Seeing Color is a podcast that talks with cultural workers and artists of color in order to expand the area of what is a predominantly white space in the arts. With discussions shifting between art and race, Zhiwan Cheung hashes out with guests a range of topics about the creative process in a white-dominated art world.


  • Episode 55: Vulnerability Will Connect You (w/ Marcus Scott Williams)

    Episode 55: Vulnerability Will Connect You (w/ Marcus Scott Williams)

    10/11/2020 Duração: 01h01min

    Hey everyone. It has definitely been a crazy week and it seems things are turning out ok. It was four days of election news and uncertainty, but there is some sort of clarity now. I feel some kind of hope, in spite of 70 million Americans voting for an outright racist. With the bar so low, it seems the situation can more likely get better. I partially didn't release an episode last week because of the timing, but also I was in the middle of flying back into China. I was a bit stressed out with the whole ordeal of getting the all the proper documents, visas, COVID tests, and jet lag. At the moment, I am currently in Xiamen and day six of hotel quarantine. In addition to the COVID test I had to take in order to board the airline, I received another COVID test upon landing, before being directly shuttled to a hotel where will be tested for again before I leave. After that, I can travel back to Zhuhai and around China. So anyway. Enough about me. For today on the podcast, I am interviewing Marcus Scott Williams,

  • Episode 54: Two Years Anniversary #3 (w/ Carol Zou)

    Episode 54: Two Years Anniversary #3 (w/ Carol Zou)

    20/10/2020 Duração: 41min

    Hey y'all. I hope your week is going well. This is the last episode where I revisit a previous guest to cap off my two year anniversary of this podcast. Sometimes, I wonder who I am celebrating this with and who is listening, but for those of you out there, I hope this is bringing some moments of joy. Anyway, I talked with Tereneh Idia and Justin Favela for the past two episodes and you can check those out as well if you missed them. For this week, I have my good friend, Carol Zou, someone who I have known for over a decade. Carol's work facilitates creative social change projects with a focus on racial justice, informal labor, and public space. Informing a lot of Carol's work is the belief that we are most free when we help others get free. I was able to catch up with Carol late at night and we talk over some drinks through zoom, which the sound quality leaves much to be desired. I did my best to clean it up, but hopefully you can bare with it. Our chat is informal, which is to say a bit all over the place,

  • Episode 53: Two Years Anniversary #2 (w/ Justin Favela)

    Episode 53: Two Years Anniversary #2 (w/ Justin Favela)

    13/10/2020 Duração: 01h25min

    Hey everyone. Thanks for tuning in to round 2 of the special two-year anniversary edition where I revisit three past guest of the show. Last week, I talked with Tereneh Idia, an internationally based fashion designer, which if you haven't listened to yet, go check it out. But for this week, I am chatting with Justin Favela, an artist known for his colorful large-scale installations and sculptures that manifest his interactions with American pop culture and the Latinx experience. In 2018, Justin won the Alan Turing LGTBIQ Award. He also hosts two culture-oriented podcasts, "Latinos Who Lunch" and "The Art People Podcast." I met Justin 3 years ago and have maintained a close long-distance friendship with him since. Hopefully you can hear our familiarity with each other in our banter as we chat about José María Velasco, performance art, working for Hollywood, and finding a ranch for the future. Justin also inspired me to create this podcast, so visiting him again on the two year anniversary seemed important as w

  • Episode 52: Two Years Anniversary #1 (w/ Tereneh Idia)

    Episode 52: Two Years Anniversary #1 (w/ Tereneh Idia)

    06/10/2020 Duração: 01h07min

    Hey everyone. I hope you are well. The news is going more crazy with each passing day, although I think we have a new definition for the words karma and irony in relation to the current US state of affairs. I finally got my mail-in-ballet, which I quickly filled out and dropped off at my local town hall, so that is out of the way. I did get information about my returning to China, although it is a national Chinese holiday this week so everyone is on vacation and the instructions for renewing work visas are still very unclear. So more waiting around, as has been the case for everyone.But for today I am doing something different to celebrate the fact that somehow I have been doing this podcast for 2 years. So for the next three episodes, which I will be releasing every week as opposed to bi-weekly, I will be revisiting three special guests from earlier episodes. For this week's episode, I will be chatting with Tereneh Idia, who I first talked to in Episode 8, which I will link in the show notes. As a quick over

