Assimilation/Annihilation

WONDERLAND
EPOCH, Los Angeles
March 6 – May 14, 2021

Patty Chang | Dominique Fung | Hings Lim | Candice Lin | Ani Liu | Catalina Ouyang
Sydney Shen | Christine Wang | Ziyang Wu | Peter Wu+

A group exhibition featuring artists of the Chinese diaspora. All artists are based in the US. The exhibition’s context is inspired by “Wonderland” —an abandoned amusement park project located in Chenzhuang Village, China.

I once asked my father to write down the two words “assimilation” and “annihilation.” I noticed that my father’s handwriting was nearly identical to my own. My father, born in Hong Kong, was the first of his family to immigrate to Canada in the 1960s in hopes of building a better life. Shortly after deciding to settle in a small Canadian town near Windsor, Ontario, he opened a Chinese restaurant catering to the palate of an all-white community.

I was born in Windsor, Ontario and grew up in the family restaurant. My parents lovingly sacrificed everything for me so that I would have the opportunity to follow my own path. In this small town, however, I struggled to locate my identity and found myself culturally dissonant amidst a disproportionately white community. In an effort to adapt, it seemed easist to try and fit in by leaning into self-deprecating racialized jokes that played on pernicious Asian stereotypes. These jokes, while an attempt to soothe the discomfort others felt with my presence, similarly sought to conceal my own incongruity while challenging the myth of the model minority.

Often times, when Asians are faced with racism and suffering there is a culturally normative tendency to default to silence. Here, the suppression of one’s pain is illustrated as a strength, demarcating the ability to endure (and presumably overcome) trauma or harm. This attribute is compounded through the generations of children that have been born through the Asian diaspora. It severs our cultural roots and masks our exclusion through invisibility.

Facing the violence and racism towards Asians which has become amplified by ignorance surrounding Coronavirus, we can no longer be silent. We must collectively voice the suffering that continues to be incited within our communities through racialized aggressions. Employing our vulnerability as a shared strength, our contestation must persist to not only combat assimilation but the cultural annihilation that will come from it.

– Peter Wu+


Peter Wu+
Assimilation/Annihilation, 2021
3D neon, rubble, virtual environment
Dimensions variable


Peter Wu+
Assimilation/Annihilation, 2021
3D neon, rubble, virtual environment
Dimensions variable

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