The W.O.W Project’s mission is to sustain ownership over Chinatown's future by growing, protecting and preserving Chinatown's creative culture through arts, culture and activism.
Featured Upcoming Program:
SATurday, May 12 // 5-7pm
RESIST RECYCLE REGENERATE ROOTS FINAL SHOWCASE
Join Resist Recycle Regenerate fellows in celebrating their end-of-year art projects, a culmination of skills they have learned and shared through the series of community papermaking workshops. Incorporating handmade paper recycled from Lunar New Year confetti, these projects weave together and reflect on themes of lineage, personal/collective histories, and the role of art in centering women and resisting forces of erasure and invisibility. The RRR Fellows projects respond to questions of Chinese-American identity and heritage, contextualizing our lives within local and national histories of migration.
The afternoon will begin with a walk-in showcase from 5-6pm and conclude with a conversation from 6-7pm with the fellows about their experience being a part of the Resist Recycle Regenerate program as well as how they developed their projects from inception to implementation.
Friday, APril 20 //7-9pm
HOMEWARD BOUND: WEST COAST CHINATOWN SOLIDARITY TOUR
Recognizing that gentrification is not isolated but part of a larger system of dispossession, Diane Wong and Mei Lum wanted to learn how other communities were fighting for their homes and neighborhoods. Bringing their work from east to the west coast in October 2017, Diane & Mei were able to learn from tenants, organizers, small shop owners, restaurant and garment workers, artists, allied researchers, and nonprofit workers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Seattle Chinatown. Together they share their reflections and stories of those they connected and built with during their time on the west coast. RSVP here !
Friday, April 13 //7-9pm
As a concluding event of this series, we will be holding screenings of all three filmmakers' films at 26 Mott St. Next up is a 3-part screening collaboration with Third World Newsreel and Chinatown Art Brigade 唐人街藝術隊／ 唐人街艺术队.
This event will prioritize youth attendees, but also welcomes the public (with limited tickets, so please do RSVP in the link in the bio!)
ABOUT THIRD WORLD NEWSREEL
Third World Newsreel (TWN) is an alternative media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and dissemination of independent film and video by and about people of color and social justice issues. It supports innovative work of diverse forms and genres made by artists who are intimately connected to their subjects through common bonds of ethnic/cultural heritage, class position, gender, sexual orientation and political identification. TWN promotes the self-representation of traditionally marginalized groups as well as the negotiated representation of those groups by artists who work in solidarity with them. Ultimately, whether documentary, experimental, narrative, traditional or non-traditional, the importance of the media promoted by the organization is its ability to effect social change, to encourage people to think critically about their lives and the lives of others, and to propel people into action.
ABOUT FROM SPIKES TO SPINDLES
This raw, gutsy portrait of New York's Chinatown captures the early days of an emerging consciousness in the community. We see a Chinatown rarely depicted, a vibrant community whose young and old join forces to protest police brutality and hostile real estate developers. With bold strokes, it paints an overview of the community and its history, from the early laborers driving spikes into the transcontinental railroad to the garment workers of today.
FROM SPIKES TO SPINDLES was directed by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Christine Choy and a newly remastered HD version is now available
From Spikes to Spindles is co-presented by Third World Newsreel -- celebrating 50 years of progressive, alternative, independent media by and about communities of color and social justice issues #TWN50Years(www.twn.org)
Love and labor intersect in "Resilience", a 18 minute short documentary in which I, the director, document the impact of sweatshop conditions on my family life. The film follows the lives of me, my sister Virginia, and our mother, Sau Kwan, an immigrant from Hong King who works in a garment factory. "Resilience" captures Kwan as a passionate leader in the movement against inhumane sweatshop conditions in the United States.
Resilience had its US debut at the 2000 Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival in New York and its’ International debut at the 2001 Mayworks Festival in Toronto, Canada. Resilience was also screened at the Directors Guild of America for the 2002 Visual Communications Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival.
ABOUT FAREWELL, NEW SOUTHWIND 再會，新南風
Farewell, New Southwind is an observational documentary following a lively restaurant worker on the last day of a popular home-style Hakka Chinese restaurant in New York City, shuttering after 30 years of operation. The film is in Cantonese, with bilingual Chinese + English subtitles.
Friday, April 6 //7-9pm
HOMEWARD BOUND: CHINATOWNS AROUND THE WORLD
What can elderly Chinese Cuban women in Havana teach us about the fight to preserve Chinatown in New York City? How does Johannesburg’s Chinatown relate to Black and Asian race relations in the U.S.? Where is home for the lineages of immigrants in the diaspora? The Chinese diaspora is worldwide. Immigrants have created home in countries where one may not expect to find thousands of Chinese restaurants in one city (Lima, Peru). In one year, Huiying Bernice Chan traveled solo to seven countries using Chinatowns as a starting point to learning about global stories of migration, activism, and resilience across the diaspora. Beginning in Latin America, stopping in South Africa, traversing Asia, and ending in Australia, Huiying shares their journey.
