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Donna Keiko Ozawa with Bob Hsiang and Christine Wong Yap collaborating with Kearny Street Workshop

Award: $35,000 Visual Arts grant awarded 2007

Presented: May 2008

Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) collaborated with Donna Keiko Ozawa, Bob Hsiang, and Christine Wong Yap, to create a multimedia exhibition, “Activist Imagination,” to mark the organization’s 35th anniversary. Each artist represented different decades of KSW’s history and brought her or his own perspective on Asian activism to the project.

The exhibit was the culmination of a year-long exploration of Asian activism by Ozawa, Hsiang, and Wong Yap. They explored archives commemorating the Asian American movement and produced a quarterly open discussion series involving KSW’s network of community organizing, refugee services, human rights, and other agencies. The exhibit built upon the knowledge gathered through this research and also imagined a future for Asian activism.

Bob Hsiang is an accomplished photographer with a portfolio spanning over three decades. He has been involved with KSW from the beginning of his career. His photographs have documented the history of the Asian American movement.

Donna Keiko Ozawa is a multi-media artist who has exhibited internationally. For her highly-acclaimed Waribashi project she physically removed hundreds of thousands of disposable chopsticks from the waste stream to create an installation piece. Her work often takes the form of kinetic sculpture.

Christine Wong Yap’s work includes mixed media, installations, prints, paintings, and drawings and has been exhibited in KSW’s annual APAture festival for emerging artists as well as the group exhibit, “Home: exploring belonging.”

KSW is a multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American (APA) arts organization dedicated to producing and presenting art that enriches and empowers APA communities.  It was founded in 1972 in San Francisco’s Chinatown/Manilatown. “Activist Imagination” reflected its origins and activist roots, its multigenerational identity, and the communities and artists that it serves.