Monday, January 15, 2018

College Art Association Conference Panel - The Virtual Asian American Art Museum

College Art Association Conference Panel
“The Virtual Asian American Art Museum: Postwar Japanese American Art in Chicago”
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm
Room 503, Los Angeles Convention Center
“Chicago: Someday, Somewhere – the Photography of James Numata and Yasuhiro Ishimoto”
Jasmine Alinder, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
John Tain, Asia Art Archive
“Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values”
Karen Patterson, John Michael Kohler Arts Center
“Michiko Itatani: Painting the Cosmic Novel”
(Chair) Laura Kina, DePaul University
This panel focuses on the work and transnational lives of four Japanese American postwar artists—James Numata (1918–1997), Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1921–2012), Ray Yoshida (1930–2009), and Michiko Itatani (1948–)—featured in the “Chicago-Midwest” module of The Virtual Asian American Art Museum (VAAAM). VAAAM is a large-scale digital humanities project led by New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute (A/P/A) and the New York University Division of Libraries in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the Getty Research Institute that features enhanced access to an array of art and tools for presenting new collaborative scholarship on Asian American art history.
The “Chicago-Midwest” module geospatially maps the careers of artists in Chicago against known social patterns and settlements in the city. The first portion of this scalable module is a series of submodules highlighting Japanese American artists whose biographies reflect immigration and migration paths of Japanese to Chicago including pre-WWII labor migration, post-WWII Japanese American internment camp resettlement, migration from Hawaii to Chicago, and post-1965 immigration from Japan. The role that institutions such as the Institute of Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago had in drawing artists from around the world is examined, as is the role of archives and collections, such as those of the Japanese American Service Committee and the Art Institute of Chicago, in recording and preserving their histories. These artists are historically and/or artistically significant, but have been underrepresented in the canon of art history and master narrative of the Japanese American experience.

UCSC group show and talk - Spoken/Unspoken: Forms of Resistance

Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at University of California Santa Cruz presents:Spoken/Unspoken: Forms of ResistanceFebruary 8 – March 17, 2018
curated by Shelby Graham and UCSC students
Featuring work by Ruth-Marion Baruch, Laura Kina, Hung Liu, Yolanda Lopez, Yoko Ono, Jo Hanson, Irene Lusztig, with artifacts about Angela Davis and posters from the Guerrilla Girls and artists from Self-Help Graphics.
As part of Santa Cruz’s countywide SPOKEN/UNSPOKEN exhibition series, the Sesnon Art Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz highlights a collection of artists and activists engaged with forms of resistance. The term “resistance” can represent various profiles from opposition to struggle; it can also portray resilience, strength, courage, and standing up for basic rights. Many artists examine the strength behind resistance and challenge the status quo from politics to art making.

Laura Kina UCSC artist talk – “Painting Okinawan Identity, Diaspora, and Resistance” Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:30pm. Location details forthcoming.
Laura Kina, Orion, 2016

Friday, December 1, 2017

New book chapter and cover - Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation

On the cover: Laura Kina “Flowers for your Heart” 2007.
Kina, Laura. “The Black Pacific through Okinawan Eyes: Photographer Mao Ishikawa’s “Hot Days in Camp Hansen!!” and “Life in Philly.” In Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation, edited by Pedro Iacobelli and Hiroko Matsudo, 149–168. Lanham: MD, Lexington Books, 2017.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Video from Queering Contemporary Asian American Art book panel

Watch the video from our Oct 18, 2017 Queering Contemporary Asian American Art book panel at the A/P/A Institute at New York University featuring the editors Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe and presentations by Greyson Hong (artist), Kyoo Lee (John Jay College), Zavé Martohardjono (artist), and Saya Woolfalk (artist):

Saturday, November 11, 2017

American Studies Association Conference Panel - “Moving Bodies Towards Wonder: Asian American Aesthetics from Anger to Action”

American Studies Association
Sat, November 11, 12:00 to 1:45pm

Panel discussion: “Moving Bodies Towards Wonder: Asian American Aesthetics from Anger to Action”
Hyatt Regency Chicago, New Orleans, Ballroom Level West Tower

This event is for registered conference attendees only. For more information or to register for the conference, visit American Studies Association website.

