Eating Cultures












Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco.

Exhibition Dates: May 1-30, 2014. Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm.

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 1, 2014. 6-9pm. Catered by La Cocina’s Incubator Kitchen. RSVP on Facebook!

Closing Reception: Friday, May 30, 2014. 6-9pm. Artist Erin O’Brien performs Sausage Homage. Featuring a community potlock. Co-hosted by Community Health for Asian Americans. RSVP on Facebook!

Curator: Michelle A. Lee

Juror: Dr. Margo L. Machida, Professor of Art History & Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut



Susan Almazol | Sigi Arnejo | Jung Ran Bae | Mitsuko Brooks | Ka Yan Cheung | Karen Chew | Flora Choi | Melissa Chow | Samantha Chundur | Kay Cuajunco | Alison Ho | Grace Jahng Lee | Zilka Joseph | Juliana Kang | Robinson | Larry Lee & Jason Dunda | Theresa Loong | Alana Lowe | Cathy Lu | Mieko Meguro | Michiko Murakami | Chee Wang Ng | Genevieve Erin O’Brien with Aaron Henderson & Grace Umali | Jessica Redmond | Margaret Rhee | kate hers RHEE | Yoshie Sakai | Shizue Seigel | Pallavi Sharma | Jessica Tang | Cynthia Tom | Christine Toy Johnson | Frances Wang | Michael Watson | Maggie Wong | Leslie Zeitler | Sara Zin


AAWAA and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) join forces to present the multidisciplinary art exhibition Eating Cultures, for the United States of Asian America Festival throughout May 2014. Featuring over thirty emerging and established Asian Pacific American artists from around the country, Eating Cultures is a deliciously provocative multi-disciplinary arts exhibition of artworks inspired by Asian American food and foodways. Using food as a lens, artist share stories of global migration, adaptation, entrepreneurship, and the central importance of food in Asian communities around the world. In addition to over fifty art, film, and literary works, Eating Cultures will feature Asian American oral histories provided by Southern Foodways Alliancevia Guide by Cell, dynamic programming co-presented by Asia Society and the Culinary Historians of Northern California, a pop-up shop, and a recipe wall for audiences to share their favorite family recipes.


EATING ASIAN AMERICA PANEL DISCUSSION | Saturday, May 10, 2014. 2-4pm. Co-presented by the Culinary Historians of Northern California. RSVP on Facebook!

From Chop Suey to Korean tacos, Asian American food’s popularity has a profound impact on the way we perceive Asian Americans. Join food scholars and contributors of the Eating Asian America anthology Lok Siu and Mark Padoongpatt, Thy Tran of Asian Culinary Forum and moderator Erica J. Peters of the Culinary Historians of Northern California for a rousing discussion of the history, development, and cultural significance of Asian foods in America and its impact on our understanding of “Asian American-ness”.


Erica J. Peters, moderator, Culinary Historians of Northern California.

Mark Padoongpatt, Asst. Prof. in the interdisciplinary degree programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, author of “ ‘Oriental Cookery’: Devouring Asian and Pacific Cuisine during the Cold War” and ‘Too Hot to Handle Food, Empire, and Race in Thai Los Angeles’, the first-ever comprehensive history of Thai food in the United States.

Lok Siu, Assoc. Prof. of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, author of “Twenty-First Century Food Trucks: Mobility, Social Media, and Urban Hipness”

Thy Tran, founder and director of Asian Culinary Forum, co-author of “The Essentials of Asian Cooking, Taste of the World”


LITERARY SRIRACHA | Saturday, May 17, 2014. 2-4pm. Co-presented by Asia Society. RSVP on Facebook!

A mix of poetry, mini-memoirs, and flash fiction curated by May-lee Chai. Asian Pacific American writers and poets are asked to submit new works in response to the artwork in the show. Come hear they’re reactions in this unconventional reading that melds poetry, visual art, and prose.

Participants: TBA


**Admission to the exhibition and programs is free and open to the public.


Funded in part by API Cultural Center, California Arts Council, Robert J. Louie Memorial Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Venue support generously provided by SOMArts Cultural Center and San Francisco Arts Commission.