Shifting Movements (1)

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

Exhibition Dates: May 4-25, 2017. Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm.

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

Closing Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2016. 6-9pm.








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

*invited artists



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, Black, 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.

Accessibility note:  All films include closed captions. Large-print and braille exhibition guides available in the gallery.



Passing It On: Other Feminist Futures | May 20th, 2017, 2pm-4pm. SOMArts Cultural Center

Presented in a casual “living-room” style format, inspired by the Kochiyama family’s tradition of radical hospitality, we’ll reflect on Yuri’s legacy and how we can build on her leadership model fueled by compassion, openness to learning from others, deep commitment to building solidarity between communities and tireless dedication to doing the ordinary, often undervalued everyday work necessary to create social change. What world do we want to build together and how can we nurture, sustain and inspire each other in the process? Topics will also include: building Black and Asian solidarity, intersectional activism, and intergenerational knowledge sharing.

Accessibility note: FM assistive listening devices available upon request and the entire discussion will have ASL interpreters present.

Enjoy refreshments from People’s Kitchen Collective, grab a seat at the table, and join the conversation!

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit


Moderator: Lok Siu (UC Berkeley) is an Assoc. Prof. of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She is currently completing a manuscript tentatively titled, Chino Latin@: Recovering Hemispheric Asian America, which explores the transnational connections among Asians in the Americas within the context of coloniality, geopolitics, and competing nationalisms. She is also expanding her interest into food studies and working on an ethnography tentatively titled, The Food Truck Generation.

Diane C. Fujino (UC Santa Barbara) is professor of Asian American Studies and director of the Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara.  Her study of renowned activist Yuri Kochiyama (Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama, Minnesota Press, 2005) situates her politics in the context of Malcolm X and Black radicalism in Harlem, Third World anti-colonial movements, and Asian American organizing, while also providing a racialized gendered analysis of leadership (in Want to Start a Revolution: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle).

Margaret Rhee (University of Oregon) is a poet, new media artist, and scholar who is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon, CAS Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies. Rhee received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies in 2014. From 2014 – 2015, Rhee was the Institute of American Cultures postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. As a scholar, she has published academic articles in Cinema Journal, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Visual Cultures and the Americas, and Amerasia Journal and co-edited a special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology titled “Hacking the Black/White Binary,” with Brittney Cooper.

Dr. Andrew Jolivette (SF State University) is professor and former chair of the American Indian Studies Department at San Francisco State University is an accomplished educator, writer, speaker, and socio-cultural critic. Dr. Jolivette is a Creole of Opelousa, Choctaw, Atakapa-Ishak, French, African, Irish, Italian, and Spanish descent. Professor Jolivette is the former tribal historian for the Atakapa-Ishak Nation located between southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.

 As a national speaker he has spoken to thousands of college students, educators, government employees and private sector organizations over the past decade across the United States and Australia.

Jocelyn Jackson (People’s Kitchen Collective) and her passion for seasonal food, social justice, creativity, and community is rooted in a childhood spent on the Kansas plains. Her family would sing a song before sharing a soulful meal. Since then, Jocelyn has practiced law, taught environmental science and ethics, become a yoga instructor, and created performance and visual art. Her inspiring international experiences include serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa and teaching in an ecovillage in Southern India. Jocelyn has presented on the principles of community nourishment at Court Bouillon in Southern France and back home in Oakland for the Fusion of Food and Yoga series at Asana Yoga. She enjoys collaborating with a wide range of wonderful people and organizations including People’s Community Market, BALLE, Bryant Terry, Life is Living, Impact HUB Oakland, MOAD, Kitchen Table Advisors, NUMI Tea, YES!, and Late Nite Art. She is beginning her fourth year of full hearted cooking. Jocelyn founded JUSTUS KITCHEN to continue to create food experiences that inspire people to reconnect with themselves, the earth, and one another. And she still begins every meal with a song.

Refreshments Provided By:

People’s Kitchen Collective (PKC) works at the intersection of art and activism as a food-centered political education project and cooperative business. Based in Oakland, California, our creative practices reflect the diverse histories and background of collective members Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Jocelyn Jackson, and Saqib Keval. Written in their family’s recipes are the maps of our migrations and the stories of resilience. It is from this foundation that PKC creates immersive experiences that celebrate centuries of shared struggle.



**Admission to the exhibition and all programs is free and open to the public.




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 the RJ Louie Family Foundation as well as:

Shifting Movements Logos