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Queer Asian exhibit packs a punch
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Queer Asian exhibit packs a punch

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

Across the Spectrum: Stories from Queer Asian Pacific America
Wing Luke Asian Museum
Through February 11


"Across the Spectrum: Stories from Queer Asian Pacific America," currently on display at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, consists of 12 varied stories that touch on issues of race, gender, sexuality, faith, and radicalism. According to museum officials, the primary goal of the exhibit is to "shed light on the experiences of individuals in the Queer Asian Pacific community and explore their lives through their voices and stories," which it does well.

As you enter the room, you'll find the wall adorned with signs and posters with the various stories on them. The voices of the storytellers can be heard on the sound system that plays continually throughout the room. The recordings echo the writing on the wall, and full transcripts are also available.

The first sign you'll notice is an introduction to the exhibit that reads: "While viewing the images may call to mind the commonplace, listening to the stories of race, gender and sexuality presented here across the spectrum gesture toward radical places."

One of the stories, the story of Vivek Manchanda rings especially true to the purpose of the exhibit. "There are six billion people on earth. In that variation, in that spectrum, you have sexuality and I am at one end of the spectrum and my dad is at the other end of the spectrum. I guess being different, in a way, is being part of the spectrum but still realizing that you're not part of the majority."

There are pencils and small pieces of paper available for the purpose of adding your own thoughts to the exhibit. With questions painted on the wall, you're asked to answer the questions and post your written responses on the wall, questions like "Do you struggle for acceptance?" And "When does finding our place happen?"

Although the exhibit is small, it packs a large punch; additionally, the rest of the museum is definitely worth taking a look at.

Wing Luke staff member Susan Lee recommends the "Parallel Lines" exhibit, which is an art exhibition of eight Seattle area contemporary artists, and the upcoming "Yellow Fever Exhibit, " a collection of paintings by controversial artist Roger Shimomura.

"Across the Spectrum" began on July 3 and runs through February 11, 2010. Major sponsors include The Pride Foundation, Nordstrom, and The Washington State Arts Commission, among others.

The Wing Luke Asian Museum is the only pan-Asian Pacific American museum in the country and is dedicated to engaging the Asian Pacific American communities and the public in exploring issues related to the culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans. The Wing Luke is located in the International District and more information can be found online at www.wingluke.org.

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