I’ve been excited to let go of this news for a while: I’m super honored to be invited to be the first Asian-American member of thejustseeds artists co-operative: a de-centralized network of socially/environmentally-engaged printmakers and artists! One of my prints, Funeral for the Honey Bee, (top right) and a few copies of my chapbook From the Earthworm to the Night (may be sold out) is available in their store as well as the work of many other artists whose work and activism I have been admiring for many years! Take a gander. Thank you Meredith Stern for believing in me enough to extend the invitation. I have been blessed to be a part of a radical poetry community, and now I can say that I have found the rare radical community to thrive in as a visual artist as well. 2014 has been a year of gifts, I hope to not let you down!
We’re having a brief back-to-school sale at the Justseeds store - (http://www.justseeds.org/) use the coupon code EMPOWER at checkout to get free shipping!
A ship on the horizon and helicopters against a golden sunset is haunting because there is a fine border between machines of travel and machines of colonization. Every survivor of war and every exploited shoreline knows this image: the day they came quietly in majestic ships, framed against a William Turner-esque sky. History knows what happens after this border is crossed. Our bones know that images of hope on the horizon are embedded with the weight of a thousand scars.
www.jessxchen.com / 2014 / Photography / Honolulu
And when does the ocean shapeshift into sky? Everytime the sky looks at the ocean it cannot unsee the drowning. Of every island habitat and shoreline civilization that in a few centuries will be pulled beneath the waves. Out actions have warmed the Earth only to lose ourselves. For my NYC friends: participate in the largest climate march in history this Saturday: www.peoplesclimate.org or participate in a global event. 🌊 For we already are and always will be, creatures borne of Earth and ocean. (at Diamond Head State Monument)
Photo © Jess X Chen 2014
iampaultran and cathylinhche watching the sulphuric steam rise from the geysers of Yellow Stone National Park.
Photos and projections from our Lights Trauma Revelation Chicago Show at Outerspace Studios.By the time the openers: Eugenia Leigh, Fatimah Asghar, Ching-In Chen and Angela Torres left the stage, we felt as though the space was opened with so much tenderness and risk-taking ferocity that it was so natural for all of us to be fearless with them. Thank you for that, and reminding us why we write poetry. Let us stay in touch and form a constellation of asian-american poetry together.
Lights Trauma Revelation: iampaultran, cathylinhche, and jessxchen are three asian-american poets going on tour across the country. Next stop: St. Paul, Madison, South Dakota, and Seattle.
For an upcoming list of shows go here.
Photos and projections from our Lights Trauma Revelation NYC Kickoff Show at the Wild Poets House with openers: Sally Wen Mao, Wo Chan and Hosannah Asuncion. Tuesday August, 26th, 2014. Thank you NYC for your warmth and generosity of spirit.
Lights Trauma Revelation: iampaultran , cathylinhche, and jessxchen are three asian-american poets going on tour across the country. Next stop: Detroit! For an upcoming list of shows go here.
"Ode to My Burning Country" Jess X Chen 2014 | gouache and ink
For the first time I found the time and confidence to make a painting that directly addresses the violence of my cultural history. I see the Cultural Revolution as a forest fire that spread across China from 1966-1976. It clear-cut millions of family trees through extreme propaganda & violent class struggle instigated by the government. This is the last family dinner. Even sixty years later, my motherland still burns from the phantom pain. Though I may never understand, I can honor the resilience of my people.
Thanks to yukoshimizu & chris buzelli for the direction, and extended time they spent on giving me feedback, and pushing me to do a personal piece.
do you have an instagram? i'm gonna do artist promotions on my ig tomorrow!
Hello. I am super excited for the reading you are doing in Seattle in September. I bought your poetry book and absolutely loved in. I was super bummed that I missed Silence and the Earth but didn't hear about it and was unfamiliar with your work at the time.
aw, thank you so much! Silence & The Earth is turning into a feature film, so its’ okay if you were one of the many who missed it! It will be a long labor of love, but we’re all excited for it. We should actually be doing two readings in Seattle! One of them is at Youthspeaks sunday open mic, on Sunday September 7th: the facebook event is here, and the other one, the venue is yet to be disclosed! Hope to meet you then and thank you for your support.
can you recommend any asian artists? thanks
yeah!! i’m gonna take a minute to make this post bc there def are some asian artists that i admire
kelsey tahara!!, my old friend! // illustration, paint // usa // instagram
jess x. chen // illustration , poetry, filmmaking // usa // tumblr
vivian a new friend! // photography // usa // tumblr // website
lee lai // illustration, comics // aus // tumblr
(me! rosi vo // lettering // usa // work)
im in the car rn so i cant do anything more involved but i thought of two more! julaya-antolin (photography) & lescreamingtrees (filmography)
Wow so nice to be included on this list of asian-american artists. Thanks Rosi -> yellowxperil <3. I can compile you a list of poets too if needed.
Jess X Chen 2009-2014
These are actually cropped parts from one of the earliest watercolors that I’ve ever done in 2009 that I’m rather embarrassed by. The red adds a visceral element and revives them into more abstract pieces that I feel comfortable showing.
The heart is where the body begins and ends.
When you listen to my heartbeat, you listen
to my lineage and my blood.
"Funeral for the Honey Bee" by Jess X Chen
Scratchboard / Screenprint | 14”x19”
" I close my wings and hit
the ground. I open my wings
and my colony drops dead. I close my wings
and every flower at my funeral mourns for me.”
- excerpt from The Last Words of the Honey Bees , a poem from my recent chapbook of poetry: From The Earthworm To The Night
Did you know all worker bees are women?
Watch this ted talk by bee researcher, Martha Spivak to learn more about colony collapse disorder.
Additionally, a limited edition of colored gicleé prints of this image are available at the LoveHoldLetGo store.
They will also be available very soon at the Justseeds Collective store!
The last 5 black and white screenprints of Funeral For The Honey Bee are now available at the Justseeds store!
50% of the profits will go towards sustaining the justseedsartists Cooperative, a decentralized network of 24 artists committed to making print and design work that reflects a radical social, environmental, and political stance. I’m constantly impressed by the portfolios JustSeeds manages to put together and how they unite transcendent imagery, a politically-engaged artist practice, and tangible activism.
A series of painted envelopes for letters. #mailart / Jess X Chen 2014
Jess X Chen / Sketchbook 2014
Just a sky someone might have seen last night. When this lifetime ends I will be just a part of that red sunset.