The Asian Art Museum will host a poetry performance as part of its ongoing exhibition series "Flower Power".
During the Summer of Love, flowers became powerful symbols of peace, a concept plucked from Buddhist art. More than merely decorative, floral imagery has helped convey ideas from the refined to the revolutionary for thousands of years.
In Asian art, flowers speak a language all their own. Where a lotus blooms, a rosebud is clasped, or cherry blossoms flutter to the ground, a story is told — if you know how to read it.
This summer, uncover the hidden meanings of flowers in Asian art. Delve into the symbolism of six significant blooms: the lotus, plum blossom, cherry blossom, chrysanthemum, tulip, and rose. The enduring importance of these flowers is shared through gloriously gilded screens, sleek lacquers, rare porcelains, striking sculptures, pop art, and sensory-igniting, participatory contemporary installations that speak to today’s issues, from climate change to social activism.
Throughout the world, flowers are timeless symbols of love, of hope, of peace and of resistance. Join six Bay Area poets in a three-part lunchtime poetry series in the Flower Power Lounge as they read works inspired by these timely themes.
Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, director, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, which is a performance workshop designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women and women living with HIV. Rhodessa has just been invited by the prestigious Dartmouth College to be a Montgomery Fellow, conducting lectures and workshops in early Fall 2017.
In December 2016 Rhodessa received a Theater Bay Area Award presented to individuals that have made “extraordinary contributions to the Bay Area theatre community.” In 2014 she received The Sui Generis Achievement Award for “one of a kind contributions, which benefit society in unique ways”. In January 2016 Ms. Jones was hired by the University of California, Berkeley to teach the Black Theater Workshop entitled “Performance: An African American Perspective”. Rhodessa received the Theatre Practitioner Award presented by Theater Communications Group during July 2015. The award recognizes “a living individual whose work in the American theatre has evidenced exemplary achievement over time and who has contributed significantly to the development of the larger field”. To begin 2013 The Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Art Commission presented the 2013 Mayor's Art Award to Rhodessa Jones, for her “lifetime of artistic achievement and enduring commitment to the role of the arts in civic life”.
Bonnie Wailee Kwong is a poet and playwright who traverses seen and unseen geographies. Her poetry and prose have garnered multiple Pushcart nominations. As artist in residence at Stanford University, she developed 'Liriope,' a theatrical adaptation of the Narcissus myth.
Tony Robles is a poet and activist born and raised in San Francisco. His poetry has appeared in many journals and magazines, including Pinoy Poetics and The Asian Pacific American Journal. He is the author of Cool Don't Live Here No More--A Letter to San Francisco, and the upcoming Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike, to be released in October 2017 by Ithuriel's Spear Press. Tony is a nominee and finalist for poet laureate of San Francisco and the current recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.