This special symposium on arts and activism by contemporary Asian women artists was recorded at the China Institute on March 30, 2011 in collaboration with Asian Women Giving Circle and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts. Moderated by Joan Lebold Cohen, noted art historian and photographer. Introduced by Agnes Hsu, Resident Scholar & Director of Arts and Culture at the China Institute.
As an Asian-American woman film producer working in New York, Karin Chien has had statistics against her. To start with, the trucking industry is more women-friendly than the US film industry--7% of truckers who are women as opposed to 3% of cinematographers. Additionally, a remarkably small proportion of independent films are made by Asian-American (about 25 independent films out of 5000 submitted to Sundance this past year). In this regard, she thinks of her role in film making as a form of activism.
Chang-Jin Lee is a Korean-born conceptual artist who lives in New York City. Her multicultural background and experiences have provoked in her an interest in investigating the diverse cultural and social/political issues in our current era. She presents excerpts of her work, and discusses its social impact.
Amita Swadhin's unconventional approach toward fighting for social justice has made many call her an artist; however, Swadhin thinks of herself primarily as an educator, media-maker, public speaker, writer, and non-profit consultant. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, she has dedicated her life to ending sexual abuse and its societal taboos by co-founding Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors, an interview-based theater project featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse telling their personal stories on stage.