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2.10.2017

Angry Reader of the Week: Steve Wong

"I am the sum of everything that came before me. Seldom I am some of these, but mostly I am all of them."



Hey, everybody! It is time again 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 Steve Wong.


Who are you?

My name is Steven Yao-Chee Wong (王遙祺). For those who can't read Chinese like myself, my family/last name is the "King" Wong and not the "Yellow" Wong. I always hated my given/first name and think it's quite old-school and boring. That may explain why I wanted to name my two kids Cowboy and Turtle, which was quickly vetoed by my partner. I used to call myself a Fearless Vampire Killer after a song from the Bad Brains, but today I'm a non-active member of the F.V.K.


What are you?

My identity is fluid and contextual. I am a father, partner, artist, curator, educator, non-profit worker, and a fighter for social justice. I am a minority and a majority. I am an Angelino, a Californian, and an American. I am oppressed, and I am privileged. I am a product of Western imperialism and the result of the Chinese diaspora. I am the sum of everything that came before me. Seldom I am some of these, but mostly I am all of them.

Where are you?

Usually I'm on the periphery. I'm sometimes in Garnier building in Downtown Los Angeles, and sometimes in a classroom in Pasadena. I sleep and wake in South Pasadena, a small town just outside of Los Angeles, on the western edge of the SGV (San Gabriel Valley). If you want to find me in the coming years, look for me marching in the streets.

Where are you from?

My usual response to that question is "Where the FUCK are you FROM?!?" But here's my attempt at a non-angry answer: I was born in the City of Angeles at Queen of Angels Hospital, a place that no longer exists. On my mom's side, I am the legacy of 14 generations of the Chin (AKA Chan/Chen) clan from Kaiping City in Guangdong, and the fourth generation of this clan to reside in the U.S. I am also a second generation Shanghainese American on my dad's side.

What do you do?

I have been creating things/art since I can remember, so sometimes I call myself an artist. Currently I’m the curator at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles and helped develop the exhibition Roots: Asian American Movements 1968-1980s with an amazing team and curator Ryan Wong. If you're in or visiting L.A. come to the museum and check it out. I'm also co-curating two exhibitions on Chinese Caribbean artists opening later this year at the Chinese American Museum and the California African American Museum. When I'm not at the museum I'm an adjunct professor teaching Asian American Studies at Pasadena City College. If I'm doing my job right I'm hopefully cultivating the next generation to be angry.

What are you all about?

I'm all about agitating and subverting power structures; mostly as a means of social justice and resistance, but sometimes just for fun.

What makes you angry?

Usually, this website makes me angry, and it's not good for my blood pressure. Recently the idiot currently in the presidential office and everything that the ass-wipe represents makes me angry, but the usual suspects that drive my anger are injustice, oppression, and greed.