Taiji Terasaki’s exhibition Transcendients, currently on view at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), honors 50 activists and advocates, both well-known and unheralded, who challenge borders of all kinds: from physical barriers to issues of prejudice, discrimination, and inequality. Taking its name from the combination of “transcend” and “transient,” referencing the immigrant experience, the show features digital weavings, photographic collages, and projections on mist to create hybrid portraits of the activists and advocates.
In collaboration with the exhibition, JANM has organized a free community celebration at the museum this Saturday comprising performances, workshops, and panel discussions. “We’re interested in not just presenting art alone, but as an opportunity for dialogue and action,” exhibition curator Emily Anderson told Hyperallergic. “Community day is a way to invite the public to see the show, but also to draw out themes in really practical ways. It’s a way for people to talk to heroes about different aspects of civic engagement and giving back to the community.”
The event is anchored by a keynote presentation from author and USC professor Viet Thanh Nguyen, alongside LA-centric thematic discussions on food, arts activism, and human rights featuring KCRW’s Even Kleinman, “Gangsta Gardner” Ron Finley, and John Malpede of the LA Poverty Department. Workshops range from a letter-writing session with Allies to End Detention, to paper crane folding with Nikkei Progressives, and a weaving workshop with Marianne Sadowski. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day from East LA Taiko, Afro-Latino group El Santo Golpe, and DJ Betto Arcos. Closing out the event will be FandangObon, a participatory, community dance created by celebrated actress and dancer Nobuko Miyamoto that draws on Japanese, Mexican, and African American sources.
When: Saturday, March 7, 11am–5pm
Where: Japanese American National Museum (100 N. Central Ave, Downtown, Los Angeles)
More info at JANM.