  • Episode 51: I Am Not A Fortune Cookie (w/ Vicky Truong)

    Episode 51: I Am Not A Fortune Cookie (w/ Vicky Truong)

    22/09/2020 Duração: 47min

    Hey everyone. I hope you are all doing ok. The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is bringing up a lot of complicated feelings for me, as I am sure it is for many people. Of course, we must remember the shift in power in the Supreme Court is just one of many things that has been failing over the course of US democracy. It means come this November, voting for the US elections is important, but so are all the local elections and difficult discussions about what it means to exist on this planet where we are all entangled with each other. Yeah...I just don't know. Yeah. Anyway, for this week, I am returning to an older recording I did with Vicky Truong while I was living in Berlin over a year ago. Born in Australia, raised by a half Chinese-Teochew half Vietnamese father, and a half Chinese-Teochew (ti-jiu) half Thai mother, Vicky grew up with an abundance of different cuisines and cultures. She lived in France for three years where she worked in the Fashion Industry before moving to Berlin working as a teache

  • Episode 50: Pause for Feelings (w/ Almaz Wilson)

    Episode 50: Pause for Feelings (w/ Almaz Wilson)

    08/09/2020 Duração: 01h10min

    Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well wherever you are. I don't have too much new to report. But for today, I have a great episode with Almaz Wilson, an artist I met back in January while I was at Vermont Studio Center. Almaz got her BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland and an MFA from the University of Florida. I got to know Almaz during the many hours talking over meals and late at night after a long day in the studios. As a sidenote, I planned the release of this episode a bit poorly as Almaz had an exhibition of her work in New York City back in February 22. We talk about her show in the interview and I should have released our chat before then. I need to plan these releases better. I actually had a chance to see her show before it went down as I had just flown back from Asia as the world began to change from COVID-19. It was nice to see the work all hung up after doing a few studio visits with Almaz while the work was in progress. In addition to talking about how she is preparin

  • Episode 49: Festival of Air (w/ Emily Lu)

    Episode 49: Festival of Air (w/ Emily Lu)

    25/08/2020 Duração: 50min

    Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well. I have had a lot of things on my mind lately, the future of this podcast being one of them, not to mention the futures of the myriad of other responsibilities in life. I have been taking some amazing zoom classes lately and reading some dense theory stuff that I probably understand only a small portion. Also, China opened up its visa process to Europe and parts of Asia, so maybe I'll be able to go back before classes start and can avoid the whole remote teaching while in a 12 hour time zone difference. Of course it is hard to predict the future right now and I am grateful I even have a job. I will keep you updated.For today, I have the wonderful Emily Lu, a poet I met in Vermont last January. Emily was born in Nanjing, China before she and her family moved to Canada. Emily got her B.Sc. at the University of Toronto and her M.D. at Queen's University. She is currently finishing up her residency training in psychiatry while she continues to write poetry. This tension of

  • Episode 48: Haiti Does Not Have The Copyright To Tragedy (w/ Jean-Ulrick Désert)

    Episode 48: Haiti Does Not Have The Copyright To Tragedy (w/ Jean-Ulrick Désert)

    11/08/2020 Duração: 02h24min

    Hey everyone. I hope all is well with y'all as this new normal of COVID-19 is settling in. I don't have too much news...still awaiting returning to China and still not sure I can be physically there by the fall semester. I have a few logistical things with my living situation in China that is causing some headaches but otherwise I am safe in the US. One small thing I am part of is this video project curated by Isaac Leung of Videotage in Hong Kong. My video is showing on Videotage's website but it is also all over public screen in the streets of Lisbon, I guess if you happen to be in Lisbon, you might see my video at random street corners. I'll post a link or two on instagram.Anyway. For today, I am talking with Jean-Ulrick Désert, a conceptual and visual artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti before his family fled to the US. Originally trained as an architect from Cooper Union and Columbia, Jean-Ulrick got drawn to art and never looked back. He left his architecture job and traveled to France be

