Resist Recycle Regenerate 反对－回收－再生
About Resist Recycle Regenerate 反对－回收－再生
Resist Recycle Regenerate seeks to draw lessons from the history of racial discrimination and exclusion against our Chinese immigrant community in order to address today’s exclusionary immigration policies. By drawing upon our collective past while reclaiming traditional cultural practices, we want to rekindle pride in our heritage while building women-centric intersectional and intergenerational solidarity. In fall 2017, we launched into our year-long workshop series teaching six young women, ages 16-21, the crafts of papermaking and print making so that they could in turn lead workshops for the community throughout 2018. After the celebratory explosions of Lunar New Year fireworks in February 2018, together with a group of about 20-30 community volunteers, we collected the discarded confetti fireworks – that are considered trash – and transformed into paper pulp. This recycled paper became the basis of the second part of the project, in which we collaborated with Museum of Chinese in America and contextualized current political issues through the investigation of Chinatown’s history. Chinatowns across the US are deeply shaped by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and were forced to adapt as various waves of Chinese immigration ebbed and flowed due to changing legislation that effected quotas on Asian immigrants.
In the second year of this project, we will build on this year’s success by empowering our first year fellows to become RRR program leaders. As leaders, they will not only mentor and guide the next cohort of younger fellows, but also manage the program design and facilitation of the weekly artmaking and social justice workshop sessions. This will be the official start of the second phase of RRR’s youth mentorship program model, promoting young women as leaders and role models to inspire growth and leadership development in their peers through artmaking.
ABOUT the Resist Recycle Regenerate Team
Mei Lum is the fifth-generation owner of her family’s 92-year-old porcelain ware business and the oldest operating store in New York City's Chinatown, Wing on Wo & Co. (W.O.W). In early 2016, her family’s building and business was on the brink of sale. In an effort to resist against contributing to the process of gentrification in Chinatown, Mei decided to take on the role of running W.O.W to continue her family’s five-generation-long legacy in the neighborhood and help protect the heart of Chinatown from encroaching gentrifying forces. Since May 2016, Mei has been working to bring community members’ concerns of a rapidly changing Chinatown into a space for dialogue through her work with The W.O.W Project, a community initiative reclaiming ownership over Chinatown's future by reviving, protecting and encouraging Chinatown's creative culture through arts, culture and activism. Currently, Mei is a National Art Strategies’ Creative Community Fellow where she is working to build a socially-minded business model for W.O.W that supports the future growth of The W.O.W Project.
Juliet Phillips, artist & graphic designer, is a practicing and teaching artist from Brooklyn, NY whose work follows a narrative that winds its way through painting, papermaking, animation, illustration and installation. She has taught a wide range of artmaking methods such as printmaking, animation, story-telling, mixed media and papermaking to children of all ages at museums, non-profit community art spaces and workshops. Juliet’s work can be seen here: jrp.cool
Ja Bulsombut is a Thai-Chinese student from Bangkok. She is currently studying cultural studies at Sarah Lawrence College and is very passionate about film & poetry. She also paints. Ja joined the RRR project because she wanted to get more involved with the Chinatown community in Manhattan, especially with a grassroots organization like W.O.W. She is also interested in learning how to make paper and print.
Kristin Chang is a second-year student at Sarah Lawrence College and is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She joined RRR to connect with her lineage, incorporate ideas of resistance/migration/cultural ancestry in her writing and art, and to connect with a community of passionate art-makers and activists. Her interests include queer Asian media, spoken word poetry, and comics.
Jing Chen is an immigrant from Fuzhou, China. Jing decided to join the RRR Project primarily due to the many problems Chinese Americans are facing nowadays in the United States. Jing wants to contribute to the Asian American community as well as explore more aspects of Chinese culture that she might not have been aware of prior to joining the RRR Project team.
Melody Mok is an Asian-American with a hispanic background. As a fluent speaker of 3 languages (Spanish, English,and Chinese), Melody has learned that one of the most essential factors in achieving success is the ability to understand different cultures and interact with different backgrounds. Melody has joined the RRR Project in hopes of re-immersing herself in Chinese culture and making a difference by supporting the W.O.W Project's mission. Her interests include painting, fencing and swimming.
Lily Tang is a seventeen year old Chinese-American who has lived in Chinatown her whole life. Lily's interests are photography, film, design and literature. She joined the RRR Project because she thought it was a great way to incorporate her love for arts & crafts while contributing to the community that she loves. Lily also looks forward to learning as much as she can about every aspect of Asian-American history and culture because it is something she wants to major in in college.
First Year Fellow's Final Projects
Words for the Afterlife by Kristin Chang and Ja Bulsombut.
Click here to watch Kristin and Ja's accompanying short film
Inherited: a collection of childhood stories by Jing Chen
Grandmother's Recipies by Lily Tang
Resist Recycle Regenerate is made possible in part by the Asian Women Giving Circle and with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.