Sunday, September 23, 2012

Participating in "From Chicago to Lahore" at the Chicago Cultural Center

I will be participating in this one day group show. Save the date!

For Immediate Release
Chicago Sister Cities International

Event Features the Visual, Media, Musical and Literary Arts of Pakistan

CHICAGO (September 19, 2012) – Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) brings Chicagoans a festive evening of cultural discovery with From Chicago to Lahore: A Cultural Nexus, blowing the winds of artistic heritage from Chicago’s sister city of Lahore, Pakistan across the globe right into the heart of the Windy City. The work of artists of various disciplines from opposite sides of the world, Chicago and Pakistan, come together for one night in this special event to highlight our similarities and celebrate the impact of the arts upon people of all cultures.

The Lahore Committee of CSCI presents From Chicago to Lahore: A Cultural Nexus on
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6–9 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph Street) in the G.A.R Hall & Rotunda and the Claudia Cassidy Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

A food reception featuring an exhibition of visual arts and a brief speaking program takes place from 6–7:30 p.m. in the G.A.R. Hall & Rotunda. Film screenings, musical performances and poetry readings take place in the Claudia Cassidy Theater from 7:30–9 p.m.

The works presented range from renowned masterpieces to contemporary explorations in various media including paintings, photographs, music, films and literature by artists from
Lahore and throughout Pakistan, and artists from the Chicago area, whose work collectively
builds cultural bridges through artistic expression. Through the work shown, the evening brings together the energetic and vigorous cultural life of both cities.

The exhibition is curated by visual artist and printmaker Sadia Uqaili, the Arts and Culture Chair of the Lahore Committee of CSCI, and showcases the works of masters as well as contemporary artists such as Syed Sadeqain Ahmad Naqvi, Ismail Gulgee, Bashir Mirza, Naheed Raza, Laura Kina, Shota Kawahara, Sumbul Nazir, Elizabeth Nuti, Sheheryar Hasnain, Jon Stein, Amna Siddiqui, Asif Raza, Marvi Mazhar, Michael Klaus Schmidt,
Durre Sameen Malik, Chandrika Marla, Allie Spicer and Zafar Mailk; films by Umar Riaz,
Suree Towfignia, Mikey Peterson, Sandeep Sharma, Shalalae Jamil, John Lyons, Ben Her
Uribe, Mian Adnan Ahmad; and poetry by Baba Bulleh Shah, Eric Elshtain, Daniela Olszewska, Razia Fasih Ahmad, Maureen Flannery and Hamza Hayauddin.

For more information on this event, visit, follow us on Twitter (@ChiSisterCities) or “Like” us on Facebook,

Arts and Culture in Lahore
As the second largest city in Pakistan, Lahore has a historic legacy as Pakistan’s cultural
capital. Lahore’s culture not only reflects the ethnic diversity of Pakistan, but also bears the
influence of numerous global elements, often blending South Asian, Central Asian, Middle
Eastern, Persian and Western cultural and artistic influences.

The city’s geographical placement on the route of the historic Grand Trunk Road, laid in the
early 16th century and linking the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, has long brought an influx of people travelling to and through Lahore, bringing with them their distinctive cultural heritages and adding renewed vibrancies to the city’s traditions.

Today, much of Lahore’s thriving art scene is fueled by the National College of Arts, the
country’s foremost university of art and design that serves as a breeding ground for many of the country's burgeoning artists. Locally known as NCA, the college gallery hosts both permanent and visiting exhibitions by Pakistani painters, printmakers, sculptors and other visual artists.

Beyond the visual arts, Lahore is internationally recognized for its music festivals and theatrical productions; is known as Pakistan’s center for dining and nightlife; and is the hub of the country’s fashion and film industries.

Chicago Sister Cities International
Chicago Sister Cities International provides leadership to develop, manage and coordinate
comprehensive programs and projects with Chicago’s sister cities. It aims to increase international trade, promote economic development and support exchanges in the fields of arts and culture, education, health, social services, environment and technology with its sister cities for the benefit of the City of Chicago, its residents and businesses.

Chicago’s 28 sister cities include: Accra, Ghana (1989); Amman, Jordan (2004); Athens,
Greece (1997); Belgrade, Serbia (2005); Birmingham, England (1993); Bogota, Colombia
(2009); Busan, Republic of Korea (2007); Casablanca, Morocco (1982); Delhi, India (2001);
Durban, South Africa (1997); Galway, Ireland (1997); Gothenburg, Sweden (1987); Hamburg, Germany (1994); Kyiv, Ukraine (1991); Lahore, Pakistan (2007); Lucerne, Switzerland (1998); Mexico City, Mexico (1991); Milan, Italy (1973); Moscow, Russia (1997); Osaka, Japan (1973); Paris, France (1996); Petach Tikva, Israel (1994); Prague, Czech Republic (1990); Shanghai, China (1985); Shenyang, China (1985); Toronto, Canada (1991); Vilnius, Lithuania (1993); and Warsaw, Poland (1960).


