The Big Read

Art in the Park is excited to be participating in the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read through the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. This year’s book is Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. Charles Yu’s novel (and National Book Award winner), Interior Chinatown, is an insightful, searing, and inventive exploration of Asian-American identity and representation in popular culture. Written in the form of a television screenplay, the book tells the story of actor Willis Wu who is doomed to play various generic Asian characters on television.

In Celebration of this year’s Big Read, Art in the Park will be an hosting artist led reading and discussion circle, an afternoon dumpling dinner and an art exhibition.

Reading and Discussion Circle of Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Circles led by Ariel Navas, Nick Hon and Avelardo Ibarra
April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th and May 6th, from 2pm–3pm 

Books provided. Free and open to the public. RSVP required, RSVP HERE.
Readers are encouraged to commit to coming each week. 

Let’s make and eat dumplings together! with Jessica Li
May 13th, from 3pm–6pm

This event is free and open to the public, but the capacity is 50 and attendees must RSVP.  RSVP HERE.

For Jessica, making and eating Chinese jiaozi dumplings has been a life-long occurrence. Besides being tasty and drenched in fun symbolism, dumplings are the singular traditional food during Lunar New Year that draws the whole family together in making and eating. Originally a humble food–a peasant’s solution to feeding the masses with only a small amount of meat–dumplings come in so many varieties and are found all around the world. Yet modern comforts have flattened the experience of eating dumplings as an appetizer for a special meal while eating out or a convenient frozen store-bought meal. Jessica thoughtfully and playfully invites attendees to slow down and make, eat, and share stories about this beloved food.

Jessica Li spends a large majority of her time captivated with how life is lived and crafts experiences that spark conversations between friends and strangers.

Invisible Landscape, an exhibition by Ting Ying Han
May 6th – June 6th, Opening May 6th from 3pm – 5pm 

Memory, migration, and belonging are central themes of my work. The ways in which urban landscapes shape the social fabric and identity of communities is of particular interest to me. Through my recent research on the history and legacy of redlining, I have learned about the long-lasting effects of this discriminatory practice on the economic health of urban minority communities. 

The project “Invisible Landscape” focuses on exploring displacement through a historical, racial, cultural, and economical lens and on how gentrification unfolds in a community. By using frottage to create the impression of street pavement and replacing street names with words of emotion, the drawings reflect the neighborhoods where residents have experienced changes in their communities. The goal of the work is to bring a different perspective of displacement and to understand who is affected by or benefits from urban revitalization.Ting Ying Han is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California. Drawing on her years of experience of living in transit between cultures and continents, her life as an immigrant deeply fuels her practice. Her works explore the concepts of memory, identity, and belonging.