Self/Split: Performance and Poetry from Asian Diasporas | USC US-China Institute

by Victoria Abaunza on April 1st, 2015   1374 views

When and Where

  • 01/04/2015
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • Ground Zero Performance Cafe
    University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089
    Los Angeles
    United States
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Self/Split: Performance and Poetry from Asian Diasporas | USC US-China Institute

Event Details

“Self/Split” brings together four renowned Asian diasporic artists—Sam Chanse, Chiwan Choi, D’Lo and Nicolas Wang—for an evening of live performances and discussion that will movingly confront queerness, displacement, immigrant identity, the creative process and more.

In Asian America, immigration’s physical and social dislocations often rub up against cultural invisibility and conservative social mores. Confronting issues of queerness, cultural displacement and immigrant identity, “Self/Split” brings together four renowned Asian diasporic artists for an evening of live performances and discussion. Nicolas Wong is a queer, Chinese, Hong Kong–based poet who uses poetry to examine his multiple communities; political theatre artist and writer D’Lo combines hip hop and humor to capture his reality as a transgender Tamil American artist; Sam Chanse, a multiracial playwright and performer, inhabits different characters in her solo performances as a way of exploring the multiplicity of identity; and Chiwan Choi, called “the Jay-Z of poetry” (LA Weekly) spins new mythologies while exploring personal history and loss. Following their performances, the artists will discuss the intersections of creative process and identity with USC professorMeiling Cheng.
Cost: Free, please visit the website to RSVP.

About the Artists:

Sam Chanse’s plays and other theatre works include Lydia’s Funeral Video, Marian Jean, Locked House: A Tragicomic Fairytale of Indeterminate Nature, Back to the Graveyard and About That Whole Dying Thing (The Failure Series). Her work has been developed and presented with Second Generation, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Lark Play Development Center, FringeNYC, The Marsh, PlayGround in Residence at Berkeley Rep, KSW and Bindlestiff Studio. Chanse has been a resident artist at Tofte Lake Center and Footloose/Shotwell Studios, and a recipient of the Elphaba Thropp Fellowship from NYU/Tisch, a Jumpstart Commission from Second Generation and an Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission. She wrote and performed in two short films, Terra Cotta and Asian American Jesus, both directed by Yasmine Gomez. Chanse received an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University, where she also taught undergraduate writing. She served for a number of years as the artistic director of San Francisco–based arts nonprofit Kearny Street Workshop, and as co-director of Locus Arts. Her first solo play, Lydia’s Funeral Video, is forthcoming from Kaya Press. (Official website)

Chiwan Choi is a co-founder of Writ Large Press, an indie press based in downtown Los Angeles. He is also the author of two collections of poetry, The Flood and Abductions, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. With his publishing partners and Grand Park, Chiwan created and organized the Grand Park Downtown BookFest, a celebration of L.A.’s literary heart. He writes a weekly column on Cultural Weekly called “Literary Alchemy,” in which he shares his daily experiences, struggles and successes in the literary and publishing worlds. An ongoing project, PUBLISH!, seeks to deconstruct and democratize the publishing process, making it accessible to everyone while questioning the role of publishers as silencers of expression. (Official website,Twitter)

D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian. He is also the creator of the writing-workshop series “Coming Out, Coming Home,” which is geared toward South Asian and/or immigrant queer organizations throughout the United States. D’Lo is an artistic core member of TeAda Productions and is on the board of the Brown Boi Project. D’Lo’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies and academic journals including Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asian America and Experiments in a Jazz Aestheticand Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. D’Lo tours with the shows D’FaQTo Life andRamble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, directed by Adelina Anthony. His full-length stand-up storytelling showD’FunQT, directed by Steven Sapp of Universes, has toured internationally. His latest solo shows are To T, or Not to T and GodFreaQ. Performing Girl, a documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life and work, won the Best Short Documentary award at Outfest in 2013. D’Lo appears in the new HBO series Looking as Taj,and Mikki del Monico’s film Alto. (Official website, Facebook)

Nicholas YB Wong holds an MFA from City University of Hong Kong. He has been a finalist for the New Letters Poetry Award, the Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize for Poetry and the poetry contests of Better: Culture and Litand Tupelo Quarterly. His work can be found in World Literature Today, The Common, Asian American Literary Review and cream city review. He is an assistant poetry editor for Drunken Boat. (Official website, Facebook)

Organized by Nayan Shah (American Studies and Ethnicity) and Sunyoung Lee (Kaya Press). Co-sponsored by American Studies and Ethnicity, Asian Pacific American Student Services, the Center for Transpacific Studies, Kaya Students for Independent Publishing, the Master of Professional Writing Program and the USC School of Dramatic Arts.


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