Summary: Seeing Color is a podcast that talks with cultural workers and artists of color in order to expand the area of what is a predominantly white space in the arts. With discussions shifting between art and race, Zhiwan Cheung hashes out with guests a range of topics about the creative process in a white-dominated art world.
Hey everyone. Welcome to a new year and I am excited to share with you the first episode of 2022! I have with me today Maria Gaspar, an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses issues of spatial justice to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures. Maria got her BFA from Pratt Institute, an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I became aware of Maria’s striking photographic pieces before realizing her large breadth of work that existed also in installation, sound, and performance. I enjoyed our conversation where we talked about going to art school as a first-generation immigrant, performance as practice, the invisibility of jails, guides that are generative as opposed to predictive, and re-imagining new and better worlds. As always, stay safe and healthy in this new year and I hope you enjoy this.
Hello everyone. The winter holidays and New Year's are coming up and I just hope that wherever you are, you are able to spend some time with your friends and loved ones. It can be hard these days even to do that, so cherish those moments. I have only one last episode to share with you before the end of the year, which is also the last episode from the Rogers Art Loft series that I conducted this past summer. Don't worry, I will see you all in January. So without further ado, I want to present Dr. Erika Abad, a Queer Latina poet, born and raised in Chicago. Dr. Abad received her BA in Latin American and Latina/o Studies from DePaul University and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Washington State University. Prior to her move to Las Vegas, Dr. Abad was an oral historian for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College. Beyond Puerto Rican, Latinx, and Gender Studies, she is a well-published essayist, poet, and fiction writer, most recently writing a poem and creative reflection on the Pulse-Orlando tragedy. She is also a regular writer for Women in Higher Education. Erika and I chat about writing during difficult times, giving feedback to students without minimizing their experiences, queer fandom, and being mindful. This was a live-recorded event that was hosted by the wonderful Lance Smith of the Rogers Art Loft. Until next year, stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful winter holiday.
Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well. The winter holidays are almost upon us and here’s hoping for a better new year. The news about Covid and all the variants doesn’t seem to end so stay safe wherever you are. For this week, I have May Maylisa Cat, a multidisciplinary artist whose work spans video, paintings, glass, and live performances. May grew up in Chicago and graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. Her work plays a critical role on the dominant discourses towards the community, the fantasy of the cultural “Other,” and how contemporary art appropriated social imaginaries, bringing them to a diluted universal conception of art. I spoke with May while she was finishing up a residency at Bunker Projects in Pittsburgh a few months ago, the city I used to live in. We ended up discussing third-culture kids, Zombie Formalism, Thai horror films, mukbang, ASMR videos, and so much more. As usual, stay safe, stay healthy, and I hope you enjoy this.
Hi everyone. Hope you are well. It is hard to imagine how time is flying…it has been just about over a year since I landed in China since the pandemic started. Now this past week I just had an exhibition opening which went okay. Felt kinda relieved after and was able to relaxed a bit. Now back to documenting and working on new projects. Gotta keep moving. Anyway, for this week, I have the amazing Ashanti McGee, an artist and arts advocate who has been living in Las Vegas for over 25 years. Ashanti began working in with arts institutions through grant writing and has since been part of WESTAF’s Emerging Leaders of Color program and most recently served as a district representative for Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee, focusing on outreach for Black, Native American, and LGBTQ+ communities around arts and culture, and environment and public lands. A proud parent of four, Ashanti has committed her work to updating arts education standards for the Nevada Department of Education; serving as a board member for Cultural Alliance of Nevada; co-founding the Las Vegas Womxn of Color Arts Festival, and acting as a core member of NUWU Cultural Arts + Activism complex. She also just curated "A Common Thread" at the Barrick Museum of Art at the University of Nevada, an exhibition celebrating womxn of color textile artists. I got to talk with Ashanti about many of these amazing activities, along with the importance of finding support in the arts while finding rest for yourself. Sit back, relax, and I hope you enjoy this.
