A Virtual Talk with artist Stephanie H. Shih, curator Aleesa Alexander, and food critic Soleil Ho
September 01, 2020 05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Friends Indeed Gallery is pleased to present A-Z: Artists at Large, a new global talk series focused on contemporary Asian art and its diasporas. CLICK HERE to view the entire talk.

Our first conversation will take place on Tuesday, September 1st at 5PM PST / 8PM EST / 8AM GMT ahead of the closing for Stephanie H. Shih's exhibition Same Same with Perrotin the day after. Same Same includes two new bodies of work from an ongoing series about shared nostalgia and the Asian American pantry. The artist will be in conversation with Aleesa Alexander, Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and Soleil Ho, former host of the award winning podcast Racist Sandwich, current host of Extra Spicy, and food critic for the SF Chronicle.

From the Perrotin Press Release:

Living in a diaspora often means relying on a limited set of imported products, so each one becomes a cultural touchpoint that's shared among millions of strangers. "Groceries are incredibly intimate," Shih says. "We bring them into our homes and feed our families with them. We literally live with them." While soy sauce often gets "flattened into a single ingredient" in the West, the artist explains that in East and Southeast Asia, soy sauce is a category containing countless variations from culture to culture."

While Shih has been thinking about our relationship to groceries since she began her ongoing series in 2018, she feels that the pandemic has heightened other people's awareness of their so-called 'essential' nature. Appropriately, all the work for Same Same was sculpted and painted in a makeshift studio inside her Carroll Gardens apartment during nationwide calls to shelter in place.

Stephanie H. Shih (b.1986) is a Taiwanese American artist exploring concepts of home, not jut as a physical place, but also as cultural, generational, and emotional spaces we inhabit. Her work has been shown at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (Pomona, CA) Wieden Kennedy (Portland, OR), and Hashimoto Contemporary (San Francisco, CA) and featured by NPR, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander is Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Her curatorial practice is driven by a commitment to social justice, a broad and critical understanding of what constitutes "American art," and a desire to collaborate with living artists. From 2017-2018, she was Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the same year. As the daughter of a Thai-immigrant and first generation college graduate, she is also passionate about demystifying museum practice for those interested in the field, and has led workshops on the topic at Stanford, the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of San Francisco, and Southern Exposure. 

Soleil Ho is the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and co-host of its food podcast, Extra Spicy.