Wednesday, September 13, 2017

[Your Guide to Overcoming] Expo FOMO

Before I jump into this week’s festivities, here. Enjoy this photo of me being awkward at the Nasty Women Chicago Art Show in Stan Mansion. I sold my piece in it! Thank you to fellow artist Allen Vandever for buying my Safety Lights Are for Dudes drawing—100% of the sale goes to Planned Parenthood—and thank you to everyone who came!

The view from the rooftop of Ace Hotel Chicago
before attending an artist talk with Jaume Plensa.

And now: Welcome to Expo Art Week! As I said in this post, with Expo Chicago and the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, it’s one of my favorite times of the year to be an artist in my city. Below are my picks for what to see.

Here’s a quick video I took at the private preview of Luftwerk and NRDC’s collaboration White Wanderer: A Climate Change Soundtrack, featuring the sounds of melting icebergs. It’s art that’s so relevant right now. The installation’s located at 2 N. Riverside Plaza through October 1 and will also be at Expo Chicago.

The fall art gallery season has begun, and my highlight is Chris Silva’s mesmerizing solo exhibition at Linda Warren Projects. Open Source is on view through November 4.

The Chicago Biennial pop-up exhibition SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture], presented by Mana Contemporary Chicago and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is on view next to Ace Hotel through January 7, 2018.

Expo Chicago’s off-site exhibition Palais de Tokyo: Singing Stones, at the DuSable Museum of African American History, is on view through October 29.

Standing, wine in hand, on a precarious wooden structure
at the VIP opening night.

Tonight I’ll be at the VIP Preview and Vernissage for Expo Chicago at Navy Pier (which will include a Soundsuit performance by Nick Cave and Jeanne Gang) and a VIP preview of a Biennial Special Project at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

In anticipation of Expo (which opens to the public tomorrow), read my previous interviews with its affable Director and President, Tony Karman, from when we sat down and chatted before and after the fair’s inaugural and sophomore editions. I particularly love his career advice to young artists and arts professionals in our 2013 conversation.

I’m bummed that I’ll be missing the opening of the Biennial’s main exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center (I’ll be on a plane* during the preview), but—luckily—the Biennial runs through January 7, 2018, so there’ll be plenty of time to take it all in once I’m back.

*Tomorrow morning I’m flying out to Western China for a Silk Road Tour! The trip isn’t art-related so I probably (we’ll see) won’t be using a VPN like I did 5 years ago during my Beijing and Shanghai adventure (which is how I wrote “Midwesterner in the Middle Kingdom” back then), so I’ll likely be MIA online until the end of the month. See you then!

Until then, don’t forget: I have a call for artists!

And lastly: I’ve been featured on The T in STEM! Thank you!


[Pre-flight (and sleep-deprived) edits/updates because I want to share my happiness from last night with you:

Loved the VIP Preview of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s L’air pour l’air performance by SO-IL and Ana Prvački at Garfield Park Conservatory so much. From their artist statement, it’s a call for “change through beauty.” Thank you for letting me experience this!

And THE BEST PART OF EXPO CHICAGO’S VERNISSAGE! I was entranced by [and whooped along with] Nick Cave’s Up Right Chicago Performance in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. I’ve uploaded a million temporary (they’ll disappear around midnight, literally) videos to my Instagram stories (in the app, tap on my avatar).

Here’s a schedule of future performances and programming.]

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Open Call for Artists: Line Dot Editions’ Holiday Show

Midwest artists! As announced in the previous post, I’ve been invited to be the guest judge for Line Dot Editions’ holiday show. The open call for artists has officially gone live today, and you can view all the guidelines on their News page and on Vertical Gallery’s blog. The submission deadline is September 30, the opening reception is November 17, and the exhibition closes December 31. Apply! (Thank you again to Vertical founder Patrick Hull for asking me to be a part of the selection committee!)

The brand new Washington/Wabash L stop.

Another upcoming art event I’m involved in: My own work will be exhibited in the Nasty Women Chicago Art Show, which is this Friday, September 8, 5:30-10:30pm, at Stan Mansion. 100% of sales will benefit Planned Parenthood. Hope to see you there!

Also, I’ve begun sharing the dreams and hopes kids drew and wrote during my Visiting Artist Workshops at the Chicago Children’s Museum in January 2014 at @dreamsofacity! Get your daily dose of joy these next few months and follow along!

Friday, September 1, 2017


I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be the guest judge for Line Dot Editions’ holiday show! The open call for artists (and more details) will go out next week, with all submissions to be received by October 1. The opening reception’s Friday, November 17, and the exhibition will run through the end of December. Thank you, Patrick Hull of Vertical Gallery!

As summer's end draws near, Flashback Friday to the summer solstice.

(I’ve updated the Exhibitions page, which has become a bit of a CV of sorts.)

Speaking of exhibitions, a reminder: I’ll have artwork in the Nasty Women Chicago Art Show next Friday, September 8, 5:30-10:30pm, at Stan Mansion. 100% of funds raised will be donated to Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.

While we’re on the subject of the Resistance: Thank you, Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes and Tempestt Hazel / Sixty Inches From Center for re-sharing my video with On The Real Film! Love you ladies.

While we’re on the subject of… film? Some of the things I said in the above episode? A PSA: Go see Birth of the Dragon; it stars my cousin Philip Ng as Bruce Lee! My parents went last weekend and were so amazed that he’s in a film that’s being shown in the US. Support Asians and Asian Americans in Hollywood movies, woo!

Tintype of me by Jen Jansen Photography. (Taken at this
.) Also, I didn't realize this was a mirror image
until I noticed the placement of my moles.

Hope you all had a splendid August. My highlights, both personal and public, included: the solar eclipse, my birthday (thank you so much to everyone who came—my heart [and stomach] was so full—and thank you for all the birthday wishes), and the Floating Museum, which has since left the Chicago River (the linked photo) and is currently being installed at Navy Pier.

And with that: Happy September! With Expo Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Biennial coming up, it’s one of my favorite times of the year to be an artist in this city. Stay tuned for my previews!

(Art you can check out right now: I CAN DO THAT artist and birthday twin Nathan “Bam” Stanton is painting a mural at Harris Theater in Millennium Park! He’ll be there until 6pm today if you’d like to catch him in action.)

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