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May Lecture Kaisik Wong


Kaisik Wong: Extraordinary Appropriation

Presented by Marci Kwon Saturday, May 18, 2019, 10 am Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Admission: Free for current members of the TAC; $5 for students and members of FAMSF; $10 General Admission. Cash or checks only.

This lecture will consider the work of San Francisco artist and fashion designer Kaisik Wong (1950-1990). A polymath known for his meticulously constructed garments, Wong blurred the line between performance, fashion, and art. He also made clothes for Tina Turner, Ann Getty, Danielle Steele, Betty Davis, as well as the flight attendants for the short-lived Freelandia airline.

“Extravagant Appropriation” will provide an overview of Wong’s artistic trajectory, beginning with his early training in San Francisco, Chinatown, extending through his short-lived fashion line Muuntux and Pitash Rhok, and concluding with his collaborations with photographer Steven Arnold and Salvador Dali. It will also explore Wong’s engagement with theosophy, mysticism, and Surrealism, and the counterculture.

Marci Kwon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University, where she is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Comparative Center for Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the Center for East Asian Studies, and a member of the Executive Steering Committees of American Studies and Modern Thought and Literature. Her article on Isamu Noguchi and Appalachian Spring appeared in Modernism/ModernityPrint+, and another on the Pittsburgh artist John Kane will appear in Third Text in 2019. Kwon’s research has been supported by grants from the ACLS/Luce Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Mellon Foundation, Yale University, and the Hellman Fellows Fund. Her book, Enchantments: Joseph Cornell and American Modernism, will appear in 2020 with Princeton University Press.

Image credits: 1) Kaisik Wong (photographer), American, 1950ñ1990 Photograph: Harvest (from I Ching), ca. 1976 Color photograph 31.8 x 23.5 cm (12 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.) Museum purchase, Gift of Alma Kay Wong, the Textile Arts Council Endowment Fund, Marian Clayden, Peggy Gordon, Pamela Ransom, Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred S. Wilsey, Susan York and Various Donors 1998.181.24 2) Image: Marci Kwon, P.h. D.


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