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9.15.2008

kearny street workshop's 10th annual apature


This week in San Francisco, the Kearny Street Workshop, the nation's oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization, presents its 10th annual festival of emerging Asian Pacific American artists, APAture, September 18-27 at venues throughout the city, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation..

That's ten days of events spotlighting over 90 artists, filmmakers, musicians, spoken word poets, writers, comedians and performers. Featured artists include Weston Takeshi Teruya (visual art), The Invisible Cities (music), Richard Wong, H.P. Mendoza (film), Samantha Chanse (performance), Pireeni Sundaralingam (literature), and Hellen Jo (comics and zines). Here are their bios:

Weston Takeshi Teruya is a Hawaiian-born, Berkeley-based artist who intermixes images of fences (chain-link or white picket), striped roadblocks, and square green lawns to restructure spaces of containment and privilege. His mixed media process involves spraypaint, ink, cut paper collage, and a finishing touch of gouache-painted details. Teruya has exhibited his work at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Intersection for the Arts, and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles.

The Invisible Cities got started when Han Wang and Sadie Contini met on Craigslist, and began listening to each other's tunes, adding tracks, and sending them back and forth. They collaborate with each other and guest musicians to record catchy indie pop tunes filled with pretty harmonies and rambunctious musings. In their words, "odd-shaped and slightly ugly, shiny things."

Richard Wong and H.P. Mendoza are the director and writer, respectively, of Colma: the Musical. Mendoza starred as Rodel, one of the party-crashing, song-belting trio of teenagers trying to figure out post-high school life in Colma. The film was nominated for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" by Gotham Awards and the Special Jury Prize by San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Post-Colma, Wong co-directed Princess of Nebraska with Wayne Wang. Wong's second feature as sole director and cinematographer Option 3 is making its way around the festival circuit. Mendoza has released two solo albums (Everything is Pop and Nomad), and is working on his third, Melodica. While continuing to work in San Francisco theater, Mendoza makes his directorial debut with the musical feature film Fruit Fly.

Samantha Chanse is a writer and performer, primarily of plays and stand-up comedy. Her full-length solo play Lydia's Funeral Video premiered at the Dark Room in San Francisco in February 2008, and was produced again at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival. A thoroughly multidisciplinary performer, Chanse has played at Herbst Theater, The Laugh Factory (NY and LA), and Punchline Comedy Club. She has served as the artistic director of Kearny Street Workshop and currently serves on the board of directors.

Pireeni Sundaralingam was born in Sri Lanka, educated at Oxford, and currently pens her poetry in San Francisco. She regularly performs alongside violinist and composer Colm O'Riain as part of the touring poetry-music group Word & Violin. Sundaralingam's poetry, which explores home and homelessness, post-colonial and diasporic South Asia, has appeared in The Guardian (UK), The Progressive (USA), and World Literature Today. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming, first anthology of South Asian American poetry, Writing the Lines of Our Hands.

Hellen Jo has created her poppy, punchy illustrations for Giant Robot magazine, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival flyers, and various album covers and comic zines. Jo currently studies 2D Animation at the Academy of Art University and plays cello for Scrabbel and Thundershevitz. She enjoys coloring with Photoshop, eating hamburgers, and the wonders of cardboard.
APAture's mission is to provide artists with an early experience presenting their work at a large event; to build audiences for emerging APA artists; to strengthen the sense of community among artists; and to raise awareness of the existence of and diversity within the APA arts community. APAture values community-building, ethnic and artistic diversity and collaboration across ethnic and disciplinary lines.

The celebration begins this Thursday, September 18 with the Gallery Opening & Festival Kick-Off at KSW's space180 Gallery. For more information about APAture, go to the Kearny Street Workshop website here.