Studio ATAO presents: Asian in America | January 23, 2020
Japanese American National Museum
100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
To kick off Lunar New Year 2020 (the first of the decade!), we are bringing Asian in America back to Los Angeles this January! We know it's been a while since we saw all of our wonderful LA community (thank you for coming out to our exhibition at the USC Pacific Asia Museum!) and are excited to host all of you for a special evening of thoughtful conversation.
About Asian in America
Asian in America is an award-nominated symbolic dining experience that explores the complex narrative of the Asian American identity through food and drink, virtual reality, spoken word and poetry. For our founder, Jenny Dorsey, the menu began as a vulnerable exploration of her own feelings growing up as a first-generation Chinese-American: grappling with shame, guilt, anger, (re)discovery, joy, confusion while finding a place for personal identity and belonging. We hope these dishes also prompt our guests to share and examine their own stories as well.
There are 6 courses of food and 3 courses of cocktails in Asian in America, each pertaining to a different topic within the Asian American narrative. To complement each course, 3 of the food courses are presented with poetry; the other 3 are layered in virtual reality and accompanied with spoken word. The experience is richly symbolic, using all aspects of the food & drink -- from the ingredients to the cooking techniques to final plating -- and alternating presentations of art to address issues from cultural hierarchies in the food system to the lack of the individualism granted to minorities and the internalization of the “white savior” complex.
Our goal for Asian in America is to educate those unfamiliar with the multifaceted and complex nature of the Asian American experience, engage our guests to open up and share their own relationship to finding identity and cultural belonging and instigate deeper understanding and allyship with groups both inside and outside of their community. We strive to create a safe, welcoming space where open-minded individuals can interact with others on an emotional and intellectual level through the communal perspective of food.
Since we began touring Asian in America across the country last year, we are proud to say those who have visited our experience have been poignantly "uncomfortable" as their worldview and certain commonly-held preconceptions have been challenged and expanded. As this event falls so close to the Lunar New Year, we are doubly excited to be able to take this time to further reflect upon the Asian American journey and see what conversations will transpire at the dinner table.
Location & Cocktail Hour
We will be partnering with the Japanese American National Museum in historic Little Tokyo as our location host. Before the dinner, we will be hosting a Cocktail Hour which includes free admission to the museum, alongside a preview of our VR experience. Guests will also have an option to join an intimate, docent-led tour through the museum's current exhibitions.
You can find the official landing page and trailer for Asian in America here. Have any questions, thoughts or feedback? Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
With gratitude,Jenny, Matt, Addy & Julie at Studio ATAO
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