Chair: Valerie Soe, San Francisco State University
Panelists: Mila Zua, Oregon State University
Laura Kina, DePaul University
Anita Chang, Independent Scholar
Valerie Soe, San Francisco State University

The impulse to give in to despair, anxiety, pain, and anger hinders the ability of many of us to effectively respond to the increased inequities, challenges to civil liberties, and the illegal and unethical restrictions proposed by the current administration. Whereas such negative feelings can immobilize and stultify, wonder moves bodies towards action. As Sara Ahmed points out, “Wonder is what energizes the very hope of transformation, the very will to politics.” This roundtable looks at the ways in which Asian American aesthetics of dissent are involved in creative labors and affective productions which seek to un-learn and un-feel dominant epistemologies borne from hetero-patriarchal modernities, globalizing forces, and institutional aporia. How can we induce wonder and movement through a pedagogical engagement with visual culture? What can Asian American aesthetics of dissent in particular teach us about the wondrous affects and pleasures of transgression, undisciplinarity, and resistance? Bringing together activists, makers, curators, and educators, this roundtable explores the unmaking of the anger and pain through Asian American bildungsroman narratives, aesthetic genealogies, queer futurities, and critical cosmopolitanisms in film and visual arts. Mila Zuo examines the “cinematic aesthetics of wondrous pain” in her short experimental film, “Carnal Orient,” and the Asian American queer film, “Spa Night.” Jason Coe explores Ang Lee’s coming-of-age films in order to investigate other possibilities of global modernities through alternative masculine subject formations. Valerie Soe investigates how an instance of conflict at San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies reveals the need for a counternarrative to the fraught and dangerous times we are entering. Anita Chang looks at “critical cosmopolitanism” as a way of thinking through difference and interconnectedness in teaching transnational cinemas. Laura Kina’s discusses her work as a curator and editor to explore the importance of historicizing failure in engendering queer political and artistic dissent oriented toward the future. The goal of the roundtable is to discuss the critical relationships between everyday resistances, pedagogy, and visual arts. What new socialities and publics are forged through an aesthetic engagement with wonder? How can Asian American creative praxes of dissent help us imagine a more hopeful and inclusive future, even as Trump’s presidency threatens to hurtle us back to the the exclusionary racialized histories of the past? What tools can we as scholars, artists, and educators use to make the leap from anger to action?

Monday, October 2, 2017

NYU book panel - Oct 18, 2017

New York University
Wed, October 18, 2017 6:30-8:30pm
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art: Laura Kina, Jan Christian Bernabe, Greyson Hong, Kyoo Lee, Zavé Martohardjono, and Saya Woolfalk

New York University
19 University Place, Room 102
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public but please RSVP ahead of time HERE.

Saya Woolfalk, Chimera, 2013, from the Institute of Empathy projectDigital video and mixed media installation installed at MOCA Taipei, Taiwan
Courtesy of the artist and MOCA Taipei

Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Cosponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017), edited by Laura Kina (DePaul University) and Jan Christian Bernabe (Center of Art and Thought), brings together artists and scholars to challenge normative assumptions, essentialism, and methodologies within the study of Asian American art and visual culture. The featured essays, artist interviews, and artworks explore the multiple axes of race and identity, queer bodies and forms, kinship and affect, and digital identities and performances.

