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Events at the Wang Center

The Wang Center is open to the public, and we will ensure it is a safe environment for all of our visitors. However, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all our programs will be conducted virtually free of charge.

Spring 2021

new year crochet daruma dolls festival workshop

Festival & Workshop

Happy New Year: Good Luck and Fortune
Learn to Crochet Daruma Dolls

With Thien Nguyen August

Free Admission

Watch the workshop here

Join us in saying goodbye to the Year of the Rat and welcoming the Year of the Ox at the Wang Center’s signature New Year Festival! This year, we will share in the humorous and whimsical spirit of the lunar new year in this workshop with Thien Nguyen August by making adorable 3-inch daruma. A daruma is a traditional Japanese wishing doll that helps keep us positive and motivated. Let’s usher in the Year of the Ox with love and spread good luck around your home or workplace.

Crochet Pattern to Print

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

 

 

Pensando Xibanya lecture poster

Lecture

Pensando Xībānyá: Voices from the Chinese Diaspora in Spain

Free Admission

“I Am Not a Virus” ( No Soy un Virus)—this is the slogan for a campaign that aims to raise the visibility of Asian American and other Chinese diaspora communities around the world. In an effort to dispel racism resulting from COVID-19 and to inspire compassion and kindness, artists, authors, and activists will host virtual lectures discussing Chinese identity in Spain.

Co-sponsored by Stony Brook University and Skidmore College, this lecture series is presented by the Graduate Student Organization, the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature, the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, as well as the Charles B. Wang Center at SBU.

Learn more at https://www.pensandoxibanya.com/

Pensando Xībānyá | Cultural Production

Wednesday, February 17, at 1 PM
By Chenta Tsai, Jiajie Yu Yan, and Quan Zhou
Live webcast.

Watch the 2/17 lecture here

Pensando Xībānyá | Writing and Diaspora

Wednesday, March 24, at 1 PM
By Berna Wang, Paloma Chen, and Susana Ye
Live webcast.

3/24 Live Webcast link

Pensando Xībānyá | Activism and Education

Wednesday, April 14, at 1 PM
By Antonio Liu Yang, Inés Herrero Goméz, and Yue Fu
Live webcast.

4/14 Live Webcast link

 

 

art crawl poster

Lecture

Art Crawl
A Guided Virtual Exhibition Tour of Campus Galleries

Tuesday, March 23 at 11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Live ZOOM webinar
Free Admission

Link coming soon

11:00-11:15 | Charles B. Wang Center
Power, Protection, and Magic: The Art of Shamanism

11:15-11:40 | Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Staller Center
Four: MFA Thesis Exhibition

11:40-11:55 | Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Alloway Gallery
Stars & Stitches: An exhibition by Heather Weston

11:55-12:10 | Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, North Reading Room
Culture & Identity: student exhibition curated by Kiana Lom

12:10-12:30 | Simons Center Gallery
Building the Building: Exhibition Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Simons Center

 

 

spicing it up lecture poster

Lecture

Spicing It Up! How the Chile Pepper Went from Obscurity to Ubiquity in China

By Brian Dott

Free Admission

Watch the lecture here

It’s hard to imagine Chinese cuisine without the chile pepper. Yet there weren’t any chiles at all in China before the 1570s. Introduced from the Americas, chile peppers initially struggled to gain a foothold in China. Now they are so common that many Chinese assume that they are native. Brian Dott will discuss how the chile pepper arrived in China and how this drastic transition—from obscurity to ubiquity—took place. Part of the chile's success in China is due to its versatility, and it eventually was integrated into traditional Chinese medicine, garden aesthetics, and literature in addition to cuisine. This incredible versatility also allowed for different regions to emphasize or deemphasize its different aspects, leading to an impressive diversity of cuisines and combinations. The humble chile has come to influence many aspects of Chinese culture, even changing the meaning of the Chinese word spicy ( la).

About the Speaker

Brian Dott is professor of history at Whitman College. His specialties include ancient and modern East Asia, especially China, as well as religion and gender studies. His book Identity Reflections: Pilgrimages to Mount Tai in Late Imperial China (2004) details pilgrimages to that sacred mountain located in the Shandong peninsula. His most recent book, The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography (2020), studies how the Chinese integrated the chile pepper into their cuisine, medicine, and imagery.

