The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and Asian American Arts Alliance announce the 2023 cohort of New York-based artists for the 2nd annual Bandung Residency, each selected for their ambitions to foster allyship between Asian American Pacific Islander and Black communities. This year’s residency will support 11 participants.
The Bandung Residency is an opportunity designed to uplift the work of organizers, artists, educators, and way-makers whose practice is intended to foster solidarity between Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Black communities.
Inspired by recent events that have deeply impacted these communities, as well as the Stop Asian Hate and Black Lives Matter movements, this program takes cue from the first large-scale Asian–African or Afro–Asian Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, which took place in 1955 in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. The groundbreaking summit, which hosted leaders from 29 newly independent Asian and African states emerging from colonial rule (representing a total population of 1.5 billion people, 54% of the world’s population at the time), signaled a pivotal juncture between these communities to discuss peace, equality, and mutual respect for sovereignty, political self-determination, cultural cooperation, human rights, the role of the Global South (then known as the Third World), economic development, and decolonization. Building upon the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as identified the previous year by leaders from China and India, the primary objectives of the Bandung Conference ‘55 cohort were “a call for an end to racial discrimination wherever it occurred, and a reiteration of the importance of peaceful coexistence…and collaboration.”
Similarly, The Bandung Residency aims to cultivate a dynamic safe space for a diverse cohort of changemakers interested in engaging in social justice discourse, restorative healing, cultural placemaking, expanding the narrative between communities, and cross-community allyship, whether participating in the program for their personal transformation, in service to the communities identified, or both.
THE 2023 RESIDENTS
Meet the 11 NYC-based artists, educators, change makers, and organizers who will be exploring and developing projects over the course of the summer residency.
click each image below to visit the resident’s IG page.
Through documenting and celebrating Black and Asian traditions of herbal healing, Botany of Care interweaves botanical research, community workshops, and practitioner interviews into a hand-bound herbal care book, fostering new forms of community well-being.
KAI NAIMA WILLIAMS
This project encompasses two elements: a children’s book titled THE BRIDGES YURI BUILT, recounting the life of my great-grandmother Yuri Kochiyama and her journey to becoming an activist fostering cross-racial unity; and a series of community gatherings aligning with the book’s release.
Guided by Spirits is an experimental, interdisciplinary project celebrating the legacy of racial justice ancestors like Elandria Williams, Rev. Hope Johnson, Fay Chiang, and Yuri Kochiyama through collaborative installations, visual art, interviews, and workshops, creating a cosmic portal (alter + shrine) that embodies the hidden truths and resistance within Black and Asian identities.
SUHYUN CHOI + DANA DAVENPORT
A collaborative project delves into the complexities of English and Korean languages as tools for dismantling community tensions and building political solidarity, embracing delicate translations, personal anecdotes, and a digital archive, and collaborating with diverse organizations and voices for a collective vision of empathy and empowerment.
The Afro-Asian Poetic Pantry is a dynamic installation melding poetry, literature, food, and participation, fostering celebration and honor of Black and Asian communities through a multi-media refrigerator sculpture, pocket poems, interactive contributions, music, and letters to future generations, all aimed at healing, remembering, and forging renewed bonds of community and solidarity.
A collaborative project of new songs, uniting diverse musicians and visual artists to explore shared themes and cultural influences, culminating in a dynamic live event celebrating solidarity.
Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities: An Anthology is a groundbreaking collection that interrogates historical and contemporary Black and Asian American feminist cross-racial organizing, leadership, and perspectives.
LIVE COMMUNITY PRESENTATIONS
As part of the Bandung Residency, A4 and MoCADA present a series of discussions with community leaders who offered insights into their practice as makers, organizers, activists and educators.
Cynthia Dewi Oka
February 28, 2023
As part of the Bandung 2023 Residency, A4 and MoCADA will present a conversation with Cynthia Dewi Oka. She’ll discuss her work in poetry, literature, and social justice. Cynthia Dewi Oka was born in Bali, Indonesia. When she was 10 years old, her family migrated to Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. In 2012, she and her son migrated to the Greater Philadelphia Area, Lenni Lenape Land.
She is the author of A Tinderbox in Three Acts, a Blessing the Boats Selection chosen by Aracelis Girmay, published by BOA Editions in 2022; Fire Is Not a Country (2021) and Salvage (2017) published by Northwestern University Press; and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water, first published by Dinah Press in 2012, with a second edition of new and revised poems published by Thread Makes Blanket in 2016.
For Freedoms: Michelle Woo + Hank Willis Thomas
May 16, 2023
Hank Willis Thomas and Michelle Woo, the co-founders of For Freedoms, an artist collective that centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation.
Hank Willis Thomas lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, as a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including the International Center of Photography, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Musée du quai Branly, Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. His collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males, In Search Of The Truth (The Truth Booth), The Writing on the Wall, and For Freedoms. In 2017, For Freedoms was awarded the ICP Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform. Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2019), The Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), Aperture West Book Prize (2008), Renew Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2007), and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award (2006). He is also a member of the Public Design Commission for the City of New York. Most recently in January, Thomas unveiled The Embrace on Boston Common, a monument to Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. Additional public artworks across the country include Unity in Brooklyn, NY. In 2017, Love Over Rules permanent neon was unveiled in San Francisco, CA and All Power to All People in Opa Locka, FL. Thomas holds a BFA from New York University, New York, NY (1998) and an MA/MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). He received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, MD, and the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, ME, in 2017.
Michelle Woo is a cultural producer, art historian and curator based in Los Angeles. She is a co-founder of For Freedoms, an artist-run organization that models creative civic engagement for which she received a ICP Infinity Award in 2017 and a National Art Award in 2022. Her diverse role includes strategy and design of national campaigns, public art initiatives, exhibitions and programming. She also advises artists and organizations on business management and cultural strategy.
For Freedoms is an artist collective that centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation. By wielding the power of art, they aim to deepen and expand our capacity to interrogate what is and imagine what could be. Together, they seek infinite expansion.
The Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring greater representation, equity, and opportunities for Asian American artists and cultural organizations through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. Since 1983, A4 has sought to unify, promote, and represent the artistic and cultural producers of one of New York City’s fastest-growing populations. We are a diverse alliance of artists, organizations, and arts supporters who believe that working together as a pan-ethnic, multidisciplinary community is essential to nurturing the development of artists and arts groups. A4 serves as a thoughtful convener of the Asian American cultural workforce around issues of race, identity, and artmaking and provides a critical voice for this community. We are the only service organization in the country dedicated to the professional development of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists in all disciplines.
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) was born from the graduate thesis of our founder Laurie Cumbo on the feasibility of an African art museum contributing to the revitalization of its neighboring Black communities. Twenty years later, our mission has grown through three programmatic arms – Exhibitions, Education, and Community – that use art as a vehicle for social change via the celebration of Africa and the diaspora. Through artistic presentations, community conversations, creative expression, interactive learning, and cultural preservation, we amplify “voices” that are central to the upliftment of Black lives, and advocate for equity and access on every level. We reach beyond the walls of our physical museum space to deliver dynamic arts, educational, and social justice programs, including 60+ exhibitions, 500+ public programs, conversations, community gatherings, healing circles, learning opportunities and more in the gallery, the street, parks, schools, public housing and beyond. “More than a museum”, MoCADA has become a critical tool for welcoming those who are systematically left out, and a safe space for engaging with people across social divides.