From Young Chung, text about the show:
Oh mama-san, when did your name go AWOL?
The first time I heard your name, a customer from the neighborhood greeted my mother with your name on Broadway & 47th before the 1992 uprising. Without the tool of shared language, my mother simply smiled. Your name remains a bastardized residual trace of American military history gone AWOL. My mother provided services to the community while the customer supported my mother’s business with his patronage. When is your name a term of endearment, respect and gratitude while recognizing racial, gender and social difference?
Mama-san, your name is a double positive that compounds a general, respectful address with a Japanese honorific suffix. What was once spoken to give appreciation, your name continues to racialize and gender the bodies of working class men and women. Predictably, your name also improperly identifies a restaurant and even a type of chair. Without a proper noun, the commodification of our inhumanity displaces your dignity.
During my formative years at UC Irvine in the mid 90’s, my artistic outgrowths received nourishment from a cross-pollinating, inter-generational hotbed of multiple realities and truths, permitting me to share my own while respecting those of others. From this particular time and place, I have enlisted the help and support of mentors and peers to collectively re-imagine your name by expanding your description and occupation.
Mama-san, you are an artist, a teacher, a student, a colleague, a friend and the name of this show that I am dedicating to you. I would like to publicly acknowledge my gratitude by respectfully naming and thanking you with honor. Thank you Judie-san, Robert-san, Cirilo-san, Cecilia-san & Leslie-san, Ashley-san, Catherine-san, Kelly-san, Yong Soon-san, Hoang-san, Cathy-san, Connie-san, Jeannie-san, Laura-san and Anne-san for your generosity, warmth and kindness - extensions of your politicized bodies of compassion and movement toward heartfelt change.
Thank you for your allegiance with the struggles of others by building a community that protects and sustains our co-existence. Furthermore, thank you for being an artist’s artist. Thank you to Eve-san and Lucas-san of Artist Curated Projects for inviting me to curate, Roger-san at Glendale College Art Gallery for hosting this show and Besser-san for standing by me while I revision your name. Love you long time, Young-san
Admission to this exhibition and its opening reception is free and open to the public.