  • Episode 47: Knowing Your Self-Worth (w/ Celeste Smith)

    Episode 47: Knowing Your Self-Worth (w/ Celeste Smith)

    28/07/2020 Duração: 54min

    Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well. I am trying to enjoy the summer the best I can by avoiding groups of people. I have been doing a lot of reading these past few weeks, which has been nice. I also spoke with Tereneh last week, a previous guest on the show, who is thinking of starting her own podcast with a few friends which I am looking forward to listening to. Shoutout to Tereneh! Check out my chat with Tereneh on Episode 8, which seemed so long ago. Speaking of long ago, I have been thinking a lot about my own process in getting my episodes out since the beginning. When I started recording 2 years ago, I was in Pittsburgh for the summer and about to leave for Germany. I decided to record as much as I could before my flight to Berlin, giving me time to see what my habits were in the process of interviewing others and finding my own voice in the process. I figured if I could get around 26 interviews, I would have a year of material for a bi-weekly podcast. I ended up with 28 episodes and released my fir

  • Episode 46: A Space Where Gravity Is Legible (w/ Didier William)

    Episode 46: A Space Where Gravity Is Legible (w/ Didier William)

    14/07/2020 Duração: 55min

    Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I don't have too much news to share these days. It seems like this whole virus situation is here to stay and I am uncertain I will be able to return to China anytime soon for work. If the EU is refusing travelers from the US, I would assume China to do the same, and for good reason. But I don't have too much to complain about as I have a roof over my head in a rural area that is OK for now in terms of ou breaks. I have been thinking more about the future direction I want to take this podcast as I normally have been interviewing friends and others I have met in person, but with the current situation, I have been thinking about expanding out. Of course, I am a bit nervous about moving forward this way. I have a number of interviews I still need to release before this happens, but the time will come soon enough. It may be for the better for this podcast.In any case, for today, I am interviewing Didier William. Originally from Port-au-prince Haiti, Didier

  • Episode 45: The Struggle Is Continuous (w/ Sonja John)

    Episode 45: The Struggle Is Continuous (w/ Sonja John)

    30/06/2020 Duração: 01h30min

    Hey everyone. I hope y'all are hanging in there. I hope everyone is maintaining social distancing if you can and staying safe and healthy in the mind and body. It took me a bit to start back up with editing the podcasts. I took this time to deep dive back into my unreleased materials that I never got around to releasing for one reason or another and then got too embarrassed to release them so late. But better late than never. So for the next few episodes I'll be going a bit back to some older conversations I had done.Anyway, for today, I am chatting with the wonderful Sonja John, a queer first generation New York City-based artist, educator, and poet I met last January in Vermont. Sonja received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017 and her contributions to museum education and visual art have been featured at the RISD Museum, The New Yorker, and Hyperallergic. Drawing from flora and fauna native to her parents' homelands of Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Philippines, Sonja's work se

  • [Bonus] Some Thoughts and Updates

    [Bonus] Some Thoughts and Updates

    23/06/2020 Duração: 03min

    Hey everyone. I have a brief update to share about the show and some thoughts in light of the recent events. But before I do, I want to say loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter. As an Asian-American, I think about the way anti-Blackness is embedded throughout Asian culture and society. I think about how this anti-Black sentiment showed itself when Asian-American communities rallied around NYPD officer Peter Liang for murdering Akai Gurley. I think about the affirmative action lawsuit against Harvard that Asians supported as being driven by the same anti-Black sentiment. And of course, there was the Hmong-American police officer standing by as George Floyd was murdered. If there is one thing that has driven me to create this podcast, it is the belief that true freedom cannot come at the expense of Black lives. I think silence in anti-Black violence will not give Asian any true place in a racist white supremacist world. The lacking of self-awareness and propagating anti-Black and anti-Brown rhetoric just