 

 

shamans, gods, and painted images lecture poster

Lecture

Shamans, Gods, and Painted Images

By Laurel Kendall

Free Admission

Link coming soon

Drawing on nearly forty years of learning from and writing about Korean shamans (mansin), anthropologist Laurel Kendall gives a brief introduction to the shamans’ work, drawing particular attention to the relationship between the mansin and their guardian gods. She describes the shaman’s performance of ritual (kut) as something distinct from an act of “spirit possession” or a “trance.” Rather, the mansin is empowered to transmit the gods’ intentions through a mingling of inspiration (myŏnggi) and performance art. Painted images work in this configuration as vehicles of the gods’ presence. That these paintings are more than just paintings affects how they are chosen, fabricated, cared for, and disposed of.

About the Speaker

An anthropologist studying East and Southeast Asia, Laurel Kendall has been working with and writing about Korean shamans for nearly forty years. She is currently a curator of the Asian Ethnology Collection at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as well as a professor of anthropology at Columbia University. Dr. Kendall’s recent work concerns the production and consumption of sacred objects in contemporary market economies, with fieldwork in South Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Bali. Her book Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion (2009) offers a thirty-year perspective on shamans. She has also written on gender, tradition, and modernity, most notably in her book Getting Married in Korea (1996) and as the editor of Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea (2002) and Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism, and Performance (2011).

 

 

mottainai lecture poster

Lecture

Mottainai: Reuse, Remake, and Revive

By Leonie Castelino

Free Admission

Originating in the Japanese, the term mottainai (勿体無い, "What a waste!") is a slogan that promotes environmental consideration: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Textile artist Leonie Castelino will showcase traditional patchwork from the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, as well as clothing of the Hmong hill tribes of China, Vietnam, and Thailand, in the spirit of mottainai. She will demonstrate how old clothing or linens can be revived with a bit of inspiration, pattern, and technique. Please join us to learn about the mottainai spirit and to see beauty and patterns reborn in patchwork.

 

Lecture #1: Patchwork from India

VIEW THE LECTURE HERE

Learn about the traditions and aesthetics of patchwork made from clothing in Rajasthan and kantha cloth in Gujarat, India. We will examine how these cultures, in their traditional crafts, utilize this concept of mottainai. You will also discover how to analyze these patterns, designs, and techniques and find what makes them unique. You will learn new ways of reusing your own your remnant materials and new designs to revive old coats, vests, pillows, handbags, and more.

Lecture #2: Patchwork from the Hmong Hill Tribes of China and Southeast Asia

Link coming Thursday, April 1

Discover the beauty in the distinctive clothing, embroidery, and designs of the Hmong hill tribes—the Miao people of China, the Flower Hmong and Black Hmong in Sapa, Vietnam, and the Hmong of Chiang Mai in Thailand. The history of each tribe is visually recorded in their unique attire, designs, patterns, embroidery, stitches, and colors. Join us to learn how to analyze patterns and construction with an artist’s eye, as well as how to transform your own home or clothes using remnants of braids, ribbons, borders, fabric, and old clothes.

About the Presenter

Leonie Castelino is an American contemporary bojagi fiber artist. She transforms the traditional rectilinear aspects of Korean patchwork ( bojagi) to create works of art with pieced fabrics in hangings and sculptures. Her work celebrates the feminine, and her installations are social commentaries on women's issues. Castelino’s art has been displayed in solo international exhibitions in United States, South Korea, China, and South Africa. She was also an honored international artist at the tenth anniversary of the International Fiber Art Biennale and participated in the 11th Fiberart Biennale at Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing. She also exhibits in juried group exhibitions in international museums and galleries. Her work has been featured in many articles and books on fiber art showcasing bojagi. She is regarded as one of the most influential bojagi artists of the twentieth century. For more information, visit her website at www.leoniecastelino.com

 

 

persian tea ceremony poster

Workshop

Persian Tea Ceremony | How to Brew & Serve

By Azita Houshiar

Free Admission

Link coming soon

Tea is a ubiquitous drink in Iran. Whether in a stall in the bazaar, an office kitchen, a pit stop on the road, or in the sanctity of one’s home, there’s always a kettle or samovar gently boiling and bubbling and dreamily humming—there’s always a pot of tea either being made or a cup of tea being sipped. That’s just the way it is. Straight up or with sugar cubes! Saffron rock candy, dates, dried mulberries, and dainty cookies are common sidekicks of this beloved drink.

In this video, Azita Houshiar will fire up the samovar and brew tea with all the niceties of an authentic Persian tea ceremony while spilling the tea about the roots, history, and stories of this drink in Iran.