Hello everyone. How are you all doing? I am in the midst of installing my show in Zhuhai. It is mostly done and I can't wait to be able to get some rest after the opening, which by the way is this coming Saturday, November 13th at Xu Yu Huan Bian Gallery, which is near the Yangmi mall. I'll be there starting at 5pm so come by to say hi if you happen to be in the Zhuhai area. I am showing two new video installations, some lightboxes, and aluminum prints. It feels good to be able to make some work after such a long hiatus. Anyway....for this week, through the Rogers Art Loft Residency, I am speaking with Tiffany Lin, a visual artist, wordsmith, and dreamer. Tiffany got her BA in Gender & Women's Studies and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Illustration Practice. Tiffany's work examines how power is expressed in the subtext of American vernacular. Utilizing both creative and sociological methods, she combines participatory action, interviews, and social theory to support her claim that desire and belonging are mediated by external politics. Tiffany and I discuss the evolution of her work, the use of words and language, finding inspiration in the US Census, and how we all self-identify our identities. Tiffany called in from her car on the side of the 10 in LA, which was a little noisy at times. I found Tiffany's energy and thoughts infectious and I hope you do as well. Until next time, stay safe and healthy wherever you are and enjoy!
Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well. I’ve been quite busy lately and don’t know where the time is going. Everything seems like a haze. The teaching and art are going well. Everything humming along as usual. For this week, I am releasing a live interview with Jennifer Kleven as part of the Rogers Art Loft Residency that I attended this past summer. The wonderful Lance Smith introduces both of us before our conversation and we end with a quick Q&A from the listeners. Jen is an arts administrator, artist, curator, and current grants manager for the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Jen holds a BA in Art History and BFA in Art from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her work has been exhibited in the Las Vegas City Hall gallery, Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, Trifecta, and CounterSpace in Las Vegas. From 2010-2013 Jen founded and operated Kleven Contemporary, a gallery exhibiting emerging artists in downtown Las Vegas. Jen shares her experiences as a curator, working at Starbucks, being part of the Gulch Collective, and juggling work and studio time. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous doing the interview live and I think it turned out ok. In any case, stay safe and healthy and I hope you enjoy this.
Hey y'all. Good morning and evening to all my listeners. Not much new with me. Just overall working a lot and juggling many different projects in life, as all of us are. But enough about me. Let's get to this week's guest, the wonderful Nathalie Sánchez, an interdisciplinary artist, social justice arts educator, and arts advocate raised and rooted in Los Angeles. She graduated with her B.A. in Art History and Studio Arts with an emphasis in education from Loyola Marymount University and received her M.F.A. in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design. Nathalie has developed and led visual arts and museum education programs at ArtworxLA, Avenue 50 Studio, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA), and P.S. ARTS. In 2016, Nathalie founded the Art Education + Social Justice Book Club as a direct response to the U.S. presidential election and in the hopes of cultivating a community of thought partners and change-makers in arts education. Currently, the Art Education + Social Justice Book Club has over 350 members worldwide and continues to grow. Nathalie and I talk about all these projects, along with how to marry art and community, having advocates, holding accountability, and making friends. Nathalie was a joy to talk to and I hope you can join her in the upcoming book club meetings. Until then, stay safe and healthy and I hope you enjoy this.
Hey everyone. I hope you are all doing well as the fall comes full force. Things have been busy for me. I’ve been in the midst of completing three new video works and it is taking all my time. Mid-autumn Festival was a nice quick break and the upcoming national holiday will be some extra time for me to do my own work. Otherwise, today I have the amazing Fawn Douglas, an Indigenous American artist and enrolled member of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. Fawn is dedicated to the intersections of art, activism, education, identity, place, and sovereignty. Within her art-making and activism, she tells stories in order to remember the past and also to ensure that the stories of Indigenous peoples are heard in the present. Fawn is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and co-curates the Vegas Institute for Contemporary Engagement (V.I.C.E), an artist team that has been the catalyst for exhibitions, podcasts, interviews, performances, and experimentation that makes space for marginalized artists in the Las Vegas community. Fawn and I had a wonderful conversation about call-out culture, cultural accessibility, and giving each other grace. It was moving listening to Fawn discuss her work as a community organizer and her experiences as an activist. As always, take care and I hope you enjoy this.
