Video: “Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang” Opening Reception and Interview; Think!Chinatown Presents Book Launch on May 24

On May 4, the Pearl River Mart Soho Store and Gallery was filled to capacity for the opening reception of Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang. Check out my video coverage of the opening and my chat with Arlan.

On Wednesday, May 24, Think!Chinatown is presenting the “Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang” official book launch at 6pm at T!C Studio, 1 Pike Street New York, NY, 10002. Arlan Huang will be joined by fellow artist and longtime friend Tomie Arai in conversation about their rich community of artists.

Amy Chin, Arlan Huang, Joanne Kwong. Photo by Lia Chang

Reservations are necessary to attend, suggested donation of $5-15 is appreciated. Click here to RSVP.

“Just Between Us” is the fully illustrated exhibition catalog for the group exhibition at Pearl River Mart Soho on view now through August 27. For nearly six decades, artist and activist Arlan Huang has amassed a significant collection of paintings, photographs, drawings, and more from “art swaps,” or friendly exchanges between fellow artists that operated outside traditional transactions.

“Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang” on view at Pearl River Mart Soho through August 27, 2023. Photo by Lia Chang

Published by Pearl River Mart and Think!Chinatown, the book begins with an introductory essay by Danielle Wu, followed by an interview between Howie Chen & Arlan Huang. Huang’s collection traces his time in the Asian American arts network, Godzilla, and the Chinatown-based collective Basement Workshop.

Arlan Huang, Howie Chen, Joanne Kwong, Danielle Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Featured artists include Tomie Arai, Todd Ayoung, Lia Chang, Ed Cheng, Fay Chiang, Xian Chiang-Warren, Alex Chin, Ken Chu, Henry Chu, Larry Hama, Skowmon Hastanan, Chris Iijima, Bob Hsiang, Joey Huang, Lillian Ling Huang, Ray Huang, Victor Huey, William Jung, Ik-Joong Kang, Byron Kim, Nina Kuo, Henry Lau, Bing Lee, Colin Lee, Corky Lee, Russell Leong, Edith Lew, Sol Lewitt, Kam Mak, Kazuko Miyamoto, Nobuko Miyamoto, Hozuki Nomoto, Helen Oji, Alan Okada, Tomomi Ono, Alex Paik, Naomi Kawanishi Reis, Jean Rim, Juan Sanchez, Hoyt Soohoo, Mary Ting, Cindy Trinh, Zulu Williams, Leland Wong, Martin Wong, Siyan Wong, Tony Wong, John Woo, Danielle Wu, Lynne Yamamoto, Philip Yee, Charles Yuen and David Zheng. As the owner of the frame shop Squid Frames, Huang kept longtime correspondence with conceptual artist Sol Lewitt.

Arlan Huang. Photo by Lia Chang

Arlan Huang is an artist based in New York. His work is characterized by its play with translucency and opacity, darting between a wide variety of mediums including acrylic paint, glass, and multimedia installations. His abstractions are informed by the conflation of recent and collective memory, as well as everyday life; for example, his freehanded paintings reference his mother’s cheongsams and grapes harvested at only certain times a year in Japan. Taken together, his work probes the possibility of Asian Americanness, or the feeling of belonging amidst feelings of placelessness. As an active member in Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network and the Chinatown-based collective Basement Workshop, Arlan has been a key player in broadening opportunities for Asian Americans in the Arts and Asian American activism more broadly. His murals have dotted various public spaces in New York, and he has placed permanent installations in New York and San Francisco.

Joey Huang, Lillian Ling, Arlan Huang and Ray Huang. Photo by Lia Chang
Tomie Arai

Tomie Arai (she/her) is a public artist, born and raised in NYC. The stories of displaced and dislocated communities across the globe form the basis for her collaborations with historians, activists and cultural organizations. Through the framework of community-led collaborations, Arai uses public art, mixed media installations, and large-scale light projections as platforms to amplify issues of race, gender and social justice. Arai has designed both temporary and permanent public works of art for Creative Time, the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program, the NYC PerCent for Art Program,  the MTA Arts for Transit Program, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Pew Charitable Trust.  She is a co-founder of the cultural collective, The Chinatown Art Brigade and is an artist-in-residence with CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities on NY’s Lower East Side.

My “Italian Artichokes” is included in “Just Between Us”. Photo by Erich McMillan-McCall
Lia Chang. Photo by Kalin Ivanov

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist, documentarian and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle program that airs on Sundays at 1:30pm and 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and streams on MNN2. Lia was recently profiled on Asian American Life. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

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