Avenue of the Asian Americas | Chicago Reader

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A strong program of short films and videos by up-and-coming Asian-American artists. In James T. Hong's pungent, alienated Behold the Asian: How One Becomes What One Is a weary narrator recites a potent, beat-inspired rant against conformity and materialism over shots of cattle, Chinese peasants, San Francisco streets, and a man in a coolie hat walking through the harsh, lonely expanse of Death Valley. Fog in a Can by Chicago's Masahiro Sugano is a playfully inventive melange of visual non sequiturs such as two fingers marching like a pair of legs through household objects; its sound track of amplified noises could stand on its own as a Cagean homage. On the sound track of Tuan Nguyen and Lydia Chung's Let It Ride two couples agonize over relationships and lady luck while images of a Vegas casino and hotel room heighten the sense of existential angst. In A Seeker, a superb montage of haunting images, Chinese ideograms, and English words, Kian Kuan muses about his migration from rigid, traditional China to the liberal, chaotic U.S., which allows him to explore his sexuality but brands him an outsider. And in Michael Kang's amusing Japanese Cowboy an Asian man in a cowboy getup hustles on Times Square, Texas accent and all. (TS) On the same program, shorts by Mark Arbitrario, Brian Tsukamoto, Kevin Feng Ke, Yunah Hong, Stephen Bai, Rea Tajiri, Donna Ayako Tsufura, Takeo Hori, Woody Han, Thomas Moon, Greg Pak, Grace Lee, Jane Kim, and Justin Dorazio.

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