Brew a cup, grab some snacks, and savor the soothing and sensual rituals of tea, Persian style!

About the Presenter

Azita Houshiar is an Iranian American writer, illustrator, and cooking instructor who shares her Persian food and culture in hands-on culinary workshops.

 

 

persian geometric art workshop poster

Workshop

Persian Geometric Art

By Ghazaleh Khayat

Free Admission

Geometric art can be found in many examples of iconic architecture, ancient manuscripts, traditional apparel, and antique stoneware in the Islamic lands of the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe. Artists of all stripes and nationalities have been inspired by nature and combined their artistic sensibilities with mathematics to create astonishing art. The Islamic world, with its restrictions on representational depiction, is no exception, and masterpieces that have dazzled for centuries—designed and created using simple tools such as the ruler and the compass—are a testament to the skills of Muslim artists. In this workshop, we will follow in the footsteps of these artists, producing geometric patterns of our own with the same simple tools.

 

persian geometric art workshop 1 poster

Workshop #1: Drawing Without a Compass

Level: Beginner

VIEW THE WORKSHOP HERE

In this workshop, you will learn how to draw a six-fold geometric pattern without a compass. Geometric patterns are usually drawn with compasses and rulers, but here we replace the compass using grids. You will learn how to identify different shapes and expand your design, and you will have the opportunity to scale your design up or down by adjusting your grid. You will also learn how to transfer your designs to a final desired surface and color it with your own choice of medium.

Isometric Grid Templates to Print:

Large Medium Small

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Pencil

Optional tools:

  • Tracing paper (if you would like to transfer your design)
  • A spoon
  • Watercolor paper (or any desired surface for your final product)
  • Watercolor paints (or any desired paints or tools for coloring your pattern)

 

persian geometric art workshop 2 poster

Workshop #2: Draw and Design with Shapes

Level: Intermediate

VIEW THE WORKSHOP HERE

In this workshop, you will learn how to draw a simple yet famous eight-fold pattern. Once the mother pattern is drawn, you will learn how to convert it into completely different patterns just by changing some lines and constructing new shapes. Using the skills you’ll gain at this workshop, you will be able to design new patterns and create your own variations of the eight-fold pattern. A template of the mother pattern will be provided.

Grid Pattern to Print

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

  • Compass (drafting tool)
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Pencil

Optional tools:

  • Tracing paper (if would you like to transfer your design)
  • A spoon
  • Watercolor paper (or any desired surface for your final product)
  • Watercolor paints (or any desired paints or tools for coloring your pattern)

 

persian geometric art workshop 3 poster

Workshop #3: Integrated Patterns from Natanz-Isfahan

Level: Advanced

VIEW THE WORKSHOP HERE

In this workshop, you will learn how to draw an integrated geometric pattern from the designs that decorate the beautiful Jāme’ Mosque in Natanz, Isfahan, in Iran. Integrated patterns are complex designs that consist of two different patterns (usually from different families) in one frame. They can usually be identified by different colors on buildings and monuments. The patterns you will learn in this workshop belong to the family of six- and eight-fold patterns. A step-by-step handout for drawing the patterns will be provided.

Tutorial & Pattern to Print (2 Pages)

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

  • Compass (drafting tool)
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Pencil

Optional tools:

  • Tracing paper (if would you like to transfer your design)
  • A spoon
  • Watercolor paper (or any desired surface for your final product)
  • Watercolor paints (or any desired paints or tools for coloring your pattern)

 

 

origami heaven workshop poster

Workshop

Origami Heaven

By Shrikant Iyer

Free Admission

Paper is powerful, and origami is a dexterous technique that fully displays paper’s versatile qualities. Transform a simple sheet of paper into a functional wallet and an auspicious paper animal with origami master Shrikant Iyer.

 

origami workshop 1 poster

Workshop #1: Wang Wallet

Level: Beginner

Link coming Thursday, April 1

This workshop will show you how to make the very useful “Wang Wallet,” designed by Shrikant Iyer in honor of the Charles B. Wang Center. This simple model can be scaled to any size, and you can use a variety of paper types and colors to create attractive origami that can be used to present gifts or in your everyday life.

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

  • Paper: Any type of paper is good, though not too thick. No cardstock. You can also use origami paper.
    • It can be rectangular (US letter size, 8.5 x 11 inches) or square (8+ inches). The template can be adapted to both shapes.
  • Scissors or a paper cutter, to size the paper.
  • Embellishments: You can use stickers, color glue-sticks, coloring pens, etc. Use your imagination!

