the W.O.W Project community over drinks and snacks, we'll have our 1 Year Anniversary mechandise and Zine on sale!
May 24, 2017 - Let's Talk Chinatown: Oral Histories of a Changing Neighborhood
Let's Talk Chinatown: Oral Histories of a Changing Neighborhood was a workshop in collaboration with the NYPL The New York Public Library's Chinatown Legacy Project. It engaged audience members in a conversation about the changes happening in New York City's Chinatown through an interactive panel discussion with residents, business owners, designers, artists, and activists. The conversation drew from interviews that were collected as part of the W.O.W Project's Oral History Collection in collaboration with independent researcher and doctoral candidate Diane Wong. We sat down with past interviewees to share their insight on the themes of: community activism, re-generation, economic development, & the history and future of Chinatown.
Panelists included: Sophia Ng Executive Vice-President at Po Wing Hong Food Market Inc. 寶榮行, Jan Lee life-long resident of Chinatown and community activist, Betty Yu co-founder of the Chinatown Art Brigade 唐人街藝術隊／ 唐人街艺术队, Lexton Moy of Cynonyc Chinatown Clothing Company, and many more.
This workshop was facilitated by Diane Wong and Wing On Wo & Co.'s Mei Lum and is a part of the W.O.W Project's 1 year anniversary celebration programming for the month of May. A special thanks to Vipul G. Chopra for the beautiful flyer.
May 11, 2017 - Chinatown Storytelling Open Mic Night
We invited past participants of the 店面 Residency's Lunar New Year Red Envelope & Oral History Workshops as well as the public to come and join us for an evening of intergenerational storytelling in celebration of Chinatown stories. This event was part of a month of different programming in celebration of the W.O.W Project's one year anniversary in May.
March 26, 2017 - 店面 Residency: Artist Talk + Arts & Activism Roundtable
In December 2016, The W.O.W. Project launched its inaugural 店面 Artist Residency for the Lunar New Year. For the conclusion of the first storefront residency at Wing On Wo & Co., join Artist-in-Residence Melissa Liu and other artists, community organizers, and activists from the Chinatown and Asian American community for an afternoon of programming, hosted at Museum of Chinese in America.
2-4 PM: Roundtable on arts and activism in Asian American communities facilitated by Melissa Liu, 店面 Artist-in-Residence at W.O.W Project, featuring presentations from Tomie Arai (Chinatown Art Brigade,) Amy Weng (Asian 4 Black Lives), PJ Gubatina Policarpio, who will be joined by respondents Fei Moldier Liu, Emily Mock, and more TBA.
The roundtable on art and activism in Asian American communities will focus on the relationship between art and social change, gentrification, and bridging cultural and intergenerational gaps, as well as activism around Asian / Asian American representation in the arts. All are welcome to participate in the roundtable to share questions, challenges, and successes around using the arts as a way to organize or advance social justice and solidarity in Asian American communities. The roundtable will start with quick presentations from featured speakers who have used art or other innovative strategies to reach specific groups in order to address social justice issues and mobilize action with those in the Asian community, and open up for discussion around other political and aesthetic concerns and goals in doing this work.
5-6PM: 店面 Residency Artist Talk with Melissa Liu. Arts writer and curator Ryan Wong will discuss with Melissa her process and motivation behind her residency project "Chinatown Diaspora: Red Envelope Oral Histories," and her work as a cultural worker and organizer in the arts.
January 26, 2017 - 店面 Residency: Chinatown Diaspora Window Display Opening
As Wing On Wo.’s inaugural Lunar New Year 店面 Artist in Residence, Melissa Liu created a window installation that is filled with handmade red envelopes (紅包, known as lai see in Cantonese, hong bao in Mandarin) and short-form oral history responses collected from members of Asian Communities in New York City and beyond. In the weeks that led up to Lunar New Year (January 28, 2017), anyone identified with the Asian Diaspora celebrating the Lunar New Year was invited to participate in workshops organized by Melissa in collaboration with The W.O.W. Project, local artists, and community members and groups. Participants had the opportunity to design and make their own red envelopes, in which they placed a question to share with a family member or friend from an older generation and collect a written response from. Participants also received basic training on how to conduct an oral history interview within their community, and had a safe space to discuss issues that Asian communities face in today’s political moment.
Wing On Wo & Co.’s inaugural Lunar New Year 店面 Artist-in-Residence Melissa Liu held an opening launch of her window display project, and celebrated the Lunar New Year early with light snacks and drinks at the window display opening. Read more about the inaugural 店面 Residency here.
December 10, 2016 - Tough Times: Chinatown Women & the Struggle to Build Community
As with other Chinese diasporic communities across the globe, Manhattan's Chinatown has historically been dominated by men and male-run institutions. On Saturday December 10th, join us as four women, early pioneers in Chinatown's business community, labor organizing and the arts and those continuing the struggle, come together in The W.O.W Project’s first public panel since the presidential election.
