This article by Ai Mori was originally published in the October/November newsletter of the Asian American Bar Assocition of the Greater Bay Area.
On September 10, AABA members gathered at the Mercury Lounge in San Francisco to celebrate Hiroshima’s 30th anniversary at a Happy Hour/Salon Discussion sponsored by AABA and Minami Tamaki LLP.
The Los Angeles-based band Hiroshima, which just released its 30th anniversary CD, “Legacy,” was in the Bay Area to perform at Yoshi’s Oakland that weekend.
The group came together for a free flowing discussion about art, politics and culture and the role artists play in the development of our identities as Asian Pacific Americans.
From left: Dan Kuramoto, Keith Kamisugi, June Kuramoto, Dale Minami
The event featured Hiroshima’s June Kuramoto and Dan Kuramoto, playwright Philip Kan Gotanda and San Francisco School Board member Jane Kim. Dale Minami moderated the discussion.
The featured artists and others including musician Anthony Brown and photographer Bob Hsieh shared their stories of the struggles they faced when they began their careers as Asian American artists.
Nancy Hom, who has volunteered her time to create artwork for community groups such as the Asian Women’s Shelter, said she wants her art to make a difference, whether it calls attention to a social issue or helps fundraise for a good cause.
From left: Dale Minami, Jane Kim, Philip Kan Gotanda
Jane Kim talked about a new generation of artists who are creating spoken word and poetry to express their views, and about her musician friends who are utilizing internet communications such as youtube and facebook to distribute their work, in contrast to the traditional release of music through record companies.
The event was a great way to start a dialogue among generations of artists and activists.