 

origami workshop 2 poster

Workshop #2: Happy Year of Ox

Level: Advanced

Link coming Saturday, May 1

Devised by an unknown creator, this delightful template is a bit more challenging and is for more advanced origami folders. You will learn how to create a paper ox, and this model uses the design on a dollar bill to create the eyes and white horns for the animal. It is 3-D and can stand on its own.

List of materials to prepare for the workshop at home:

  • A crisp one dollar bill.
    • For first-timers, you may want to photocopy a dollar bill and enlarge the image to a bigger size. You only need the green side (the back side, without the face of George Washington).

About Shrikant Iyer

Shrikant Iyer has been folding origami since he was nine years old. He has led origami workshops around the world and is also a Storigami (one who tells stories with origami) performer. His models and origami lessons have been published in numerous origami magazines. Iyer has also appeared on television, including ABC and the Travel Channel in the United States. In 2020, he and fellow artist Paul Frasco folded the world’s largest origami dragon and entered the Guinness Book of World Records. Iyer also runs a local Long Island community group. You can find out more about him on his website at www.foldandtell.com

 

 

image from a scene in Krabi, 2562 movie

Film

Krabi, 2562

(2019 | 94 minutes | Documentary | Directed by Ben Rivers & Anocha Suwichakornpong)
On view online from March 1 through March 31, 2021

Link coming March 1

In this surrealist amalgam of documentary and fiction, Krabi is a stunning city on the coast of southwestern Thailand. The beaches glisten in the sun, and there is plenty of shade under luxuriant greenery. Street vendors sell authentic local food and the fertility temple is extremely Instagram-able. But in just a few years, it will all be gone forever, crushed by mass tourism. Not quite yet, however, but soon in the year 2562 in the Buddhist calendar (the year 2020). We see Krabi through the eyes of a woman who introduces herself in different ways and absorbs the local history and the stories of the city’s inhabitants with detachment.

 

 

image of Maria Ressa from PBS website

Film

A Thousand Cuts

(2020 | 110 minutes | Documentary | Directed by Ramona S. Diaz)
On view online now

Watch the film here

Currently on air as a PBS Frontline documentary, A Thousand Cuts follows the journalist Maria Ressa (CEO of Rappler, the Philippines’s top online news site) as she placed the tools of the free press on the line in defense of truth and democracy against political suppression.

In 2016, outsider candidate Rodrigo Duterte upset the political establishment in the Philippines by winning the presidency on the promise of vengeance and violence. Within hours of taking office, bodies began to pile up in the streets. Rappler investigated the murders and revealed a government-sanctioned drug war that targeted poor addicts instead of wealthy dealers.

Frontline logo

The film is provided by public television stations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and presented by Frontline.

 

 

happy nowruz persian new year poster

Festival

Happy Nowruz: The Persian New Year Celebration with Olive, Walnut, & Pomegranate Vegan Appetizer

By Azita Houshiar

Free Admission

Link coming Monday, March 1

Nowruz, the Persian New Year holiday, is full of symbols of spring and fertility. The number seven has been regarded as magical by Persians for centuries. So seven items, called haft-sinn, are placed on a special cloth Persians spread out on their tables for the holiday. Apples represent beauty; garlic for health and fertility; wild olives for fertility and love, and so on.

Azita Houshiar will demonstrate how to make a wonderful vegan Persian appetizer with a bewitching combo of green olives, walnuts, garlic, dried mint, and pomegranate syrup. Full of texture and flavor, this popular specialty of the Caspian Sea region of Iran requires only a few ingredients; is very easy to prepare; and can serve as a side dish, a dip, or an amazing amuse-bouche. Give this delicious treat a try as we celebrate the transition from the slumber of winter to the splendor of spring and new beginnings.

About the Presenter

Azita Houshiar is an Iranian American writer, illustrator, and cooking instructor who shares her Persian food and culture in hands-on culinary workshops.

 

 

japanese taiko performance poster

Performance

Japanese Taiko Drumming and Dance

Performed by the Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group

Free Admission

Watch the performance here

Due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, we had to cancel Japanese Taiko Drumming and Dance performed by the Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group last March 2020. However, the group continuously practice online at home and sent us the in-person rehearsals. Even though they cannot travel overseas, their thundering taiko drum rhythms accompanied by traditional Japanese dance will blow our minds. Kudos to Mr. Aoyama Noriyasu, Dean of College of Arts Tamagawa University and Tamagawa University performers!