‘A Place of Her Own’ Explores Universal Concerns of Women


SAN FRANCISCO — The Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) and API Cultural Center’s (APICC) United States of Asian America Festival presents “A Place of Her Own,” an exhibition of works by Asian American women artists from diverse backgrounds and different generations that answers the question, “If you had a place of your own, what would it be?”

It will be on view in May at the SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. (between 8th and 9th streets) in San Francisco.

Conceived in 2007, “A Place of Her Own” was developed by curator Cynthia Tom as a long-term project inspired by the idea of environments for women or encouraging the women to build their own. Across cultures and generations, and through necessity, parental or cultural training — women have learned to compromise themselves. They set aside their own desires to support others; rarely do women claim a place of their own, metaphorically or physically. What happens when we expand the parameters beyond the concept of a room and discover a place in which the limitations are bound by the imagination and nothing more?

“ ‘A Place of Her Own’ provides an exceptional glimpse into the unique and diverse experiences of the modern Asian American woman,” says Catherine Ceniza Choy, associate professor of ethnic studies at UC Berkeley. “The artwork depicts a personal, yet universal, journey to seek out and claim a metaphorical and/or physical place without external rules or expectations, acting as a vehicle for each artist to interact with their world on their own terms. These artistic responses come to fruition as art installations, written word, paintings, printmaking, and more.”

The modern-day Asian American woman’s experience, viewed from an array of perspectives, is the focal point of programs held in conjunction with this exhibition. These include:

• Opening reception on Thursday, May 5, from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Artists’ talk on Saturday, May 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.

• Literary reading on Thursday, May 19, from 7 to 9 p.m.

• Closing reception on Thursday, May 26, from 6 to 9 p.m.

SOMArts is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 12 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 to 5 p.m., and is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission to the exhibition and the programs is complimentary.

During gallery hours, the public is invited to create “a place of their own” in AAWAA’s Community House. Basic materials are provided; visitors are welcome to bring any additional materials.

The exhibition is curated by APICC and AAWAA’s curatorial team, juried by Kim Anno, chair of painting at California College of the Arts, and Kimi Taira, assistant at the Asian Art Museum’s Conservation Department. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, APICC and the California Arts Council.

For more information, call (415) 722-4296 or visit www.aplaceofherown.org.

Featured artists include:

Shari Arai DeBoer of El Sobrante, printmaking, mixed media

Kathy Fujii-Oka of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, mixed media, installation

Amanda Ichihashi-Jagerman of San Francisco’s Mission District, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry

Choppy Oshiro of San Francisco’s Richmond District, graphic design, fine art

Shizue Seigel of San Francisco’s Richmond District, mixed media, photography

Judy Shintani of Half Moon Bay, mixed media, installation

Vivian Truong of Oakland’s Rockridge District, fiber art, mixed media, photography


The Asian American Women Artists Association is a national non-profit arts organization dedicated to ensuring the visibility and documentation of Asian American women in the arts. Since 1989, AAWAA has been a resource for the arts and academic communities, working to further the recognition of Asian American women artists in the American art landscape.

Through exhibitions, literary readings, speakers’ bureau, publications, and educational programs, AAWAA offers thought-provoking perspectives that challenge societal assumptions and promote dialogue across cultures and generations. For more information on AAWAA and its mission and programs, call (415) 722-4296, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.aawaa.net.


The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s mission is to support and produce multi-disciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of the city’s Asian/Pacific arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival. For more information, call (415) 829-9467, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.apiculturalcenter.org


Leave A Reply