Monday, November 14th, 2016 11:59PM PST | APPLY NOW

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, December 16th, 2016 11:59PM PST


Co-Presented by Asian American Women Artist Association (AAWAA) and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC), Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life and Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) is a multimedia exhibition illuminating the legacy of intersectional revolutionary activist Yuri Kochiyama through artworks that highlight the values and themes that guided her, and the incredibly diverse people, struggles, and movements that inspired her throughout a lifetime dedicated to fighting for a more humane and just world.



Artists of all mediums* are invited to submit artworks that address key values, themes and milestones from Kochiyama’s prolific and galvanizing life – and how it relates to our contemporary context.

Key Themes Include:

-Intersectional understanding and approach to civil rights struggles and the importance of intercultural solidarity and cooperation

-Defying stereotypes of Asian American women and occupying spaces that transgress boundaries

-Connecting and Community building through radical hospitality and sharing

-Commitment to the unrecognized and unglamourous work necessary to support movements, and repeating small gestures that accumulate to create significant change

-Supporting Political Prisoners and fighting against the Prison Industrial Complex

-Standing against U.S. and global military aggression


Open to all artists of color and any gender identification in the United States, 18 years and older.



Opening Reception: May 4th, 2017

Exhibition Dates: May 4th – 25th, 2017

Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA.



Michelle A. Lee (Eating Cultures, Hungry Ghosts), AAWAA Curator & Exhibitions Manager



Melorra Green, Independent Curator

Margaret Rhee, Artist and Visiting Professor, University of Oregon



Smithsonian APA Center, National Endowment for the Arts



$35 entry fee, payable via PayPal or check sent to AAWAA, 1890 Bryant St, Suite 302, San Francisco CA 94110.

Artists experiencing economic hardship, please contact us at



-All visual art genres will be considered. (Film & video artists must provide a secure method of projection or viewing.)

-Collaborative works will be considered

-Works in Progress with proposals  will be considered

Application Link:

Please send questions to:

All submissions must be received by the deadline to be considered.


Yuri Kochiyama, A Primer

A Japanese American internment survivor who was later instrumental to the Japanese American redress and reparations movement, Yuri Kochiyama was one of the few Asian/Pacific Islander American (API) women activists to achieve national prominence. Living in Oakland and Berkeley from 1999 until her death in 2014, Kochiyama cultivated deep relationships with local academics, activists, artists, incarcerated individuals, and community members through her organizing, speaking, and prolific letter writing, particularly to political prisoners. After moving to Harlem after WWII, Kochiyama immersed herself in the history of Black Resistance, learning from leaders such as Malcolm X, and developing a holistic and intersectional understanding of the civil rights struggles against racism, sexism, and economic disparity. As a result Kochiyama was not only a seminal figure in API history, but was also deeply engaged in African American, Latino, and Native American movements. Although Kochiyama is highly regarded within many activist circles, her story and the breadth of her influence is not generally known, even among Japanese Americans. Kochiyama’s story is part of an overlooked history of cross-cultural activism  and serves as an inspirational model at a time of great cultural and socio-political upheaval.

Additional Resources:

Passing It On -, by Yuri Kochiyama

Heartbeat of Struggle, by Diane C. Fujino

Mountains That Take Wing, C.A. Griffith & H.L.T. Quan (Trailer, Q&A with Directors)



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.


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