Kina and Bernabe met at the A/P/A Institute at NYU’s 2012 NEH Summer Institute, “Re-envisioning American Art History: Asian American Art, Research, and Teaching,” which was the genesis for their new book. We are excited to welcome them back to A/P/A alongside contributors Greyson Hong (artist), Kyoo Lee (John Jay College), Zavé Martohardjono (artist), and Saya Woolfalk (artist) to discuss and celebrate the publication.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Queer Horizons summer 2017 online exhibition

Queer Horizons Summer 2017

Visit "Queer Horizons" curated by Jan Christian Bernabe and Laura Kina for the Center for Art and Thought. The exhibition was released in staggered waves over the summer 2017 and the whole exhibition is archived permanently on CA+T’s website here.

"Queer Horizons" features the work of Asian American and Asian diasporic artists whose work envisions a queer future that unsettles the past, disrupts the present, and imagines new worlds beyond the limits of the horizon.

Contributors to the virtual show include: Anida Yoeu Ali, Sita Bhaumik, Kim AnnoWafaa Bilal, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Việt Lê,Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé Martohardjono, Genevieve Erin O'BrienJeffrey Augustine Songco, Tina Takemoto, and Saya Woolfalk.

"Queer Horizons" appears in conjunction with the publication of Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe’s book, Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017), which CA+T co-sponsored (

Monday, June 26, 2017

Art Net News Book Review

Việt Lê (Vietnamese/American, b. 1976). Charlie’s Angels (of History), 2013,
from the "Love Bang!" series. Courtesy of the artist.

How the New Queer Asian American Criticism Is Shifting the Way We See Art

Artists and scholars shake up the foundations of art history in a new book, 'Queering Contemporary Asian American Art.'
Terence Trouillot, 

"But via its challenging and diverse reflections, Queering Contemporary Asian American Art shows how the specific questions of Asian American art history make the stakes of resisting a homonormative queer community (i.e. one that models itself after standards of success defined by white privilege and capitalism) even more vivid."

Read the review:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer 2017 Queer Horizons

“Queer Horizons” curated by Jan Christian Bernabe and Laura Kina for the Center for Art and Thought is now online! Works by by Maya Mackrandilal, Greyson Hong, and Kim Anno are currently up, and more artwork will follow in the upcoming weeks.
“Queer Horizons” features the work of Asian American and Asian diasporic artists whose work envisions a queer future that unsettles the past, disrupts the present, and imagines new worlds beyond the limits of the horizon.
Contributors to the virtual show include: Anida Yoeu AliSita Bhaumik, Kim Anno, Wafaa Bilal, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo JunioViệt Lê, Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé MartohardjonoJeffrey Augustine SongcoTina Takemoto, and Saya Woolfalk.
Contributors’ works are published in staggered waves from June 22 until all the works have been revealed, after which the whole exhibition are archived permanently on CA+T’s website.
Please keep checking back on the website for new works and share the link!
“Queer Horizons” appears in conjunction with the publication of Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe’s book, Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017), which CA+T co-sponsored (

Monday, May 1, 2017

New Book! Queering Contemporary Asian American Art

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art

Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe
Foreword by Susette Min
Afterword by Kyoo Lee
University of Washington Press, 2017.
$40 paperback (ISBN: 9780295741376), 304 pp., 47 illus., 36 in color, 7 x 10 in.
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art takes Asian American differences as its point of departure, and brings together artists and scholars to challenge normative assumptions, essentialisms, and methodologies within Asian American art and visual culture. Taken together, these nine original artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and seven critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances.
Using the verb and critical lens of “queering” to capture transgressive cultural, social, and political engagement and practice, the contributors to this volume explore the connection points in Asian American experience and cultural production of surveillance states, decolonization and diaspora, transnational adoption, and transgender bodies and forms, as well as heteronormative respectability, the military, and war. The interdisciplinary and theoretically informed frameworks in the volume engage readers to understand global and historical processes through contemporary Asian American artistic production.
LAURA KINA is an artist and a Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art.
JAN CHRISTIAN BERNABE is the operations, new media, and curatorial director at the Center for Art and Thought.
The contributors are Mariam B. Lam, Eun Jung Park, Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Valerie Soe, and Harrod J Suarez. Featured artists are Anida Yoeu Ali, Kim Anno, Eliza Barrios, Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Wafaa Bilal, Hasan Elahi, Greyson Hong, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Lin + Lam (H. Lan Thao Lam and Lana Lin), Viet Le, Maya Mackrandilal, Zavé Martohardjono, Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Tina Takemoto, Kenneth Tam, and Saya Woolfalk.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hapa Japan Fest and Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference in LA

Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference
Feb 24-26, 2017 at USC in LA

It's been over a year in the works and it's finally here! Along with Chandra Crudup of Mixed Roots Stories, I am the co-organizer of the 4th Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

“Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial)
Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia
Feb. 24-26, 2017
University of Southern California

The conference is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture and includes over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as 2 feature film screenings, the LIVE Performance show, and Performance Sampler produced by Mixed Roots Stories. CMRS 2017 is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

A huge thank you to the CMRS programming and site committees, my fellow Critical Mixed Race Studies Association board members, our fiscal agent Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, our social media coordinator Sharon Chang, and all of the volunteers from HapaSC, MASC, and the staff at USC, especially Shannon Maiko Takushi and Duncan Williams, who are helping make this all possible.

I will be speaking at two sessions:
Saturday, Feb 25, 2016 4:30-6:00pm
Ronald Tutor Campus Center Room 227
3607 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089
MIXED ROOTS STORIES and HAPA JAPAN Panel: Beyond Binaries: Contemporary Mixed, Queer, Trans, Asian Diasporic Art
CHAIR Laura Kina, DePaul University
More Than Love on The Horizon: Queer Projections, Genevieve Erin O’Brien, artist
Choreographing the Liminal: Performing Queer, Trans, and Mixed-Race, Zavé Gayatri Martohardjono, artist
Uchinanchu: Okinawan Diaspora and Mixed Race IdentityLaura Kina, DePaul University
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 1:00-2:30pm
Ronald Tutor Campus Center Room 320A
3607 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089

ROUNDTABLE Transferring Race: Mixed Parents Reflect on Raising Mixed Children
Kelly F. Jackson, Arizona State University
Kelly F. Jackson, Arizona State University
Sharon H. Chang, author activist
Jeff Chiba Stearns, filmmaker
Sonia Smith-Kang, Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
Laura Kina, DePaul University
Farzana Nayani, Advisor, Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
Chris L. Terry, author

Visit our new websites to download the complete program and register:

In addition to three full days of academic sessions, there is a line up of evening special events that are open to the public. Please join us! Make sure to get tickets through the Eventbrite links below.

FREE Friday Feb 24, 2017 Mixed Roots LIVE Performance tickets
Fri, Feb 24, 2017 6:00pm-7:30pm
Mixed Roots Stories LIVE performance featuring Robert Farid Karimi, Lisa Marie Rollins, Fred Sasaki, Carly Bates, Zav. Gayatri Martohardjono, and Crystal Shaniece Roman

FREE (with CMRS badge) Saturday Feb 25, 2017 Hapa Japan Concert tickets
Sat, Feb 25, 2017 7:00-9:00pm
Hapa Japan Concert featuring Kina Grannis, Mari. Digby, Andy Suzuki & the Method, and Kris Roche

FREE Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 Closing Session and Mixed Match screening tickets
Sun, Feb 26, 2017 5:00pm-7:30pm
Closing Reception and documentary film screening Mixed Match by Jeff Chiba Stearns



The Hapa Japan Festival celebrates mixed race and mixed roots Japanese people and culture. Come join us at the Japanese American National Museum and the USC (University of Southern California) campus in Los Angeles.

HAPA JAPAN Volumes 1 & 2 Now Available

“Now, more than ever, Hapa Japan is essential reading for all citizens of our transcultural, transnational, boundless, borderless, beautifully mixed-up world.”