IMU UR2 Keynote Conversation: Cathy Park Hong and Jen Liu, moderated by Marci Kwon

Sat October 29th 2022, 7:30pm
Event Sponsor
American Studies Program
Cantor Arts Center
Center for Asian Health Research and Education
Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Center for East Asian Studies
Center for South Asia
Department of Art & Art History
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
History Department
Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA)
Program in Modern Thought and Literature
Medicine & the Muse Program in Medical Humanities & the Arts
Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St, Stanford CA 94305

In this wide-ranging conversation, noted author Cathy Park Hong and artist Jen Liu will discuss art, poetry, and friendship.  The event serves as the keynote to the convening IMU UR2: Art, Aesthetics, and Asian America, which brings together artists, curators, and scholars to rethink and reimagine the histories and futures of artists of Asian descent.

Together with the exhibitions East of the Pacific: Making Histories of Asian American Art, The Faces of Ruth Asawa, and At Home/On Stage: Asian American Representation in Photography and Film at the Cantor Arts Center, IMU UR2 inaugurates the Asian American Art Initiative (AAAI).  This event also serves as the public launch of the Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné, a free online resource that is a collaboration between the AAAI, the Martin Wong Foundation, and Stanford Libraries.  

Co-directed by Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, Associate Curator at the Cantor Arts Center, and Marci Kwon, Assistant Professor of Art & Art History, the Asian American Art Initiative is dedicated to the collection, preservation, research, teaching, and public presentation of Asian American/diaspora artists and makers. Through a series of long-term installations, special exhibitions, research and education projects, the AAAI fosters in-depth scholarly and public engagement with artists and makers of Asian descent.



Cathy Park Hong’s New York Times bestselling book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House and Profile Books (UK). Minor Feelings was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and earned her recognition on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list. She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo'um.  Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her prose and poetry have been published in the New York Times, New Republic, the Guardian, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University.

Jen Liu is a New York-based visual artist working in video, installation, dance performance, and painting, on topics of national identity, economy, and the re-motivating of archival artifacts. She is a recipient of the Creative Capital Grant, the LACMA Art + Technology Lab grant, the Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video, the \Art Award from Cornel Tech, the NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Art, and the Pollock-Krasner Award, among others.  She has presented work at MoMA, The Whitney Museum, and The New Museum, New York; Royal Academy and ICA in London; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunsthalle Wien; the Aspen Museum of Art; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; MUSAC, Leon; the Times Museum Guangzhou, Today Art Museum Beijing, and Shanghai Biennale, China; and the Singapore Biennial.  She has also received multiple grants and residencies, including Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany; Para Site, Hong Kong; Surf Point, Maine; Pioneer Works, ISCP and LMCC in New York; Sommerakademie, Bern, Switzerland; and de ateliers, Amsterdam, NL.

Her current body of work, Pink Slime Caesar Shift, builds from a speculative proposal to build a secret information network for labor activism – parallel with the possibility of art as an alternative for political discourse outside the news media cycle and its spectacularized suffering.  Asian and Asian diaspora-centered colonial biopolitics and feminist mutation are overall themes; fictional solutions to impossible economic and ecological problems are the modus operandi, requiring evasive, slippery techniques – as field strategy, as artistic sensibility.  In hybrid videos, industrial texts and corporate sales brochures are cut together with firsthand accounts of labor activists and social media posts of factory workers, while simple animations amplify but also interrupt historical narratives.  


To organize the program, the Cantor Arts Center collaborated with the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and Stanford Live, with funding from the Stanford Arts Incubator pilot program. This symposium is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

The conference is co-sponsored by the American Studies Program, Center for Asian Health Research and Education, Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Center for East Asian Studies, Center for South Asia, Department of Art & Art History, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of History, Stanford Medical Humanities and Arts Program, Stanford Program in Modern Thought and Literature, as well as Christine Chan and Bryant Lin.

For ADA-accessible accommodations, please contact Edi Dai at edidai [at] (edidai[at]stanford[dot]edu).

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All events are free and open to the public with RSVP.


Photo credits: Cathy Park Hong photo by Mores McWreath and Jen Liu photo by Adam Murphy