Kearny Street Workshop Presents Over 60 Emerging Asian Pacific American Artists in the 16th Annual APAture Festival

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For the first time in APAture history, Kearny Street Workshop is honoring featured artists of the past with the APAture Focus Award. Honorees include Ali Wong and Hasan Minhaj, who were selected based on their unique contributions to amplifying the Asian Pacific American community’s collective voice.

Over 60 Emerging Asian Pacific American Artists in the 16th Annual APAture Festival. Six showcases over four weekends will exhibit work in venues throughout San Francisco’s SoMa District.

"Initially, art felt like a cathartic process, a way to gather my thoughts and express it in a creative output. Over time, it helped me deal with my displacement, familial disconnect, and experiences I’ve encountered as a Filipina immigrant living in the US." - Rea Lyn de Guzman

Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is amplifying the voices of the Bay Area’s emerging Asian Pacific American (APA) artists at APAture 2017: Unravel. This year marks APAture’s 16th season, as well as KSW’s 45th year anniversary, making it the oldest Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country. Over the course of four weekends between September 30th and October 28th, APAture’s six showcases are providing a space for the community to experience the work of six featured artists, along with over 60 other local up-and-coming APA artists.

For the first time in APAture history, KSW is honoring featured artists of the past with the APAture Focus Award. The five honorees— Ali Wong (Comedian | Baby Cobra), Hasan Minhaj (Actor/Comedian | The Daily Show), Kristina Wong (Comedian/Performance Artist | New York Times Off Color series), Michael Arcega (Visual Artist | Guggenheim Fellow) and the late, great Justin Chin (Poet | Gutted, 98 Wounds) — were selected based on their unique contributions to amplifying the APA community’s collective voice within American culture, and setting an example for what success looks like, especially for APA artists. Awards will be presented during APAture’s Opening Reception on September 30th.

This year’s theme, Unravel, examines our stories, hxstories, narratives, and beliefs, leading us to these questions: What are the interconnected threads we wish to investigate and untangle? What is there to discover when we unravel?

“At a time when immigrants and people of color are being denied their stories, APAture is vital, showcasing the beauty and power of our community.” - Vanessa Hua, Featured Artist, Literary Arts Showcase, APAture 2017

Throughout the four weekends, attendees have opportunities to immerse themselves in each showcase: Visual (Rea Lynn de Guzman), Literary (Vanessa Hua, Deceit and Other Possibilities), Music (Kohinoorgasm), Film (Cyrus Tabar), Book Arts (Innosanto Nagara, A is for Activist), and Performance (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto). Unravel is designed to spark dialogue around contemporary social issues, especially those that affect the diverse array of APA populations, and inspire collaboration between artists and community members towards social action.

For times, locations, and ticket information for APAture 2017: Unravel, please visit

About Kearny Street Workshop
Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is an organization dedicated to producing, presenting, and promoting art that empowers diverse Asian Pacific American communities. Since 1972, KSW has offered multidisciplinary arts presentations and workshops to Bay Area community members.

About APAture
“APAture,” a play on the word “aperture”, was named so for KSW’s mission to amplify the voices of APA artists, and highlight them within the frame of arts conversations happening on a local and global level. Now in its 16th season, APAture has featured a number of prominent artists during the early stages of their artistic careers, including Gene Luen Yang (writer/artist, DC’s Super Man), Hellen Jo (writer, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe), Hasan Minhaj (actor/comedian, The Daily Show) and Ali Wong (comedian, Baby Cobra). APAture has also featured early works by prominent activists and political figures, such as marriage equality activist Stuart Gaffney and State Senate candidate Jane Kim.

Rea Lynn de Guzman, Visual Arts
Rea Lynn de Guzman is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, print media, and sculpture. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she immigrated to the United States as a teenager. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She teaches art at the San Francisco Center for the Book and Root Division. She lives and works in San Francisco.

Vanessa Hua, Literary Arts
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of DECEIT AND OTHER POSSIBILITIES, which received the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, and honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Asian American Journalists' Association, and Best of the West. Her novel, A RIVER OF STARS, is forthcoming (Ballantine, 2018).