Images and interviews available upon request.

Contact: Benjamin Kelner
Phone: 312.201.4535
Cell: 312.718.1186

Mixed Roots Midwest at DePaul University Nov 1-3, 2012

 Nov 1-3, 2012

All events are free and open to the public and will be held at the DePaul Student Center 2250 N. Sheffield #120 A/B, Chicago, IL 60614

Join us for three evenings of Mixed Root Midwest thanks to the generous support of the Center for Intercultural Programs at DePaul.

Mixed Roots Midwest brings selected short films, a panel of filmmakers, and a live show
featuring local and national talent whose material explores the Mixed experience to Chicago as part of the 2012 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference.

Nov 1: Selected Shorts (50 minutes): Silences, Crayola Monologues, Mixed Mexican, and Nigel's Fingerprint have received critical acclaim and have screened at national and
international film festivals. The films explore themes of racism, familial relationships, the
Census, and how we define ourselves in a world obsessed with categorizing people by color.

Nov 2: Filmmakers Panel: Three filmmakers discuss their storytelling journeys on film from pre-production through post-, and what inspired them to tell stories of the Mixed experience. Kip Fulbeck (The Hapa Project 2001-2006) received the Loving Prize at the first Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival and is a pioneering artist, spoken word performer, author and filmmaker. Jeff Chiba Stearns (One Big Hapa Family, 2010) is a multi award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker and founder of Meditating Bunny Studio Inc.. Kim Kuhteubl’s film, Nigel’s Fingerprint, which will screen as part of Mixed Roots Midwest, won multiple awards and was invited to travel with the Toronto International Film Festival’s Sprockets Globetrotter series. She is the founder of SingleWoman.TV – an online channel exclusively for single women.

Nov 3: Mixed Roots Midwest LIVE: join us for an evening of energetic, thought-provoking performances featuring spoken word artists from Chicago’s own 2nd Story, an excerpt from Fanshen Cox’s solo-show-in-progress: One Drop of Love: A Daughter’s Search for her Father’s Racial Approval, and other exciting artists who meld performance art with an exploration and critical analysis of what it means to be ‘Mixed.

Contact: Laura Kina
Co-Coordinator, Mixed Roots Midwest
Phone 773-325-4048


To all my critical mixed race studies academic and mixed race artist and community friends, colleagues, and kindrid spirits out there, check out this call for proposals from the Asian American Literary Review for a special issue on mixed race:

Thanks to political organizing, scholarship, and the arts, not to mention media coverage, mixed race has become hyper-visible. So what’s next? AALR’s special issue on mixed race, due out in Fall 2013, won’t simply be a reexamination of race or a survey of mixed voices, important as both are. We envision our role as that of provocateur—inspiring new conversations and cross-pollinations, pushing into new corners.

What are the nerve centers of mixed race? How does mixed race mark fault lines the world over? We invite you to be the curators of this special issue, to tell us what about mixed race we need to address—and how.

All contributions to the issue will be collaborative, “mixed” in nature, bringing together folks across racial and ethnic boundaries, across disciplines, genres, countries, languages, and generations. We see the issue as a meeting point for visual artists and writers, filmmakers and activists, students and teachers and scholars of every stripe—an incubator of new ideas and fresh approaches. Multilingual exchanges and formal innovations welcome.

In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 the issue will be a focal point for a multiinstitution synchronous teaching program that connects students and faculty across the world. So far 54 classrooms in universities and colleges in seven countries have signed up. Our goal is an international, livetime, region to region, country to country conversation that builds academic, social, and civic community, a conversation that challenges and grows our understandings of race and mixed race as well as the tools and lenses we use to understand them.

All proposals should briefly outline:
• who would be contributing to your collaborative project, with a 50-100 word bio for each contributor;
• what subject matter your collaborative project would engage;
• how it would engage that subject or set of subjects in terms of disciplinary approach(s), genre(s), and
form(s) or format(s); and
• why your proposed project would be vital to the special issue.

We are accepting proposals from fully formed groups; partial groups requesting to be matched with a
writer, scholar, activist, visual artist, illustrator, musician, or filmmaker; and individuals requesting to be
matched with a group.

Please direct proposals to and any questions or inquiries to Deadline for proposal submissions is 11/9/12. We will inform of decisions by mid-December 2012. Final submissions of collaborative projects will be due February 2013.

