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Jess X Chen -- Migration Is Transformation -- Kingfisher
Jess X Chen -- Migration Is Transformation -- Kingfisher
Digital CollectionStreet Art Graphics
TitleJess X Chen -- Migration Is Transformation -- Kingfisher
CreatorJess X Chen
ContributorJustseeds Artists' Cooperative
Time Span2015
Geographic LocationMontréal, Canada
Classgraphic arts
DescriptionPainted image of a kingfisher which contains an abstract image of a mother and child and refugees running under a moon. This kingfisher represents South Asia from Jess X Chen's "Migration is Transformation" gouache on paper series (2015). "JESS X CHEN is a first generation Chinese-American poet, artist/activist, filmmaker, and educator. She is the author of poetry chapbook, From the Earthworm To The Night. She is a member of the Justseeds Artists Co-operative, and a facilitator of Artists Against Police Violence. Her work intimately exposes narratives of ecological and colonial trauma, Asian-American diaspora and collective protest by connecting the violences between the female/colored body and the body of the Earth. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, her work has been a part of Asian American Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Wingluke Museum, Yale Environmental Film Festival, and on three national tours of spoken word poetry. She is currently based between Seattle and NYC, but works nationally." -- Jess X Chen's website
Subjectimmigrants; illegal aliens; emigration and immigration; refugees; refugee families; mother and child; animals; birds; kingfishers; fish; moon
Artist's Statement"IMMIGRATION IS TRANSFORMATION -- On view at Belonging: Before and After the Immigration Act of 1965 at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattles Chinatown until February 2016. Curated by Minh Nguyen. Created from layers of cut paper, this installation features a red-crowned crane representing East Asia, a kingfisher representing South Asia and a white-tailed tropic bird representing the Pacific Islands. Patterning their wings is a motif taken from signs that riddle highways along the US/Mexico Border, signifying the crossing of undocumented immigrants. The birds are soaring through a wire border strung with bodies that never made the journey to the other side. The crossing of every border, be it a body of water between America and Asia, or the fence that lines USA and Mexico, is a kind of transformation. This transformation comes at an incredible cost of leaving behind a homelands' languages, heritages and communities, often at the risk of life itself. Immigration is driven by an undefeatable optimism for better life – mother and child become a migratory bird as they triumph enormous struggles and distances to reclaim life and community in a new country. This installation is dedicated to Americas' invisibilized immigrant communities as their spirits continue to soar. Note: The wing motif is also a tribute to artists: Mata Ruda and Lunar New Year who provided much inspiration for the work. This exhibit was designed by Janelle Quibuyen. Fabrication assistance from Tessa Zeng." -- Jess X Chen's website
SourceThis sticker was distributed by Justseeds Artists' Cooperative located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized network of 30 artists committed to making print and design work that reflects a radical social, environmental, and political stance. With members working from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Justseeds operates both as a unified collaboration of similarly minded printmakers and as a loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods. We believe in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action. To this end, we produce collective portfolios, contribute graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, work collaboratively both in- and outside the co-op, build large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpaste on the streets all while offering each other daily support as allies and friends." -- Justseeds Artists' Cooperative website
NotesCollected at the 2015 Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. "The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair organizing collective acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka. The Kanien'kehá:ka are the keepers of the Eastern Door of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The island called "Montreal" is known as Tiotia:ke in the language of the Kanien'kehá:ka, and it has historically been a meeting place for other Indigenous nations, including the Algonquin peoples. The Anarchist Bookfair collective believes it's not enough just to acknowledge the keepers of this land. We encourage everyone participating in the Bookfair to get informed and educated, and to actively resist colonialism and neo-colonialism in the many forms it takes, and in the diversity of forms that resistance can take too." -- Montreal Anarchist Bookfair website
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