Post-Play Discussion with Playwright David Henry Hwang

"YELLOW FACE": TALKBACK AT THE PUBLIC THEATER WITH DAVID HENRY HWANG

This collection of videos presents artists, scholars, and speakers of various backgrounds on issues at the intersection of identity and art. The voices of a diverse array of artists who identify as Asian American are included in these discussions about artistic work that directly or incidentally relates to the Asian diasporic experience. Videos feature artists from Filipino playwright Jessica Hagedorn; to pioneering Bhangra producer and DJ, DJ Rekha; C.Y. Lee the Chinese American author of the 1957 novel “Flower Drum Song” that was adapted into a Rodgers and Hammerstein broadway musical; and the playwright David Henry Hwang. Questions are posed such as how can art be political besides through its content? Why is representation important and how can communities work towards this? How do Asian Americans understand themselves as such, through their bloodline or culture? How does immigration, colonization, and mixed race ancestry complicate ideas of identity? As well as, what does it mean to be an “Asian American” artist rather than just an artist? How can this be limiting creatively and professionally? And lastly, what is the value of being connected to and engaged with other people who share the same minority identity as you; what is the importance of community, mentorship, organization, and education among minority populations?