is a veteran performance artist, writer, teacher and visual artist who has been
presenting his solo performances since 1989. Hailed by critics as a master
storyteller, Kwong draws upon his own life experiences to explore the
personal, the historical, the social and the unspeakable. With keen insight
and a generous sense of humor, he intertwines storytelling, multimedia, dynamic
physical movement, poetry, martial arts and music.
MAJOR WORKS INCLUDE:
SECRETS OF THE SAMURAI CENTERFIELDER
TALES FROM THE FRACTURED TAO
MONKHOOD IN 3 EASY LESSONS
CORRESPONDENCE OF A DANGEROUS ENEMY ALIEN"
THE DODO VACCINE
THE NIGHT THE MOON LANDED ON 39th STREET
IT'S GREAT 2B AMERICAN
works explore subjects such as cultural confusion and discovery in a mixed heritage
family; allergic reactions to Model Minority Syndrome; dysfunctional
family Asian American-style; Asian male identity; Japanese American
internment during WWII; the impact of HIV/AIDS on Asian Americans; Kwongs
lifelong goal to become the First Performance Artist in Space; and the irony
of having a U.S. passport and an Asian face.
Touring extensively, Kwong has performed all across the United States and in England, Hong Kong, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mexico and China. He is recipient of numerous fellowships recognizing his excellence in performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Art Matters Inc., Brody Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace, N.Y., Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Communty Foundation and has been nominated twice for the Alpert Award in the Arts. In 2004 he received a major fellowship for Mid-Career Artists from the California Community Foundation and was honored by the Japanese American Historical Society for outstanding contributions to Japanese American history and culture.
Essays and performances have been published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Getting Your Solo Act Together, High Performance magazine, and various anthologies including On A Bed of Rice - A Feast of Asian American Erotica; Yellow Light - The Flowering of Asian American Art and Living in America - A Pop Culture Reader. His visual artwork is included in Lets Get It On - The Politics of Black Performance published by the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. In July 2004 he released his first book, a collection of his performance texts entitled FROM INNER WORLDS TO OUTER SPACE - The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong edited by Prof. Robert Vorlicky, published by University of Michigan Press.
As a teacher Kwong has led numerous workshops in autobiographical writing and performing throughout the U.S. and in Hong Kong, London, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Canada.
He was founder and curator of TREASURE IN THE HOUSE, L.A.s first Asian Pacific American performance and visual art festival, presented at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica since 1991. He served on the Board of Directors of Highways for 18 years.
His first stageplay,
Be Like Water, premiered at East West Players' David Henry Hwang Theater
in Los Angeles in September 2008. The story of a 13 year old Asian American
girl who is visited by the ghost of Bruce Lee, Be Like Water was produced
in association with Cedar Grove OnStage and directed by Chris Tashima.
Kwong is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Resident Artist at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. Currently he also serves as Project Director of Collaboratory, Great Leap's mentorship program to develop the next generation of artist-leaders in Los Angeles.