Voices, Visibility and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College

Yu-Wen Wu
“Voices, Visibility and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College” is a project that amplifies Asian and Asian American voices at Smith College. This multi-part project is a collaboration between Boston-based multimedia artist Yu-Wen Wu (https://yuwenwustudio.com/) and Smith community members. 

The project culminates in two related artworks: Belonging: A Voice at the Table, an installation of symbolic cloth bundles on display at the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute on Thursday, April 28, 2:30-5 p.m.,; and Belonging: Asian/Asian American Voices at Smith, an accordion book on display on the third floor of the Neilson Library through the summer. This project aims to initiate conversations about Asian identities in the U.S. and create long-term impact at Smith through continued discussions that follow suit in the years to come.

Also as part of this project, Wu presented an artist talk, “The Space Within: Private and Public Narratives,” in November 2021 (view a video of the talk here). In the spring semester, student facilitators invited participants to write narratives that explored ideas of home, identity, and belonging in family, community, and the larger society. Through workshops with Wu, participants then wrote their narratives on symbolic cloth bundles, giving physical form to these embedded stories. These gathered stories can be about, but are not limited to, the community of Asians and Asian Americans. The project provided a platform for participants to share, listen to, and discuss their experiences and ideas, reflecting an inclusive and community-building approach as a part of Wu’s artistic practice.

“Voices, Visibility and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College” is funded by the President’s Innovation Challenge Grant for the “Year on Democracies,” Office of Equity and Inclusion, Narratives Project, Smith College Museum of Art, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.