Hi everyone. I hope you are well. I’ve been feeling quite busy these past few days. Everything seems to be moving too fast. Maybe I’m just getting old. The first week of school felt intense and I'm already preparing for the following weeks. Anyway, for today, I have Sapira Cheuk, an ink painter and installation artist interested in ways of knowing through the body and how these modes of knowledge reflect or internalize external experiences. Sapira got her BA at UC Riverside and an MFA at Cal State Bernardino. She is currently teaching at UNLV, where she has found a welcoming art community in the Las Vegas area. I was connected to Sapira through the Rogers Art Loft and was glad to have learned about her practice. We also talk about Sapira moving to Hawaii from Hong Kong at a young age, Sapira hiding her art career from her parents early on, working in a collaborative project, and our unexpected connection with Zhuhai and the Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Hopefully, we will meet in Las Vegas. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and I hope you enjoy this.
Hi everyone. I hope you are well. I've been getting ready for the new semester and just saw this Netflix show called The Chair in preparation, which makes fun of academia. Obviously, there were many parts made for dramatic effect, and it was trying to tackle way too many subjects in way too little time, along with being produced by the same people from Game of Thrones gave me pause, but there were a few nice moments that felt also true that made me laugh, along with Sandra Oh's great performance. I'm not sure if that is a strong recommendation or not to see it. But anyway. This week I am returning back to the Las Vegas community through the Rogers Art Loft Residency and I am speaking with the amazing Vogue Robinson, a poet, author, mentor, and teaching artist. Originally from Perris, California, Vogue got her BA in English at San Diego State University before eventually landing in Las Vegas. Vogue was the poet laureate of Clark County, Nevada (2017-2019) and is the first Black woman to receive the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers' Hall of Fame. Vogue has an infectious laugh and was a joy to talk to. We discussed what a poet laureate does, the croaking of frogs, Pringles, Nikki Giovanni, and so much more. As I was listening to the recording, I realized my voice was quite lethargic, even more than usual that day, and I apologize for that. I hope you can bear with it. I think Vogue brings the energy levels up every time she speaks and can't wait to visit her in Las Vegas in the near future. As always, stay safe and healthy and enjoy the show.
Hi everyone. I hope you are well wherever you are as we are mid-way through August. Summer seems to have come and gone. At least it has for me. I have been mostly preparing for my classes in the fall and for a show I'll be having in November. Otherwise, I have nothing new to report. But for this week, I have a great artist to present to you, so let's get to the introductions. For today, I am interviewing Camilo Godoy, an artist and educator born in Bogotá, Colombia and based in New York City. His multidisciplinary projects are concerned with political histories and memories. Camilo's work engages with the intersection of history, race, gender, and sexuality and is informed by Queer, Latinx, Feminist, and Black perspectives. Camilo got his BFA at Parsons and is currently completing an MFA at Columbia University, which we discuss in greater detail the politics surrounding elite institutions and academia in the art world. We also get into how Camilo mines archival materials for his work, the role of an educator, the joy of art interviews, and his most recent solo show at OCD Chinatown. Camilo is also part of the group shows at the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York City and at Momentum 11 in Norway. I had a lot of fun talking with Camilo and I hope you appreciate what he has to say as well! In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy the show.
