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The Big Opening in the Chinatown Art Scene!

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Story & Photography by Vita Hewitt

Edge on the Square, the Bay Area’s first Asian Pacific Islander contemporary arts and media hub, opened on January 13th. Located at 800 Grant Avenue at the edge of Portsmouth Square, in the heart of Chinatown, Edge on the Square will cultivate a space for creativity, education, art and culture.

It will be a place for the AAPI community to be seen, heard, and celebrated. It is the hope that this space will contribute to the economic recovery of Chinatown after 2 years of hampered tourism and nightlife.

The first show Learning to Land, organized by curator Candace Huey, opened with a welcome lion dance by LionDanceMe.  Local and state leaders came out for the opening like Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and of course Aaron Peskin (D3), along with Assemblymember Matt Hayney, SF Chief of Police William Scott, City Attorney David Chiu, and many other local community leaders and luminaries.

Mayor London Breed and Assemblymember Phil Ting could be found inside keeping the beat with the experimental dining experience “Curve Restaurant” provided.

Artist Goa Ling kept Assessor Joaquin Torres and Calvin Ho busy winding a string sculpture in and around the attendees for the piece “Playing Field”.

Go and visit this fascinating new space and don’t forget to visit the “shop” where viewers are invited to leave objects or personal stories of Chinatown in exchange for an item.


edge on the square

Learning to Land: A Story of Crossing Paths and Intergenerational Histories
January 13 – May 31, 2023

Artists: Benjamen Chinn, Gao Ling, Lenore Chinn, Sasinun Kladpetch and Sherwin Rio:

The past assumes multiple shapes. Some take the form of memories, whilst others are concretized into objects. American poet Tan Lin writes, “The history of a family is the history of persistence, and the history of persistence is the history of stuff.” The term ‘stuff’ in Lin’s quote refers to household objects that hold both practical value and symbolic significance in our daily lives. We can discern meaningful points of contact, interaction and exchange between people through their encounter with and utilization of these objects. Moreover, their emblematic nature often carries the stories and histories of one’s cultural heritage, social connections, community, and kinship.

The exhibition, Learning to Land: A Story of Crossing Paths and Intergenerational Histories examines the relationships, networks and stories that emerge by way of daily experiences and interactions within San Francisco Chinatown. Artworks in the form of a conceptual shop, site-specific installations, sound and video projection, sculpture, and photography by artists Benjamen Chinn, Gao Ling, Lenore Chinn, Sasinun Kladpetch and Sherwin Rio contemplate these moments of engagement and interconnectivity.

Learning to Land: A Story of Crossing Paths and Intergenerational Histories


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