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Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance | 現在時:煉憶術



Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance is a group exhibition that reflects on the complexity, gravity, and responsibility of remembering. Marking the thirtieth year since the global, cultural, and political upheavals of 1989, including the student protests in Tiananmen Square, the Loma Prieta Earthquake, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance looks broadly at struggles for freedom, the weight of history, and the ways artists and their communities build and engage with memory.

The exhibition’s artists are working together to explore the responsibility of remembering, especially in light of threats to democratic forms of government, rising global xenophobia, the impact of regressive policies on the lives of migrants and refugees, and the retrenchment of systematic violence and racism. Working in a variety of media from sculptural installation to experimental film, participating artists and art collectives—seven of whom are local to the Bay Area—include Sofía Córdova, Yan Jun, Hung Liu, Ming Mur-ray, Lam Tung-pang, Related Tactics, Xu Tan, Tina Takemoto, Jenifer Wofford, Gao Xia, Li Xiaofei, Wu Yuren, and Stella Zhang.

The Present Tense series is a biennial group exhibition that fosters discussion and provides a survey on current issues and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Present Tense promotes robust artistic dialogue around issues relevant to the community with Chinese, Chinese diasporic, and non-Chinese local artists. Previous Present Tense exhibits include: New Urban Legend: Resistance of Space (2017), Future Perfect (2015), and Chinese Character (2009).


CCC presented a series of flash exhibitions and public programming as a part of "Task of Remembrance"

Flash Exhibitions at 41 Ross:

The Body Electric (April 17 - May 19, 2019)

The Body Electric is a group exhibition that interprets the task of remembrance by spotlighting the corporeality of memory. The exhibition aims to examine the ways in which the human body functions as vessels for memory—and specifically, how memory impacts the flesh. The exhibition is on view from April 17 - May 19, 2019 and is free and open to the public with an opening reception on April 17th from 6-8pm. The opening reception featured a 30 minute chair conversation with artists ALEXANDMUSHI, who will use a nonverbal language to communicate and learn about each other’s histories along with a poetry reading from author JiaJing Liu.

A double listen (May 31 - June 23, 2019)

The mechanisms of creating percussive sound are so versatile that musicians or composer are far from fully exploring them. The exhibition titled “A double listen”, serving as a dossier, features many of these past aesthetic attempts from performances in a theatre setting: Lam Fung’s “Round” (2016), Austin Yip’s "Urban Construction” (2017), Ken Ueno’s “Mother of Fire” (2018) and Samson Young’s “Glass Chimes” (2019). These endeavours, encompassing traits of quotidian pastime, literariness, metallurgy and engineering, were yet to be wholly unraveled if it is performed and perceived just once. Annotated with decorative embellishment, this exhibition avails one ineluctable gaze, or we phrase it “a second listen”, to anchor all the interconnecting knots in between seemingly separate pieces. Works of Toolbox Percussion is showcased in this exhibition, hosted by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, for the first time in the United States.

Our Intergenerational Stories: Home (July 7 - July 31, 2019)

Centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s (CAA) immigrant members tell their own stories to redefine and reshape the narrative of Chinese immigrants through the mediums of oral storytelling and photography.

About Intergenerational Oral Storytelling and Photography Workshop Series:

口述摄影班 (Intergenerational Oral Storytelling and Photography Workshop Series) is a 6-month project sprungout of a goal to redefine and reshape the narrative of Chinese immigrants through storytelling, rooted in the reality of working classimmigrant struggle. We understand that storytelling is a powerful tool used to tell history, create movements, and mobilize masses for social change. Centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s (CAA) immigrant members tell their own stories and decide how their stories will be used to engage larger Chinatown community in deeperdialogue around family and immigration through the medium of audio storytelling and photography. Immigrant families take part a seven-part workshop series facilitated by artists, Mlinand Vida K. Community members will have the opportunity to practice storytelling from a place of power, to assert their agency, shape their own narrative, and advocate for others through the power of voice. Throughout the art-making process, families are able to deepen their connections to one another through a shared project where they learn about themselves and each other.

DIY Filmmaking Workshop with Tina Takemoto (August 10th, 2019)

Tina Takemoto hosted a workshop where participants have the chance to work with 16mm film using experimental methods. Using music theme images, personal stories, and old map and photos of Chinatown, participants made their own cyanotypes, play with the film strips, and learn about different filmmaking techniques.

Catching Memory: Two Languages/One Community (February 15, 2020)

Michael Warr and Chun Yu hosted a reading and open mic on their project "Two Languages/One Community" that connects the Chinese American and African American communities with poetry and storytelling, in remembrance of our pasts and in search of our future together.


Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Phyllis C Wattis Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, Mayor’s Office Community Challenge Grants, San Francisco Foundation, Grants for the Arts.



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