Hey everyone. Hope you are doing well. I just finalized a 4-channel video during my time in Shanghai and had a chance to exhibit it to the local art community. I am currently preparing to leave back to Zhuhai in a bit. I also just finished my time at the Rogers Art Loft residency and held the closing talk last week, so thank you to all who swung by. It was a wonderful experience and I hope to visit everyone in Las Vegas soon. I will be posting the conversations I had with the local Las Vegas Community over the next few months, interspersed with previous interviews I conducted. So stay tuned. For today, I will be talking to Brent Holmes, a multi-disciplinary artist with a deep affinity to words- historical, epistemological and ontologically themed creative projects. Holmes also seeks to create a dialogue through several culinary projects, on the nature of communication, and morality and identity. Brent holds no degrees and says he most likely never will. Being the son of an entertainer, Brent is thoroughly traveled but has never completely identified any one place as his home until moving to Las Vegas. Brent and I chat about the coming apocalypse and for whom, the construction of the American West in relation to freedom, the body within a landscape, and symbolisms in objects. It was an enjoyable chat and I hopefully you will like it as well. As always, stay safe and healthy wherever you are and I hope you enjoy this.
Hey everyone. Happy Tuesday. We are in the midst of summer and time is going by quite quickly. I've been spending some time in the quiet suburbs of Shanghai before heading back to Zhuhai. There's a small but strong artist community here and it has been great getting to know the people here. Otherwise, I have been working on a 4-channel video and prepping for a show in the fall. I have also been recording a ton of interviews with the Las Vegas community through the Rogers Art Loft residency, through which and I am excited to share with you my chat with the amazing Erica Hector Vital-Lazare. Erica is a professor of Creative Writing and Marginalized Voices in Dystopian Literature at the College of Southern Nevada. She is also a poet, writer of fiction, and the co-producer of the photo-narrative installation Obsidian & Neon: Building Black Life and Identity in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Erica is the editor of McSweeney's Of the Diaspora, a series revisiting classic Black works in literature. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Erica as we talked about sci-fi and black futurism, reclaiming and revisiting one's past identity, and so many amazing book recommendations. As always, stay safe and healthy, both physically and mentally wherever you are, and I hope you enjoy this.
Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well wherever you are. As I mentioned previously, I am currently part of the Rogers Art Loft residency in Las Vegas and they have been putting me in touch with the local community and helping me meet people for the podcast. I have been speaking with quite a number of wonderful artists and cultural workers and these conversations will be released throughout the summer and upcoming fall season. For today, I am excited to share with you the first one of these talks as I speak with Shahab Zargari, an Iranian-American filmmaker, record label owner, and musician. Shahab takes me through his journey from working in advertising to making his own independent films and what drives him to tell the stories that he tells. We also talk about the pronunciation of names, Iranian films, Mad Men, and how he got a shoutout from Kevin Smith. Shahab also talks about his latest short film, Oh, the Guilt, which is a coming-of-age story set in the 1990s featuring a Persian-American as the main character. The plot tackles death, loss, and survivor’s guilt, elements of the human condition that transcend age, race, and creed. Check it out if you have the chance. Again, this episode was made possible through the Rogers Art Loft residency and I want to thank them for this opportunity. I hope you all enjoy this.
Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well. I have been working quite a bit the past few weeks. I did a quick virtual artist talk with my good friend, Justin Favela, for the Rogers Art Loft virtual residency I am currently part of. I have also been recording quite a number of interviews with the Las Vegas community, so keep an eye out for these episodes in the upcoming months. Also, on June 30th and July 14th at 6pm PST, I will be doing live interviews with Jennifer Kleven and Dr. Erika Abad, with a quick Q&A afterwards. I will post the links on social media as the dates get closer. I hope to see a few of you there. For today, I am interviewing my good friend and the amazing artist, Yvette Mayorga. Yvette is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, Illinois who interrogates the broad effects of militarization within and beyond the US/Mexico border and intervenes in the colonial legacies of art history. She fuses confectionary labor with found images to explore the meaning of belonging. Yvette got her BFA with a Minor in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown in numerous places such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, LACMA, the DePaul Art Museum, and most recently the El Museo del Barrio. I met Yvette a few years ago in Miami and we formed a special friendship that continues on to today. Yvette and I talked about Gloria Anzaldúa, the Nike Cortez, showing at art fairs, and Key Lime Pies. Stay safe and healthy, and I hope you enjoy this.