  • Episode 44: Being There There Being (w/ Devin Kenny)

    Episode 44: Being There There Being (w/ Devin Kenny)

    02/06/2020 Duração: 01h06min

    Hey everyone. I hope everyone is doing okay. These are really sad and frustrating times with the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the many others that did not get the coverage they deserved. And then there are all the Beckys and Karens out in the world perpetuating white supremacy at Central Park and beyond. This is the time for white allies to speak up and where being neutral is being part of the problem. The prioritization of the destruction of property over black lives is part of the problem. And forcing the celebration of our differences onto the shoulders of a select few is part of the problem. I just hope everyone including me can find it in our heart to have empathy for the situation and create meaningful change, from donating to organizations working to change the situation to joining those very organizations. I've added links in the show notes and on the website to a few resources.Of course, these recent events are simply a few in what is a long history o

  • Episode 43: Rhizomatic Collectivism (w/ Rosalia Namsai Engchuan)

    Episode 43: Rhizomatic Collectivism (w/ Rosalia Namsai Engchuan)

    19/05/2020 Duração: 53min

    Hey everyone. Summer is soon to be upon us, although the future seems slightly less joyous. I keep releasing these episodes but I do wonder what exactly they are doing in contrast to these times affected by COVID-19. I hope you as listeners are taking care of yourselves and don't feel the capitalistic need to produce in order to live, a comment made by my friend Carol Zou, who was also a previous guest of this show. So in these times, just make sure you can find some space for yourself.For today, I have an older recording with Rosalia Namsai Engchuan, a social anthropologist and filmmaker I met in Berlin. Rosalia holds an MA in Modern South and Southeast Asian Studies from Humboldt University and a BA in Asian Studies and Management from Hochschule Konstanz. Currently she is pursuing a PHD at the Max Planck Institute. Her research is concerned with the roots and becoming of the larger ecosystem of independent film communities in Indonesia, shamanism and technology on film sets, and the politics of nation buil

  • Episode 42: Whats More American Than Slavery (w/ Dell Marie Hamilton)

    Episode 42: What's More American Than Slavery (w/ Dell Marie Hamilton)

    05/05/2020 Duração: 01h05min

    Hi everyone. I hope you are staying safe, healthy, and sane in these strange time. Today is another week of quarantining and it seems states and countries are slowly opening up but I don't know if that is the best idea without a vaccine. I guess we will have to wait and see. There's only a few more weeks of teaching in the semester for my university and after that I don't know what is happening. Things are out of my hands regarding that, as I am sure it is with everyone else.Anyway. For today, I have a special interview with Dell Marie Hamilton, an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and curator. Dell has a B.A. in journalism from Northeastern University and an MFA from Tufts University. With roots in Belize, Honduras and the Caribbean, Dell frequently draws upon the personal experiences of her family as well as the history and folkloric traditions of the region. In addition to her performances, Dell works as a curator for the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.I first encountered one of

  • Episode 41: The Space In Between (w/ Valery Jung Estabrook)

    Episode 41: The Space In Between (w/ Valery Jung Estabrook)

    21/04/2020 Duração: 01h18min

    Hey everyone. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Spring time has arrived and I've been trying to enjoy walks in the woods. Otherwise, I am teaching art classes remotely and wondering about the future, as I am sure everyone else is in this uncertain times.For today, I am interviewing Valery Estabrook, a multidisciplinary artist exploring culture and the human experience through media and time-based installations. Valery's work reveals hidden personal histories, allowing others to peer into a private psychological space, with the ultimate goal of outward connection and contributing to ongoing dialogues. She holds an MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College and a BA in Visual Art from Brown University. Valery is currently a Professor of Experimental Sound and Technology at the University of New Mexico. Our conversation occurred this past January up in rural Vermont, where we discussed growing up on an Asian pear farm, thinking about needing momentum, and processing videos in both installations and on the

  • Episode 40: No More Handshakes (w/ Joy-Marie Thompson)

    Episode 40: No More Handshakes (w/ Joy-Marie Thompson)