FRIDAY, MARCH 30 // 7-9PM
Come join us as we wrap up the W.O.W. Project's Second Storefront Residency with our Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock!
The night will feature a casual conversation and discussion of Emily Mock's work and experiences during her 6 month long residency, as well as interactive activities and a guzheng musical performance by Clara Lu.The event will include a guzheng musical performance by Clara Lu, short film documenting Emily's 6-month residency by Eric Jenkins, interactive papercutting activities led by Emily, and fun, laughs and conversation with Emily and Clara about their experience working together during the past 6 months.
THURSDAY, MARCH 22ND // 7-9PM
W.O.W. YOUTH SERIES: 9-MAN SCREENING
The W.O.W. Youth Series kicked off with an Asian American Female Filmmakers Panel this past June, centering Asian American female narratives and voices and discussing the many obstacles Asian American female filmmakers face in a predominantly white and male film industry. NYU film student and W.O.W short film director, Denise Zhou, moderated a discussion with three Asian American female filmmakers, ManSee Kong,Ursula Liang, and Theresa Loong about how their race and gender intersect to inform their work and address their challenges working in the film business.
As a continuation of this series, we will be holding screenings of all three filmmakers' films at 26 Mott St. Next up is Ursula Liang's 9-Man Film.
This event will prioritize youth attendees, but also welcomes the public (with limited tickets, so please do RSVP in the link in the bio!)
9-MAN uncovers an isolated and unique streetball tournament played by Chinese-Americans in the heart of Chinatowns across the USA and Canada. Largely undiscovered by the mainstream, the game is a gritty, athletic, chaotic urban treasure traditionally played in parking lots and back alleys and it is fiercely protected by a community of men who who require that 2/3 of players are “100% Chinese.” A 9-Man tournament grew in the 1930’s, at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws forced restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves. Today it’s a lasting connection to Chinatown for a dynamic community of men who know a different, more integrated world, but still fight to maintain autonomy and tradition.
ABOUT URSULA LIANG
URSULA LIANG is a journalist who has told stories in a wide range of media. She has worked for The New York Times Op-Docs, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI, StirTV, the Jax Show, Hyphen magazine and currently freelances as a film and television producer (“Tough Love,” “Wo Ai Ni Mommy,” “UFC Countdown,” “UFC Primetime”) and story consultant. Liang also works for the film publicity company, the 2050 Group, is a founding member of the Filipino American Museum, and sits on the advisory board of the Dynasty Project. Liang grew up in Newton, Mass. and lives in the Bronx, New York. “9-Man” is her debut as a director.
CONFETTI PAPERMAKING WORKSHOPS
MARCH 10 & MARCH 17 @ W.O.W.'S BASEMENT STUDIO
MARCH 31 @MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA
We are so excited to invite our community to participate in free papermaking workshops led by our Resist Recycle Regenerate fellows. After last week's big confetti collection, we collected an oustanding *12* garbage bags of confetti and are so excited to recycle this back into our community and create an accessible space for community members to participate in a traditional craft: papermaking. We will be holding 2 confetti papermaking workshop days (4 sessions) in W.O.W.'s studio on March 10th and 17th and will also be partnering with community organizations like Museum of Chinese in America and many more to bring our workshops to different community groups around our neighborhood.
On March 10th and 17th we will be holding two 1 hour drop-in sessions a day 1:00 - 2:00pm and 2:00 - 3:00pm. Feel free to swing by and check it out and pull a piece of paper or two!
*Please note that our studio capacity is limited to about ~10 people so we'll be trying our best to accommodate everyone!
SAturday, February 24 // 1- 3pm
Resist Recycle Regenerate Chinese New Year Confetti Clean-up
Our year-long Resist Recycle Regenerate workshop series aims to teach our five RRR Project fellows, Kristin Chang, Jing Chen, Melody Sang, Lily Tang, and Ja Wangpasuk the crafts of papermaking and printmaking so that they may in turn lead workshops for the community in early March.
After the celebratory explosions of Lunar New Year fireworks in February 2018, together, with a group of about 10-20 community volunteers (like you!), we will collect the discarded confetti fireworks – that are considered trash by most – to transform into paper pulp with our community. We will be stationed at 4 different locations throughout Chinatown and encourage everyone to grab a RRR Project bag, join in on the confetti collection, and drop off your ~full bag of confetti~ at any of the locations on our map!
To learn more about the project visit: https://www.wingonwoand.co/resist-recycle-regenerate-/
Huge thanks to the Asian Women Giving Circle for making this project possible. We are so grateful ♥
Tuesday, Feburary 13th // 7-9PM
店面 Storefront Residency OPening
Join Wing On Wo & Co.’s second Lunar New Year 店面 Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock for the opening reception of her window display project, and celebrate the Lunar New Year early with light snacks and drinks.
