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Sofia Córdova is partnering with the Chinese Culture Center to create dawn_chorus iii, exploring and sharing the histories of a group of female Chinese immigrant refugees. This project grows out of a previous effort among the Center, Córdova, and Chinese dissident Tian Shi, an asylum seeker from China’s ’89 Democracy Movement. When Tian Shi told others in his refugee community how moved he was by the experience of working with Cordova,  several women reached out to her, wanting their stories to be heard.

Córdova creates fantastical documentary works that combine traditional documentary tactics with abstracted backdrops, imaginative choreography, and costuming. She will work with the women to prepare props, a theatrical set, and backdrops, so that they may present their stories as performances. Córdova and the Center also will work with neighboring community-based organizations, identifying connections to immigrant services and possible residential spaces for the women as well as project exhibition sites. The finished work will encompass a long-form video and installation at the Culture Center’s gallery and exhibits at other sites in Chinatown.

Artist Sofia Córdova, who is originally from Puerto Rico, has exhibited and performed at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Berkeley Art Museum, and other venues.

The Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco was formed in 1965, emerging out of the civil rights movement. It opened the Chinese Culture Center in 1973, where it nurtures the arts and seeks to advance the plurality of the Chinese and Asian diaspora.

Pictured: Prior work by Sofia Cordova and the Chinese Cultural Center — a poster created with Chinese dissident Tian Shi