    07/04/2020 Duração: 47min

    Hey everyone. I hope everyone is doing well in these crazy times. I don't have too much news on my end. Every Sunday night to Tuesday morning I teach my students in China, but otherwise I've been reading a lot and spending time learning Chinese. I have also been trying to cherish the extra time I have with my parents, which is the silver lining in all of this. Trying to stay positive in all this.Speaking of positive, today I am interviewing Joy-Marie Thompson, a dancer from Pittsburgh. She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance Performance and works in a variety of mediums, including photography and film. Many people told me I had to talk with Joy-Marie, so I reached out and we had a zoom session in the midst of this pandemic, both of us holed up in our homes. Before everything shut down in the US, Joy-Marie was part of Sleep No More, an immersive theater experience retelling Shakespeare's Macbeth, which we talk about in-depth, along with Joy-Marie's experiences in Europe, her many collaborations, a

  • Episode 39: Citizenship For Paradise (w/ Jova Lynne)

    Episode 39: Citizenship For Paradise (w/ Jova Lynne)

    24/03/2020 Duração: 01h27min

    Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doubly and triply well today. The world has gone crazy and I am wishing that everyone is making it through this difficult time. China seems to be doing okay and my school was thinking of starting back up by the end of the month, but then I got an update for overseas staff to remain on standby. Many Asian countries are now preventing the Western world from entering in a strange reversal of border control as the virus has spread out west. I will most likely spend the rest of spring and early summer remaining in the US before flying back out to China. I will most likely be quarantined upon my arrival, which I am not looking forward to but is also probably the right thing for the government to do. This is a striking difference to the approach I am seeing in the US, which seems to be leaderless and unable to make a decision about how to do anything in this time of crisis. Anyway...In light of all the terrible things and distruptions happening in the world, I am trying to maintain

  • Episode 38: No Such Thing As Postcolonial (w/ Rhea Ramjohn)

    Episode 38: No Such Thing As Postcolonial (w/ Rhea Ramjohn)

    10/03/2020 Duração: 50min

    Hey everyone. I hope everyone is well. Not much new is going on with me. I've been just slowly adjusting my sleep schedule and teaching my students using video conferencing through the Zoom app. I had to adjust a few assignments to fit with the new format of my courses, but otherwise, it seems to be going well. I saw a wonderful performance by Dell Marie Hamilton at the Hood Museum of Art, which is the local art museum. And I made a quick trip to New York City for Armory week, where I got to catch up with a few friends and saw some art. Overall, I'm just trying to stay busy.Anyway, for today, I am interviewing Rhea Ramjohn, a writer, podcaster, and vernacular curator from Trinidad via Boston and Berlin. I met Rhea in Berlin while I was there last year and got to interview her shortly before I left for China. I met Rhea through Nine Yamamoto-Masson, who I interviewed on Episode 16. I kept running into Rhea at different meetups and events around Berlin. As I slowly got to know her, I became interested in all th

  • Episode 37: Poetry Under Pressure (w/ Jo Elizabeth Stewart)

    Episode 37: Poetry Under Pressure (w/ Jo Elizabeth Stewart)

    25/02/2020 Duração: 01h15min

    Hey everyone. I hope everyone is staying safe. My school in China has currently moved to online teaching for the foreseeable future as no one knows how long the virus will affect China. As I mentioned in my previous episode, I rerouted my flight to Thailand to wait out the virus. I stayed in Chiang Mai and enjoyed living in  warm weather and eating a lot of amazing northern Thai food, also called Lanna cuisine. I was also able to check out the Land Foundation, an art project started by Rirkrit Tiravanija. The foundation was hosting a solar panel cookout with local Lanna recipes and it interesting to see the whole event play out. I also met two other professors from Shanghai and Beijing who also left their cities and are teaching remotely. The longer I stayed in Asia, the more the news seemed to get worse and worse, so my original plan to teach remotely while traveling across Asia didn't seem too good. I left for Seoul for a week, but by the time this episode will be released, I'll be flying back to the US.For

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