PRINTABLE VERSION HERE <
collection of performance scripts by solo artist Dan Kwong,
including six major multimedia creations such as Tales
From The Fractured Tao, Monkhood in 3 Easy Lessons,
The Dodo Vaccine, and Correspondence of A
Dangerous Enemy Alien, with three short works, plus insightful
commentary by editor Prof. Robert Vorlicky. These works address
themes ranging from masculinity & male conditioning to domestic
violence, HIV/AIDS, homophobia, and the internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II.
With eloquence, passion, and a generous sense of humor, Kwongs
stories are combined with striking visuals and dynamic physicality.
This significant body of work represents a unique voice of clarity,
insight and hopefulness as he dives into the murky waters of
identities: gender, culture, sexuality, and race. Using himself
and his life as a laboratory specimen, Kwongs
narratives reveal the links between the personal and the political,
exposing the invisible and the unspeakable within, and provide
a model for moving through internalized oppression with
a good laugh and a good cry along the way.
Review (Vol 50 No. 4) says:
Inner Worlds to Outer Space reveals the ways in which Asian
American aesthetic practices demand an integrated study of race
stage directions convey the spectacular elements of Kwong's
Kwong in some ways continues the tradition of the Asian American
Kwong's book will help students and fans - some of whom may
not have the opportunity to see a particular show - visualize
the performance event."
AMPLIFIED DESCRIPTION OF BOOK
Secrets of The Samurai Centerfielder
(1989) was Kwongs debut performance, a sprawling epic
about his lifelong passion for baseball, his Japanese grandfathers
life from Japan to L.A. to WWII internment, the Beijing student
demonstrations in Tienanmen Square in 1989, and Kwongs
own journey to self-acceptance as an Asian American.
Tales From The Fractured Tao with Master Nice Guy
(1991) recounts the joys and pains of Kwongs childhood
family life, with the dubious assistance of Master Nice
Guy a cross between the Wizard of Oz and a burnt-out
social worker. From Kwongs näive attempts to prevent
his parents divorce to his outrageous clandestine forays
into the elementary school auditorium, his adventures lead to
a deep understanding and love for family.
Monkhood in 3 Easy Lessons (1993) revolves
around issues of masculinity from an Asian American perspective.
The most physically dynamic of Kwongs works, it includes
sword-swinging, baseball batting, treadmill running and athletic
dance. Kwong tells sharply contrasting stories of his two grandfathers,
illuminating the history of Chinese and Japanese American men,
along with his own struggles with the dehumanizing social conditioning
Correspondence of A Dangerous Enemy Alien
(1995) was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the closing
of WWII Japanese American internment camps. A documentary piece,
it was based on the contents of an old family suitcase containing
letters of Kwongs Japanese grandfather from the outbreak
of war to the reunion of the family. It featured an elaborate
site-specific staging and marked the first time Kwong incorporated
sections from previous works, passages from Samurai Centerfielder
and Monkhood in 3 Easy Lessons.
The Dodo Vaccine (1996) was originally
commissioned by Panchayat in London, part of an exhibition by
four American Asians addressing HIV/AIDS and its impact on their
community. It covered challenging topics such as homophobia
and cultural taboos about sex, death and the body, as well as
compulsive sexual behavior. Kwongs most ambitious stage
design, it incorporated 100 balloons, 1,000 ping pong balls,
200 pounds of rock salt, a giant amoeba cell, an onstage shower,
giant condom package, and several quarts of purple slime.
The Night The Moon Landed on 39th Street
(1999) represents a marked departure for Kwong, his first work
which is not identity-based. Kwong reveals a lifelong fascination
with that final frontier, space and his obsession with
getting there. His most complex multimedia creation, Kwong employs
extensive video, audio and slide projection along with some
wild props and costumes. A heartfelt journey of wonder and a
re-discovery of human connection are the essence of this piece.
PLUS: "The Sword and The Chrysanthemum", "Al
the Barber", "Station Wagons of Life".
TO ORDER THE BOOK:
or call: 800-621-2736
$22.95 paperback (cover
has photo illustration, quotes)
$55.00 clothbound (plain
red cover; library version)
(Amazon is cheaper)