The 2nd Happy Family Night Market was held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the Abrons Art Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
In 2019, we broadened our mission and scope to support an ambitious, interdisciplinary program that thoughtfully represented the diversity of cultures, cuisines, and perspectives within the Asian diaspora.
We expanded our programming to include a live music festival on two stages, hands-on craft and culinary workshops, a comedy show, and a dedicated public art program to complement our food and film festivals, panel discussions, and marketplace.
Our 2019 food festival, curated by Xinyi Lim, was focused on reflecting the diversity and breadth of Asian cuisines, and sharing stories of migration, assimilation, and tradition through food.
Participants included: Burrow, Dawa’s, Eat Offbeat, Jhal NYC, Kopitiam, Kolkata Chai Co, Kichin, Little Skips, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, OPOPO x San & Wolves Bakeshop, Pham to Table, Thai Farm Kitchen, and Republic of Booza.
In 2019, we launched a bona-fide live music festival, curated by Vishal Nayak, which featured an eclectic lineup of independent artists split between two stages.
Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto) performed as our evening headliner, with Lionmilk and Ian Chang opening. Daytime acts included Kohinoorgasm, Blue Mena (FKA Ushamami), and Nathan Bajar, in addition to DJ sets by DJ Ushka and Theodore Jahng.
The 2019 film festival, curated by Angeline Gragasin & Arianne Alizio, showcased feature-length and short-form documentary, narrative, and experimental films exploring the relationships between tradition, ritual, and environment.
Feature films included: Ask the Sexpert (Vaishali Sinha, 2017) co-presented by the Asian American Feminist Collective, and 95 and 6 To Go (Kimi Takesue, 2016) co-presented by the Japan Society. Shorts by: Anita Chang, Rishi Chandna, TJ Collanto, Shalemar Coloma, Karishma Dev Dube, Maegan Houang, Ginny Huo, SJ Kim-Ryu, Jessica Kingdon, Iyabo Kwayana, Jeannie Nguyen, Kelsi Phung, Miko Revereza, Lydia Rui, Roxy Rezvany, Maryam Tafakory, Monika Uchiyama, Wyatt Wu, Julie Zhu. Anita Chang’s 100 Eggs A Minute was presented in a new digital restoration courtesy of the Prelinger Archives.
What makes Asian art Asian? And what makes public art public? What are the effects of using archetypal imagery and recognizably Asian symbols in artwork in order to easily achieve relatability or approachability? Can Asian artists reclaim these symbols and recover from “white gaze” art made within the diaspora?
Curator Divya Gadangi invited visual artists to explore their heritage, memory, identity, and culture through site-specific and participatory artworks designed to engage a diversity of viewers at HFNM 2019.
In 2019, we launched a program dedicated to exploring challenging topics, lost traditions, and shared histories of the Asian diaspora through dialogue and interactive learning.
The new program, curated by Phoebe Tran & Coral Lee, offered educational workshops in addition to performances by Asian AF! and SPAM: Specially Processed American Me, as well as panel discussions on topics such as cultural preservation, appropriation, and representation.
Workshops included: Asian Butterfly Taxidermy (Gotham Taxidermy’s Divya Anantharaman), Backstrap Weaving in Asia (Weaving Hand’s Cynthia Alberto), Dumplings and Savory Pastries from Nepal and Uzbekistan (The League of Kitchens’ Rachana Rimal and Damira Inatullaeva), Bokashi Composting (Shig Matsukawa),The Meaning of Color (South Asian Diaspora Collective & Amanda Goonetilleke), CPU Gimbap (Taeyoon Choi), A Guide to Isha Farming & Heirloom Indian Produce (Gopal Farm), Taj Mah Grandma’s Balls (Taj Mah Balls), The Case for Makgeolli (Hana Makgeolli), Ayurvedic Preservation: Fruits, Roots and Spice (Atina Foods),and Suminagashi and Ebru marbling (Sophia Haas).
Speakers included Fumi Abe & Mic Nguyen (Asian, Not Asian), Shabnaj Chowdhury (The Juggernaut), Cathy Erway, Mariel Estrada (WarnerMedia), Sari Kamin (Food Without Borders), Joseph Legaspi, Parissah Lin, Myra Manning (Row 7 Seed Company), D’hana Perry (KUNQ), Krishnendu Ray, Jack Tchen, Katherine Tom & Tsige Tafesse (BUFU), Thanushka Yakupitiyage, Mikail Khan, and Nur-E Farhana Rahman (Korai Kitchen).
As a hub of informal commerce, the 2019 Marketplace promoted experimentation, exchange, and mobility within and beyond the Asian community. Curator Divya Gadangi invited a diversity of artists, artisans, indie publishers, apparel designers, and social entrepreneurs to share their wares with new audiences.