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2.22.2019

Angry Reader of the Week: Chien-An Yuan

"Someone recently referred to me as a 'creative facilitator' and yeah, I can work with that."



What is up, good people of the world wide web. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Chien-An Yuan.


Who are you?

I'm an interdisciplinary artist -- photography, music composition / performance, sound design, graphic design, film direction, and quite recently, stage design -- a whoooolllle lotta stuff, really. I also run a record label, 1473, that's focused on experimentation, electronics, and improvisation. If you're an experimental musician and looking to join an aesthetic community of like-minded artists, please get in touch! I'm also a rabid collector of books, music, and poster/prints. I'm by no means a hoarder although my wife may protest otherwise.

Really though, and most importantly, I'm a son, friend, brother, husband, and father.

What are you?

Relentless

Where are you?

Ann Arbor, MI, currently freezing my baguettes off.

Where are you from?

I'm a proud son of the Midwest -- the golden trifecta of Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, often referred to as 'Michohnois' by absolutely nobody ever.

What do you do?

I experienced a life-threatening event in 1999 and ever since I've only been too cognizant that the time we have on earth is a mere blip. So, create, create, create and try do as much as I can to just be helpful, you know? Connect with others, create a community. Someone recently referred to me as a 'creative facilitator' and yeah, I can work with that.

Oh, and I just released an EP of live-processed piano improvisations called Teeth Marks on the Everett. It's a mediation on memory, trauma, and loss. You can find it at: https://song.link/album/i/1449405568

What are you all about?

In music -- exploring the beauty of memory and the memory of beauty.
In photography -- finding the solace in solitude
In film -- exploring new methods of documenting movement and process
In life -- fighting the good fight while trying to be kind - and not an a-hole, even when the situation easily demands it.

What makes you angry?

I've written, edited, deleted, and rewritten this section three times already. Apparently, just 'letting the words flow out of me' manifested itself as the rantings of a loony tune radical leftist. Which I am. Proudly. But that doesn't mean it translates that well into writing.

Having said that, the short answer is obviously 'everything.' At this moment in time, with this amount of xenophobia, misogyny, and bigotry coursing so clearly through the arteries of our cultural consciousness, it's near impossible not to wake up everyday in an immediate, overwhelming rage.

The key then, is to channel that rage and anger into some kind of functional energy and apply it in some form of positive practice. It's hard as hades sometimes but you got to do it. Maybe because of, or in spite of, what's happening right now but whatever reason -- it must be done. So, I'm going to try and put that into practice right now and provide a brief resource list of solid APIA related odds and sods that will make your life better:

Grass on Netflix starring Emily Chang and Pia Shah - it's funny, it's about pot, it's improvised.

Little Robot Friends - A company based in Toronto run by Ann Poochareon and Mark Argo that introduces kids to robotics, coding, and electronics via the cutest little DIY robots ever.

Asian Improv Arts Midwest - Run by my man, Chicago legend and renaissance man Tatsu Aoki -- I mean, they do too much good stuff to list here. Check out the link below and dive in!

Giant Robot/GR2 - I was talking to someone in their 20s recently about vinyl toys and they had never heard of Giant Robot. Blew my mind. GR are the OG of APIA pop culture. Barry McGee, Michael Lau, Katsuya Terada -- found out about all those guys from GR. Check out their store/gallery on Sawtelle! Essential LA stop!

Lydia Fu - phenomenal illustrator/animator based out of Chicago.

Victo Ngai - another amazing illustrator.

Hollis Wong-Wear - her singing voice is like a nice slice of warmed up Marionberry pie. I would love to collaborate with her. Phil, can you make that happen? I kid, I kid. Not kidding!

Akiko Stehrenberger - one more excellent illustrator - her movie poster designs are wow.

and finally, my favorite restaurant in the USA

Jin Jiang of J+J - The best Shanghai soup dumplings you will ever experience. My dad has been taking me there since the 90's and it's better than ever. DTF ain't got nothin on J+J! Try the fried pork chop and the broccoli! Unreal!

There, far from definitive but that's some good stuff you can check out. I feel a bit better now!