Howie Chen

  • Jarod Lew, Untitled (Mom) (detail), 2021, archival pigment print.
    slant July 07, 2022

    Sight Unseen

    ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, the photographer Jarod Lew uncovered details of his mother’s past that revealed something about his immediate family. From a text message sent accidentally by an older cousin, Lew learned that his mother once knew a person named Vincent Chin over thirty years ago. Lew Googled the name, immediately finding a 1982 article from the Detroit Free Press under the headline: “Slaying Ends Couple’s Dream.” Looking at the grainy photograph that accompanied the front-page story, Lew at once recognized the woman identified as Chin’s fiancé. The revelation was shocking as much for what

  • View of Word Gets Around, 1995, a community mural made in collaboration between Godzilla Asian American Arts Network Archive, Arkipelago, and CAAAV. Photo: Photo: Fales Library and Special Collections, NYU.
    interviews May 06, 2021

    Godzilla 10

    In 1990, Godzilla: Asian American Art Network formed to stimulate visibility and critical discourse for Asian American artists, curators, and writers who were negotiating a historically exclusionary art world and society. Founded by Ken Chu, Bing Lee, and Margo Machida, Godzilla produced exhibitions, publications, and community collaborations that sought social change through art and advocacy. Expanding into a nationwide network, the group confronted institutional racism, Western imperialism, anti-Asian violence, the AIDS crisis, and Asian sexuality and gender representation, among other issues.

  • View of “Mountain River Jump!: REALITY CHECK 鬥法,” 2017.
    picks June 30, 2017

    Mountain River Jump!

    We are in a struggle of competing realities. The Guangzhou-based collective Mountain River Jump!—comprising identical twin sisters Huang Shan and Huang He—locates this conflict in a dimension where transcendent forces govern complex relations in our world. “REALITY CHECK 鬥法” is an exhibition bearing two names (the Chinese portion can mean “battle of magical powers”), embodying the strange agonism at play. A series of sculptural and diagrammatic works presents a syncretic cosmology that analyzes the mythical, political, and technological realms we experience.

    In Chinese Immortal Cards of the 21st

  • Jun Yang, A Short Story on Forgetting and Remembering, 2007, HD video, color, sound, 20 minutes.
    picks November 06, 2016

    “Negative Horizon”

    Connecting the materiality of film to corporeal life, “Negative Horizon” politically locates urgency where image touches skin. Concentrating mostly on the global South, the screen-based works in this exhibition interrogate the conditions of this contact and speculate possibilities of other histories and encounters.

    In Jakarta-based artists Tita Salina and Irwan Ahmett’s disquieting installation, the video Inseparable Flakes, 2016, is projected onto a fragile screen made of skin collected from the children of indentured Indonesian fisherman, literalizing a site of trafficked images and real bodies.