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Presentation by Boston Multimedia Artist Yu-Wen Wu

Published September 25, 2021

Yu-Wen Wu

View a Zoom video of Yu-Wen Wu's presentation in full

Thursday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room

Boston multimedia artist Yu-Wen Wu will present as part of Voices, Visibility, and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asians/Asian Americans at Smith College, a short-term visit amplifying Asian and Asian American presence at Smith through an artistic lens.

Yu-Wen Wu will speak on "The Space Within: Private and Public Narratives." Wu's work embraces storytelling to articulate the issues of our time. She translates the narrative content arond migration, identity, and democracy into abstract and representational forms. Through Wu's socially engaged practices her work amplifies the singular quiet voice that becomes part of a powerful multitude culminating in her public artworks, installations, sculpture, photography, video, and the book form.

Yu-Wen Wu's visit is organized by Payal Banerjee, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Sujane Wu, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, who are co-organizers of the yearlong Kahn Institute project Democracies Redux: Resumptions, Resilience, Reconciliation, and Restoration; as well as Jessica Bacal, Director of Reflective and Integrative Practices, Wurtele Center for Leadership, and Yao Wu, Carroll Curator of Asian Art, Smith College Museum of Art.

Wu's visit will be carried out in three stages between Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. First, an artist talk to introduce Yu-Wen Wu’s artistic practice to our campus, including her recent Lantern Stories which has received extensive critical acclaim and attention. Second, using her community engagement techniques, Wu will collect stories from students, staff and faculty, and other campus and local community members, through in-person and/or virtual listening sessions later in the year and early spring. Guided by the Narratives Project, Smith student research assistants will have the opportunity to engage formally as facilitators. Furthermore, Wu will utilize the Smith archives to unearth biographies of Asian American alums from the 20th century, such as Julia Chang Lin ‘51, to craft a historical frame of reference. Finally, the collected stories will be presented to the public in the form of a sculpture or installation that includes interactive story elements to live and accumulate. And, the project will address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our campus community by grounding a project that is restorative and creative, while simultaneously speaking to racism, xenophobia, and related forms of social exclusions.