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GREAT LEAP, INC.
© 2003

GREAT LEAP : ARTISTS : DAN KWONG

 

Dan Kwong is a performance artist, writer, visual artist and teacher who has been presenting solo multimedia performances since 1989. Drawing upon his own experiences as a Chinese-Japanese-American male, Kwong explores the personal and the historical through storytelling, multimedia, martial arts, athletics, poetry and music. His creative voice is noted for its keen insight, striking visuals, dynamic physicality and generous sense of humor.

Major performances include: “Secrets of the Samurai Centerfielder,” “Tales From The Fractured Tao With Master Nice Guy,” “Monkhood In 3 Easy Lessons,” “Correspondence of A Dangerous Enemy Alien,” “The Dodo Vaccine” and "The Night the Moon Landed on 39th Street." These works explore subjects such as the Japanese American internment during WWII; “dysfunctional family Asian American-style”; HIV/AIDS and Asian Americans; Asian male identity; an allergic reaction to “Model Minority Syndrome;” cultural confusion and discovery in a mixed heritage family; and Kwong's lifelong goal to become the first performance artist in space.

Touring extensively since 1990, Kwong has performed at venues all across the United States and in England, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia and Canada. He is recipient of numerous fellowships recognizing his excellence in performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Art Matters Inc., Brody Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and has twice been nominated for the Alpert Award in The Arts for theater. In June 2004 he received a major award for Mid-Career Artists from the California Community Foundation.

Essays and performances have been published in "The Journal of American Drama and Theatre"; "Getting Your Solo Act Together"; "High Performance" magazine, and various anthologies including "Yellow Light - The Flowering of Asian American Arts"; “On A Bed of Rice - A Feast of Asian American Erotica” and "Living in American - A Pop Culture Reader". His visual artwork is included in “Let’s Get It On - The Politics of Black Performance” published by the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. A collection of his scripts entitled,"FROM INNER WORLDS TO OUTER SPACE: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong" was published by University of Michigan Press in July 2004.

Kwong has taught numerous autobiographical writing and performance workshops in the U.S. Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Canada. He is founder and curator of “Treasure In the House,” L.A.’s first Asian Pacific American performance and visual art series presented at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica since 1991, and also serves on their Board of Directors. He is a Resident Artist at the 18th Street Arts Center.

A native Angeleno and graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he has also studied judo, tai chi chu’an, aikido and iaido. His website is at http://www.dankwong.com.

Dan is a Featured Performer and Director of Great Leap’s touring production, “A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens.”

To email the artist directly: Dan