October 31st 2018

Press Release: SOMArts presents Reorienting the Imaginaries

Press Release: SOMArts presents Reorienting the Imaginaries

Dara Katrina Del Rosario
Communications and Partnerships Manager
415-863-1414 x103, [email protected]

SOMArts Cultural Center presents

Reorienting the Imaginaries
November 29, 2018–January 29, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2018 – SOMArts is thrilled to announce the first exhibition of the 2018–2019 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency Reorienting the Imaginaries curated by Robin Birdd, Anh Bui, Shirin Makaremi, Renae Moua, and Lena Sok. Reorienting the Imaginaries intertwines satire, resilience, and joy to confront the complexities of colonial caricatures. Reorienting the colonial imaginary becomes both unintentionally subversive and a catalyst for navigating autonomous futures.

This multidisciplinary exhibition showcases 14 artists of color whose work and creative practice center the resilience of communities who have historically been marginalized and misrepresented by dominant Western societal narratives. From re-coding stereotypes to emphasizing the power of collective action, Reorienting the Imaginaries inspires critical discourse of Otherness through new media and visual art.

Whether it’s through unpacking one’s own history, being rooted in and critical of present experiences, or imagining new avenues for expression and survival, Reorienting the Imaginaries aims to incite conversations and meditations on the many ways that personal narratives can take form,” says curator Lena Sok.

The opening reception on Thursday, November 29, 6–9 pm features curatorial remarks, DJ sets by8ULENTINA and FOOZOOL (Club Chai co-founders), and performances by House of Energi!

Additional public programs in conjunction with this exhibition include a Makers’ Market highlighting business models that prioritize community building, and a community dinner and panel discussion examining the nuanced relationship between culture and identity with art, food, and health.

Reorienting the Imaginaries closes on Thursday, January 24, 6–9 pm with Resist Stitch, a protest banner-making workshop facilitated by Shirin Towfiq, with a celebration of the exhibition to follow.

Reorienting the Imaginaries
Exhibiting Artists
Anum Awan
Jeffrey Cheung
Adrian Clutario
Gina M. Contreras
Sofía Córdova
Sara Emsaki
Jamil Hellu
Việt Lê with Jamie Maxtone-Graham
Diana Li  
Cathy Lu
Christopher Martin
Nina Reyes Rosenberg
Shirin Towfiq

Calendar Listings

Exhibition Run
November 29, 2018–January 29, 2019
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm
The exhibition is free to visit during gallery hours and during the opening reception. SOMArts Cultural Center is located at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible. More information on accessibility is available here:

Reorienting the Imaginaries: Opening Reception
Thursday, November 29 | 6–9pm
Celebrate the launch of the Curatorial Residency season with the opening reception of Reorienting the Imaginaries! This free opening reception features curatorial remarks, performances TBA

To  learn more, visit:

Makers’ Market
Thursday, December 13 | 6–9 pm
Vendor market highlighting markers and organizers who are taking control of their means of production and redefining business by prioritizing community building and engagement.

To learn more, visit

Reclaiming Identity: A Dinner and Conversation
Thursday, January 10, 2019 | 6–9 pm
Take part in an intimate community dinner and discussion examining the impact of culture and identity misrepresentation on food, art, clothing, and health. Food will be provided by Oakland Bloom, whose mission is “to provide resources for aspiring food business owners from the refugee, immigrant, and under-resourced communities, to be part of the rapidly changing food culture of the Bay Area.”

To learn more, visit

Resist Stitch Workshop and Closing Reception
Thursday, January 24, 6–9 pm
The closing opens with “Resistance and Protest Banner Making” workshop, led by one of the exhibiting artists, Shirin Towfiq. This all ages workshop is an opportunity for community members to  create their own resistance banner shirts that represent the power of the people and the collective effort to reclaim space and visibility.

To learn more, visit ‎



SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths.

For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Image credit: Viêt Lê, “Charlie’s Angel,” from the “love bang!” series, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

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