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Shifting Movements: Art inspired by the life & activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014)

  • SOMARTS 934 Brannan Street San Francisco, CA, 94103 United States (map)

EXHIBITION DATES: May 4-25, 2017. Gallery open Tue-Fri from 12-7pm, and Sat from 12-5pm.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, May 4, 2017. 6-9pm. Special performances: dNaga Dance, Erin O’Brien, and Susan Almazol.

PASSING IT ON: OTHER FEMINIST FUTURES: | May 20th, 2017, 2pm-4pm with People's Kitchen Collective

CURATOR: Michelle A. Lee

JURORS Melorra Green, Activist and Curator (SOMArts Cultural Center, African American Arts & Culture Complex)
Margaret Rhee, Feminist Poet, New Media Artist, and Scholar (University of Oregon)


Susan Almazol, Tomie Arai, Sigi Arnejo, Ellen Bepp, Miranda Bergman, Manon Bogerd Wada, Lorraine Bonner, Karen Chew, Lenore Chinn, Jane Yuen Corich, Reiko Fujii, Antonia Grace Glenn, Isabelle Harada, Bob Hsiang, Alison Ho, Nancy Hom, Barbara Horiuchi, Tina Kashiwagi, Duane Kubo, Lucien Kubo, Nina Kuo, Cris Matos, Alizarin Menninga-Fong, Janice Nakashima, Jane Norling, Genevieve Erin O’Brien, Choppy Oshiro, People’s Kitchen Collective, Shizue Seigel, Malik Seneferu, Pallavi Sharma, Alexa Strabuk, Jess X Snow, Renee Tajima-Peña, Cynthia Tom, Laura Ming Wong, Danielle Wright, and The Yuri and Malcolm Mural Project


Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) join forces to present the multidisciplinary art exhibition Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life & Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014), as part of the 20th annual United States of Asian America Festival.

Shifting Movements is a multimedia exhibition featuring over 40 artists primarily from Asian American, African American, and Latinx communities, illuminating the legacy of intersectional revolutionary social activist Yuri Kochiyama. The artworks highlight the values and themes which guided her, and the incredibly diverse people, struggles, and movements that inspired a lifetime commitment to fighting for a more humane and just world. Relating Kochiyama’s mission to our contemporary context, artists ruminate on a myriad of urgently relevant topics such as the similarities between WWII Japanese Internment and the festering post-9/11 Islamophobia, the experience of immigrants, refugees and people of color, structural racism and police violence, and the everyday labor that fuels substantive social change. Kochiyama showed up for all who needed help, including African, Asian, Latino, and Native American communities, and inspired artists across multiple cultures and generations. Honoring Kochiyama’s intended legacy of inspiring people to “build bridges, not walls”, Shifting Movements artists invite audiences to make connections between the past, present, and future – and each other.

AAWAA moves beyond the circle of Asian American women artists. Following the inclusionary philosophy championed by Kochiyama, this historically significant exhibition includes talented and powerful artists from multiple generations, ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities. Shifting Movements showcases provocatively brilliant art driven by the artists’ abiding passion for social justice.

In addition to art, film, performance and literary works, Shifting Movements will feature a Yuri Kochiyama biographical timeline, oral history recordings, the Smithsonian APA Center online exhibition Folk Hero: Remembering Yuri Kochiyama Through Grassroots Art, and a community wall public art installation.

Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) is a national advocacy group whose mission is to advance the visibility and recognition of Asian American women in the arts through exhibitions, publications, public programs, mentorship, and the active contributions of a regional and national membership.

The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s (APICC) mission is to support and produce multi-disciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in the United States.

This program is funded in part by: National Endowment for the Arts, the RJL Memorial Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, and Grants for the Arts.

Earlier Event: April 1
"From the Farm..."
Later Event: May 10
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