*SPECIAL NOTE*: W.O.W's capacity is limited so we'll be trying to circulate everyone through the space as they swing by -- we want to make sure everyone has a chance to see the window.
More info about the Project:
W.O.W. Shadow Puppet Theater is a community project centered on the question “what do you do to sweep away evil?” From October through January, 店面Storefront Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock held workshops in the Wing On Wo studio and Columbus Park, teaching paper cutting and shadow puppetry. Participants made their own puppets and devised short plays based on a memory, practice, tradition, or imaginary about how they sweep away evil for themselves and their communities. These recorded plays will be featured in a month-long window installation at Wing on Wo & Co.
thursday, january 25th // 7-8:30pm
店面 residency: sweeping away evil Panel
The Sweeping Away Evil Panel is a part of Emily Mock's 店面 Storefront Residency. Since October, Emily has been holding free workshops teaching paper cutting and shadow puppetry, and inviting participants to create a community shadow puppet theater activating stories about Chinatown, sweeping out evil, building home and safety, and overcoming in 2018.
This event asks panelists from several practices and fields how they “sweep away evil,” how they build home and safety for their communities, and what needs overcoming in the new year.
The panelists featured are:
- Donna Mah, Chinese medicine practitioner
- Fay Bonas, artist
- Jes Tom, stand-up comic and actor
- CAAAV's Chinatown Tenants Union
- Muriel Miguel, Founder & Artistic Director, Spiderwoman Theater
We have a suggested donation of $5-10 that goes towards an honorarium for panelists, a master puppeteer performance during the residency window display opening, and materials for the residency. Be sure to RSVP now through our eventbrite link in the event details!
December 16, 2017 - January 14, 2018 - 店面 Residency: Make & Film Shadow Puppet Workshop
Join us to make your own shadow puppets, props, and short films for the W.O.W. Shadow Puppet Theater with 店面 Artist-in-Residence Emily Mock.
These events are FREE and all ages are welcome. Workshops will be taught in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
Our studio space fits around 10 people, so workshops will be on a first come first serve basis. Don't let that stop you from coming!
**All events are 5-7pm
SAT 1/6 Make & Film Shadow Puppets Wing On Wo & Co. (Basement studio)
SUN 1/7 Open Studios 1-5PM | Make & Film Shadow Puppets Wing On Wo & Co. (Basement studio)
SAT 1/13 Open Studios 5-9 PM Wing On Wo & Co. (Basement studio)
SUN 1/14 1-9 PM Wing On Wo & Co. (Basement studio)
TUES 2/13 Exhibition Opening (7-9PM) Wing On Wo & Co.
Shadow Puppet Theater workshops are centered around Chinatown and themes of sweeping out evil, building home and safety, and overcoming in 2018. This workshop series is part of the W.O.W. Project 店面 Residency with Artist–in–Residence, Emily Mock. Work created from these workshops will be incorporated into a month–long window display at the W.O.W. storefront which opens February 13, 2018.
November 9, 2017 - Asian American Female Filmmaker Screening Series: Every Day is a Holiday Screening
“Every Day Is a Holiday” is a 56-minute documentary film fiscally sponsored by Women Make Movies. It is a story about Theresa’s father, Paul Loong, a war veteran, prisoner-of-war, and immigrant who takes a complicated path to U.S. citizenship. The film is made more dramatic by Theresa’s discovery of her father’s wartime diary. Theresa creates an intimate portrait of her father, a man fifty years her senior. The documentary explores the bonds of the father-daughter relationship and place themes of growing older, immigration and racism in the context of “living history.” Paul Loong talks of his experiences as a POW in Japan and his subsequent quest to become an American. We see shots of New York’s Chinatown and discover why, despite much suffering, “Every Day Is a Holiday.”
THERESA LOONG is a director who creates intergenerational storytelling experiences focused on memory, identity, and immigration through the use of film, games and apps. Her documentary, “Every Day Is a Holiday,” showed on over 200 public television stations. She consulted on digital storytelling games for “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.” Theresa received distinction from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work has been exhibited at Sala de Exposiciones, Teriennale di Milano, and Circulo de Bellas Artes. She is chairperson of The FilmShop, a film collective based in New York.
*This presentation is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ 2017 Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds Grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.
September 17 - October 8, 2017
In terms of creative writing resources, Chinatown is and has always been brutally UNDERSERVED. The Chinatown Writer's Workshop is a way of 'giving back' to the Chinatown community. 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 sought 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.
June 15, 2017 - Asian American Female Filmmakers Panel
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? We had a discusing with three Asian American female filmmakers, ManSee Kong, Ursula Liang & Theresa Loong, discussing how their race and gender intersect to inform their work and address their challenges working in the film business. This conversation was moderated by NYU film student and W.O.W short film director, Denise Zhou. PC: Eric Jenkins & Jamie Noh.
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.
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