Kohinoorgasm, Music
Kohinoorgasm (one word: ko-hee-noor-gasm) is the experimental pop music project of Josephine Shetty. As a mixed race, queer, desi artist, she seeks to expand the dialogue around multidimensional identity-based experiences by visualizing and performing reflections on complex histories and emotions. She has performed at universities, museums, festivals, and DIY spaces across the United States. Josephine is from Los Angeles, CA, and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Cyrus Tabar, Film
Cyrus Yoshi Tabar is an award winning Iranian-Japanese-American filmmaker based in Oakland, California. His films explore what it means to be American through the intricate complexities of family history and ambiguous identities. Growing up at a dinner table where sushi and kebab met macaroni and cheeseburgers, Cyrus now uses cinema to investigate the diverse and dynamic intricacies of first-generation kaleidoscopic American culture.

Innosanto Nagara, Book Arts
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, came to the US to study zoology. Instead became an activist designer, and founding member of Design Action Collective in Oakland. Now also wears the hat of children's book author/illustrator (A is for Activist, Counting on Community, My Night in the Planetarium (set in Indonesia), and The Wedding Portrait).

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Performance Art
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is an artist of mixed Pakistani and Lebanese descent and spent most of his life in Karachi, Pakistan. His practice investigates complex identity politics formed by centuries of colonialism and exacerbated by contemporary international politics. In his performances he explores the politics of queerness, its intersections with Islam and how it exists in a constant liminal and non-aligned space. Bhutto has performed and shown work in the U.S, Colombia, Pakistan and Dubai.

Event Details:

WHO: Presented by Kearny Street Workshop | Featuring work by Rea Lynn de Guzman (Visual Arts), Vanessa Hua (Literary Arts), Kohinoorgasm (Music), Cyrus Tabar (Film), Innosanto Nagara (Book Arts), and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Performance Art)

WHAT: APAture 2017: Unravel is a multi-day festival featuring 60+ up-and-coming Asian Pacific American artists in Comics and Illustration, Film, Literary Arts, Music, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts.

WHEN & WHERE: September 30th – October 28th at various locations throughout San Francisco as listed below:

  • Visual Arts Showcase feat. Rea Lynn de Guzman

Opening Reception: September 30, 6–10pm | No Cover
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays 1-6pm and Saturdays 12-3pm
Arc Gallery & Studios | 1246 Folsom St., SF (3 blocks from Civic Center BART)

  • Literary Arts Showcase feat. Vanessa Hua

October 5, 8 - 10pm | Pre-sale: $10 (General) $20 (Supporter), Door: $12
Arc Gallery & Studios | 1246 Folsom St., SF (3 blocks from Civic Center BART)

  • Music Showcase feat. Kohinoorgasm

October 7, 6–9pm | Pre-sale: $10 (General) $20 (Supporter), Door: $12
f8 | 1192 Folsom St., SF (3 blocks from Civic Center BART)

  • Film Showcase feat. Cyrus Tabar

October 12, 7–10pm | Pre-sale: $10 (General) $20 (Supporter), Door: $12
Z Space (Z Below) | 470 Florida St., SF (4 blocks from Civic Center BART)

  • Book Arts Showcase feat. Innosanto Nagara

October 15, 1–4pm | Pre-sale: $10 (General) $20 (Supporter), Door: $12 Kids Under 12 (Free) Arc Gallery & Studios | 1246 Folsom St., SF (3 blocks from Civic Center BART)

  • Performing Arts Showcase feat. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

October 21, 2–5pm | Pre-sale: $10 (General) $20 (Supporter), Door: $15
Asian Art Museum | 200 Larkin St.,SF (1 block from Civic Center BART)

  • Closing Reception costume party with special guest DreMagix

October 28, 7-10pm | No Cover
Arc Gallery & Studios | 1246 Folsom St., SF (3 blocks from Civic Center BART)

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $0–$20 (Supporter Level comes with reserved seats and a gift). Festival Pass available for $35. Available now at


INFORMATION: Learn more at https:/

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