During his residency at Wave Pool, artist Daniel Shieh from Taiwan engaged local non-Asian residents in a story-gathering process about the Asian objects they might have in their homes. After sharing their stories, participants were invited to join in a week-long experience: keep their Asian objects at Welcome Project as part of the Familiarly Foreign exhibition featuring everyone’s objects and stories.
Familiarly Foreign investigates the contemporary functions of Asian objects in non-Asian homes. By gathering a multitude of these objects and stories, the exhibition reveals a more intimate relationship to Asian culture than previously imagined in a country where “Asian” is often equated with “non-American.”
The exhibition contains a display resembling that of anthropological museums that gather and show a large collection of exotic or mysterious Asian objects for the purpose of trying to give a local audience an understanding of a specific culture and type of people. However, in contrast to that, what’s actually on display here is not the beauty and curiosity of the objects but rather revealing how the object is treated and used—a literal display of the kinds of curiosity there is towards Asian objects and culture from non-Asian people. On the side opposite to the display is the interviews about objects from non-Asian people all over the country, showing the wide range of Asian objects that people have.
Interviews about Asian objects from Cincinnati (displayed in exhibition):
Click on images to see the interview.
Interviews about Asian objects from across the US: