GHOST__WORLD: a performance for 4 dancers
Location: The Lab (2948 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103)
Tickets: $17 (use code SLASHFANS for discounted $13 tickets)
Saturday, April 27, 2024 | 7pm | Click here to watch Artist Talk with Jen Liu, Cathy Park Hong, and Tanya Zimbardo
Sunday, April 28, 2024 | 5pm | Click here to watch Artist Talk with Jen Liu, Vanessa Chang, and Tanya Zimbardo
Click here to watch GHOST__WORLD: a performance for 4 dancers

GHOST__WORLD: a performance for 4 dancers is built on choreography originating in first-hand interviews with electronics and e-waste workers in South China (conducted by Liu in fall 2022). An overwhelming sense of disconnection and dim prospects are routed through references to a number of traditions, including Chinese Lion Dance, Butoh, and the synchronized dances of “frog mothers” — illegal street vendors wearing inflatable frog costumes, selling frog-shaped balloons — a viral sensation throughout Asia in 2023. This piece considers life as a ghost trapped in a phone, fragmented inside a digital purgatory, the border between a real body and light dancing on the screen. The performance features dancers Tracey Lindsay Chan, SanSan Kwan, Miche Wong, and Áine Dorman. Following the approximately half-hour performances, Jen Liu will join GHOST__WORLD exhibition curator Tanya Zimbardo and guest speakers in conversation. April 27 will feature Cathy Park Hong, writer and professor at UC Berkeley, and on April 28, Vanessa Chang, director of programs, Leonardo / ISAST.

*Please find The Lab’s accessibility information here. For inquiries about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please email anthony@thelab.org or thelabsf@thelab.org by April 21, 2024.

Jen Liu (she/they) is a New York-based visual artist working in video, painting, performance, sculpture and biomaterial, on diasporic Asian identities, postcolonial economies, and the re-motivating of archival artifacts. In her most recent work, she’s used genetic engineering and dark encryption to reframe firsthand accounts of electronics workers, and created semi-speculative scripts from corporate brochures and industrial manuals. She is a professor of film/video at Bennington College as well as a regular visiting critic in Columbia University’s Visual Arts MFA.

Áine Dorman is a dancer, educator, and designer of Chinese American and Irish descent. She is native to San Francisco, where she trained at the San Francisco Ballet and Westlake School for the Performing Arts before graduating from UC Irvine with a Bachelor’s in Dance and Public Health Sciences. She has trained in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Berlin. Her endeavors have led her to dance with Eisenhower Dance Detroit, the Detroit Opera, and most recently ODC/Dance. Áine is a fashion and costume designer under her design brand Undercurve where she explores design as a means to abstractly connect movement back to the community.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Miche Wong is a dancer, educator, and choreographer. Seasoned in that order, it’s led her to dance with Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Garret +Moulton Productions, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, Ziru Dance, LevyDance, Capacitor, and Flyaway Productions. Living and working across cultures and borders has influenced her experience-based practice that comes forward when she dances and teaches. She works with a swath of energy and levity influenced by the ups and downs of the human process. Miche’s choreographic work has been shown at the Beijing International Dance Festival, Silicon Valley Dance Festival, Asian Art Museum, amongst other local museums and theaters. She joined ODC/Dance in 2019.

SanSan Kwan is professor and chair in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she teaches dance and dance studies. She has danced with Lenora Lee Dance for over ten years. Previously, she worked with Chen and Dancers, Maura Nguyen Donohue/In Mixed Company, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Scott Rubin, and Jonathon Appels, among others. SanSan also performs dance research. Her most recent book is Love Dances: Loss and Mourning in Intercultural Collaboration (Oxford UP, 2021) (de la Torre Bueno© Award, Isadora Duncan Dance Award).

In high school, Tracey Lindsay Chan fell in love with dance. However, it became sporadic in the following decade as she obtained her B.S. (Textiles), M.S. (Human Factored Design), and developed a career in global research at Google. In 2021, Tracey decided to commit to dance, a lifelong love on the back burner. She left her job and dove into training. In early 2024, she premiered her first project PANELS, a horror-esque dance film on grief, to a sold out audience at the historic Great Star Theater in her hometown: San Francisco. Looking ahead, she aims to establish herself as a choreographer and director across mediums.

Vanessa Chang is a curator, writer and educator. She is Director of Programs at Leonardo/ISAST. She earned a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. Her curatorial work has been profiled in Art in America and KQED Arts. She has published essays in Wired, Slate, Noema, Los Angeles Review of Books, among other venues. Her book, Atlas of the Digital Body, about the complex relationship of bodies and technologies, from pens to vinyl records to A.I., is forthcoming 2025.

Cathy Park Hong’s New York Times bestselling book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House and Profile Books (UK). Minor Feelings was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and earned her recognition on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list. She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo’um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her prose and poetry have been published in the New York Times, New Republic, the Guardian, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is a Full Professor in English at UC Berkeley.

Tanya Zimbardo is a San Francisco-based curator and a / (Slash) advisory committee member. Over the past decade, she has guest-curated exhibitions and screenings for nonprofit arts and film organizations. As an assistant curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Zimbardo has curated numerous presentations. Select co-edited exhibition catalogs: “Bonnie Ora Sherk: Life Frames since 1970,” (Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture), “Public Works: Artists’ Interventions: 1970s–Now,” (Mills College Art Museum), and “Soundtracks” (SFMOMA).

Jen Liu’s GHOST__WORLD: a performance for 4 dancers is a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission organized by / (Slash) and co-presented with The Lab in San Francisco. The production was made with further support from Creative Capital, Gray Area, UC Berkeley Center for New Media, and the UC Berkeley Art Practice Department. GHOST__WORLD: a performance for 4 dancers will premiere on the occasion of Jen Liu: GHOST__WORLD, a related solo exhibition curated by Tanya Zimbardo, on view from April 13 through August 24, 2024 at / (Slash) in San Francisco.

Thanks to: Cora Cliburn, Mia Chong, Corey Chan, Kat G Cole, Alex Huang, Edgar Garcia, Kimi Okada, Dena Beard, Việt Lê, Shisanwu, Lenora Lee, Megan Lowe, and / (Slash) team of Tuğçe Evirgen Özmen, Efe Özmen, Ana İpek Saygı, and Maxine Schoefer-Wulf.