Conceived as part history lesson and community strategy session, we envision this evening as a safe space and a space for reflection, regrouping and mobilization by those confounded by recent political developments. This panel is part of a larger series of conversations about Chinatown in the hopes of nurturing and sustaining community. Panelists will share their experiences working at various historical junctures and the lessons and strategies gleaned from those contentious times that may be helpful to us today. The panel includes Ching Yeh Chen co-founder and owner of Pearl River Mart, May Ying Chen union organizer who has devoted a career of more than 25 years to the garment workers’ union: Local 23-25 Workers United/SEIU, Cynthia Lee former VP of Exhibitions, Programs & Collections at the Museum of Chinese in America, who led the development of MOCA’s new core exhibition, “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America,” and Sophia Ng Executive Vice-President at Po Wing Hong Food Market. The discussion will be moderated by cultural worker Lena Sze.
November 2016 - March 2017 - 店面 Residency
The W.O.W Project and China Residencies are teaming up to launch The 店面 Residency, a two-month residency in NYC's Chinatown to create storefront displays for Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year has always been a time when community members share in celebration of welcoming a prosperous and lucky new year. Storefronts (店面 in Chinese, pronounced diàn miàn in Mandarin and dinmin in Cantonese ) hang red banners with new year’s wishes, Chinese lanterns light up the streets, and families gather and watch the numerous groups of lion dancers perform. For the inaugural 店面 Residency, we are inviting artists from any discipline who proposes to make something new, exciting and festive for the year of the rooster.For more information on The 店面 Residency visit: http://www.chinaresidencies.com/news/137
October 8, 2016 - The Crate Wood Design Challenge Showcase
The W.O.W Project featured our five finalists and their designs created with our crate wood raw material and inspired by the W.O.W Project's community vision. The public was invited to view and interact with our finalists' work. The winner was chosen by showcase goers and determined by popular vote.
Finalists included (top left to bottom right):
Angela Choi + her Chinatown-themed story board and interactive game, Juliet Phillips + her W.O.W Guestbook, Dan Ping He & Jeffrey Louie + their community bench and planter, Karen Beck + her W.O.W skateboard, and Morgan Cady-Lee & Ming Huang + their rickshaw mobile desk.
Our finalists' pieces are on view at 26 Mott St. Come visit and see these amazing crate wood designs pieces!
July 30, 2016 - The Global Effects of Gentrification Roundtable with the Asia Society's U.S - China Dialogue Young Scholars Program
The W.O.W Project in collaboration with Diane Wong, doctoral candidate at Cornell University, hosted the Asia Society's U.S - China Dialogue Young Scholars for a round table discussion about the global effects of gentrification in Chinese communities. Mei and Diane facilitated the scholars through an exercise in deconstructing words and phrases associated with the term "gentrification." Using New York City's rapidly changing Chinatown as a context for discussion, scholars were encouraged to share how they have seen their communities across China effected by increasing development.
July 19, 2016 - In collaboration with The Chinatown Art Brigade 'Chinatown: New York's Newest Gallery Scene?' Panel
The W.O.W Project & Chinatown Art Brigade were happy to announce the second conversation in The W.O.W Project's summer series: Chinatown: New York’s Newest Gallery Scene? addressed the wave of galleries that have opened in NY Chinatown, dramatically transforming this historic enclave into NY’s latest arts district. Curators, local gallery owners, artists, arts practitioners and stakeholders had an opportunity to discuss these recent changes and share their vision for the cultural and economic landscape of the neighborhood. Panelists included: Herb Tam, curator, Museum of Chinese in America, Michelle Maria Esteva, Chinatown Soup, and moderator Tomie Arai, artist member of the Chinatown Art Brigade.
June 26, 2016 - Open call for The W.O.W Project's Crate Wood Design Challenge
The oldest store in Chinatown, Wing on Wo, is looking to creatively repurpose old crate wood from crates used to ship their porcelain in from Hong Kong to New York over 40 years ago! We're looking for creatives interested in designing and creating just about anything that transforms our crates into something more, while keeping in mind our store's deep roots in Chinatown and what that could mean aesthetically speaking. The TOP 5 designs will be given the appropriate crate wood to build their projects, offered a showcase of their work held at 26 Mott St. open to the public, and the **WINNER** will be granted a window display and a chance to sell their work at the shop.
May 19, 2016 - (Re)Generation of Chinatown Panel
As the first event of the W.O.W Project Summer Series, this panel engaged second and third generation Chinese Americans who have chosen to either revive their family businesses or start their own businesses in Chinatown. We had a conversation about the role they play in shaping Chinatown's future, especially in the midst of rapid neighborhood changes. The discussion was moderated by Diane Wong, a doctoral candidate at Cornell University who writes on the intersections of race, gender, and the gentrification of Chinatowns across the country. Full video footage here.
F L Y E R S // designed by artist, Juliet Phillips