Obsession, Flo Oy Wong, Steven Okazaki...

September 30, 2008

Here are several links that range from congratulatory to events-you-can-attend to news that is just appalling and maddening.

+ If you haven't heard already, McCain supporters mailed out a bunch of anti-Islam "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" DVDs inserted in mainstream newspapers, including the New York Times, to swing states. What is the link between the campaign and Islam? This is obviously to play upon people's fears of Islam and also that Barack Obama might actually be Muslim (the horror! I'm being facetious here). Well, some stupid fools decided to go to a mosque and spray chemicals in a child's face.

+ Next up, we have something a little nicer. Artist Flo Oy Wong has a new solo exhibit at the Community School for Music and Arts in Mountain View, CA. Wong will also be celebrating her 70th year! (She also comes from a big, talented family; brother William Wong is a writer/columnist). Her installations are huge and very neat, drawing upon her experiences with her family, including her developmentally disabled sister, who was actually able to speak lucidly for the first time in years while Wong was making the piece. She uses materials like rice sacks, rice, beads and old photographs, among other things. The show, Raising Our Voices, is a satellite show of the de Young Museum's Shifting Currents, A Comprehensive Survey of Asian American Artists from 1865-1960, opens Oct. 6 and runs through Nov. 26. For a full list of events, including the opening reception featuring danceNAGANUMA, visit www.arts4all.org.

+ Congratulations to filmmaker Steven Okazaki, who recently won an Emmy for White Light/Black Rain, which was shown on HBO. The film is about survivors of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is not only an important documentary, but so artfully done. Apparently he was one of two Asian American nominated this year for an Emmy in a non-technical category (the other was Sandra Oh).

+ There's a new interactive website called Homeland Guantanamos that focuses on the plight of detained immigrants. It's very chilling. Go to the memorial wall and you'll see names of people you may have never heard of, but these are the 87 folks who died under U.S. immigration detention. You may recognize Hiu Lui Ng, who was denied proper medical care and died recently. There are also videos of detained immigrants and testimonies in front of Congress. There seems to be a lot of secrecy around Immigration and Customs (ICE) detainment. It is apparently a lot worse than our regular prison system, and that's saying a lot. There's a lot of information on this site to look through.


Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.