AALR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Join me on Oct 5th for CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA

Twelve Gates Arts
51 North Second St., Old City
Philadelphia, PA 19106

CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA

Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff in collaboration with the artists
October 5 - October 26, 2012

Opening Reception with the artists: Friday October 5, 6pm-8pm

Omiyage: Air Force (panel 4 of 4) 30x30, hand embroidery and acrylic on linen with patchwork quilt border - Laura Kina

Twelve Gates Arts is thrilled to host the inaugural showing of CARE Package a small-scale international traveling show of five female artists of Asian descent. Taking inspiration from the concept of care package sent to each host country, artists Shelly Bahl, Shelly Jyoti, Laura Kina, Saira Wasim, and Anida Yoeu Ali created multi-media "gifts" to be shared with local audiences. Philadelphia is the city where packages destined for Europe after WWII were assembled for shipment by the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE, Inc.); now it is set to be the first city to receive this unique gift. The universal concept of a gift here acts as a stage for the artists' stories, which promise to tackle issues of nationhood, race, gender, religion, & economic exploitation.

Shelly Bahl is a visual and media artist born in Benares, India, and currently based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary work in drawing, painting, sculpture/ installation, photography and video, has appeared in a number of solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally over the past 16 years. Her recent projects include group exhibitions at: Queens Museum of Art, White Box, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, India Art Summit, Aicon Gallery, and Religare Arts Initiative.

Laura Kina is Associate Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Her paintings and textile works address Asian American history and mixed race representations.  Her artwork has shown internationally andbeen published in Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple University Press, 2011); Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010); and Embracing Ambiguity: Faces of the Future (Cal State Fullerton, 2010); The New Authentics: Artists of the Post-Jewish Generation (Spertus Museum, 2007).

Shelly Jyoti is a New Delhi based visual artist, fashion designer, and poet whose research centers on historical iconographic elements within the cultural context of Indian history.  Her art series Indigo Narratives 2009-12 and Beyond Mathila 2008-12 have shown internationally and been reviewed in Business Standard, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Open Magazine, Deccan Herald, ArtEtc. Magazine. Her literary works are in collection with Sahitya Akademi, the journal of Indian English literature.

Saira Wasim has carved a niche for herself with her innovative and meticulously crafted Persian miniatures, which she employs to make devastating political and social commentary. Ms. Wasim’s work has been widely feted, and has been exhibited at numerous prominent art institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Asia Society in New York, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. She has recently noted that persecution as an Ahmadiyya Muslim was key in shaping her artistic perspectives.  New York Times describes her work as "exquisite political cartoons that conjure and sometimes borrow directly from Norman Rockwell”.

Anida Yoeu Ali is a performance artist, writer, and global agitator. She is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. In 2011, Ali returned to work in Phnom Penh as part of her U.S. Fulbright Fellowship research on creation mythologies. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. From the Faroe Islands to the Bronx, Copenhagen to Ho Chi Minh City, she lectures, exhibits and performs internationally. Ali is a collaborative partner with Studio Revolt, an independent media lab operating out of Phnom Penh where she currently resides.

Ombretta Agrò Andruff is a New York-based freelance curator, art critic and consultant. She has curated solo and group shows in Europe, the US, and India, collaborating with museums, art festivals, and art fairs - such as Queens Museum of Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Armory Show, The Art Basel Miami Fair, The Downtown Arts Festival, The d.u.m.b.o. art under the Bridge Festival. She is a New York contributor for Italian art magazines Arte Critica, Tema Celeste, and Label and collaborates as well with the New York-based, The Art Tribune and New York Arts Magazine. She has recently joined the staff of Asian Contemporary Art Week as Associate Director.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Watch the video for War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

Special thanks to new media artist Chris Naka for making this promotional YouTube video for our forthcoming book War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art, edited by Laura Kina and Wei Ming Daritotis (University of Washington Press, 2013). This short video (4:26) features images from the book interspersed with clips of interviews with artists and contributors to the book.

Featured voice overs and interviews listed in order of appearance: Serene Ford, Albert Chong, Richard A. Lou, Adrienne Pao, Chris Naka, Jane Jin Kaisen, Kip Fulbeck, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Laura Kina, and Wei Ming Dariotis.

Featured artwork listed in order of appearance: Mequitta Ahuja, Serene Ford, Albert Chong, Gina Osterloh, Kip Fulbeck, Li-lan, Richard A. Lou, Louie Gong, Laurel Nakadate, Jane Jin Kaisen, Adrienne Pao, Debra Yepa-Pappan