Museum of Chinese in America launched its inaugural Performing-Artist-In-Residence program this summer, and welcomed a cohort of 4 performing artists to generate a theme-based project. This year’s theme, The Past in the Present, encourages the resident artists to explore the legacies and traditions they’ve carried on and to create a project that reflects their identity, creativity, and inspirations.
MOCA Performs – Emergence will present the resident artists’ works-in-progress. In this presentation, resident artists will share the vision for their projects and present a draft of the project. Audience will have the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with the resident artists on the projects, and learn about the cultural significance behind each of resident artists’ works.
In this performance, Saxophonist/Composer/Bandleader Ben Chin (saxofshaolin) will present an audio project that delves into the remarkable history of Hakka Chinese and their profound impact on Jamaican music during the 20th Century. Filmmaker Shu-Ying Chung will present a video project 2020 Run Amok, inspired by the tropes and trends of social media, which revisits the mayhem of 2020 and touchy topics from across the Chinese-speaking world, from the perspective of a Taiwanese immigrant in New York.
Míng, aka saxofshaolin, is the confluence between East and West. As a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, he seeks to merge the musical lineages of his upbringing. He fuses American, South East Asian, and Afro-Caribbean music and creates music that sounds like a dance between the ancestors of the three traditions. This is not only an effort to experiment with music but also to find common ground between far-flung cultures. It’s an approach that has developed, instinctually, from his experience as an immigrant and a Hakka Chinese, a nomad by blood. His music is simultaneously traditional and contemporary. Equally aggressive and tasteful. Always danceable and spiritual.
Having grown up in Taipei and now living in New York City, Shu-Ying Chung has worked as a director and editor of TV and web commercials at Albert Lan Creative, as an editor for the PBS television series Live from the Artists Den (including a special film that was released in theaters), and as post-production supervisor for Hearst Magazines. Chung has edited various short films, music videos, and editorial content for fashion websites, and wrote and directed a virtual reality film as well as a short film titled Removable, which won 17 awards throughout its festival run. Her personal projects draw inspiration from the true events of our unique moment in time, focusing on issues surrounding identity, justice, and power dynamics, in a way that challenges prevailing narratives and the tendency to tiptoe around sensitive topics.