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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. 

published: 2 days ago via jessxchen - 35 notes - reblog
yellowxperil asked:

do you have an instagram? i'm gonna do artist promotions on my ig tomorrow!

Hi Rosi. <3 Yes I do. It’s, and my website is -> I basically use the same name for everything. :) Whats yours? 

Thanks for featuring me on your list of asian-american artists.

I know a few more asian-americans whose work might resonate with you. Illustration: estrhng , carol lin (website) diannaxu (all young and emerging) and the brilliant moonassi (who is a little bit more well known)

Graphic design: andychendesign 

Poetry: iampaultran , cathylinhche, oceanvuong , hieuminhbeing (four stellar vietnamese poets) and the rest of the poets at: kundimanfireside  

published: 2 days ago - 14 notes - reblog
omiimii asked:

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.

published: 3 days ago - 1 note - reblog
Anonymous asked:

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.

Jess X Chen 2014

More zombie cat mail art! 

"Fog" Jess X Chen 2014 | Digital Photography

Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia


"Inspired by the directorial cue—”Lights, camera, action!”—award-winning poets Cathy Linh Che ( cathylinhche ) , Jess X Chen ( jessxchen ) and Paul Tran ( iampaultran ) embark on a cross-country extravaganza to read from their first and upcoming books. From New York City to Seattle, these fearless poets combine the ferocity of oral history, spoken word, and Asian American poetics to extricate new narratives of trauma, exile, colonialism, and love in the aftermath of war. Their poems turn from anger to sorrow, mercy to compassion, the erotic to the crowning of one’s own life. Nothing is spared or unexamined. Here is a desire to witness and write it all.”

Poster & Photography by Jess X Chen, with assistance from Paul Tran and Cathy Linh Che

The event for our NYC Kick off show is here.

So excited to announce that I’m going on a short cross-country tour with two of my favorite asian-american poets, and best friends: Cathy Linh Che and Paul Tran at the end of this month! Follow our adventures at lightstraumarevelation !

On heavy mornings, as I feel the dead weight of my body rise with the light of the sun, I am reminded: perhaps it is no miracle that this body will someday become stardust.
Jess X Chen 2014 / #sketchbook #watercolor

And every sprout is holy.

Jess X Chen / Sketchbook 2014

Photos by Jess X Chen 

"Maybe being winged is to be wounded by infinity." - Lee Young-Li