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Good Fortunes: Open House

Event description

Who Gets to Be a Visionary? We Should Talk’s newest art installation, Good Fortunes, by Asian American artist Xena Ni explores this question at the Heurich House Museum this May

This May, during AAPI Heritage month, artist Xena Ni will transform the Heurich House Museum into a portal to the future with her interactive art installation, Good Fortunes. Travel to the future with visionary Asian Americans and return with reasons for hope in the present. Good Fortunes is the second installment of the We Should Talk series, a participatory installation that invites you to join visionary Asian American womxn in imagining and shaping the future, created by Philippa Pham Hughes, Adele Yiseol Kenworthy, and Xena Ni. 

Join Curator/We Should talk creator, Philippa Hughes for an open house on Friday, May 10th from 5-8pm. This open house will happen during the museum's regular biergarten house. Grab a local craft beverage before or after exploring the installation on the first floor of the house!

Good Fortunes asks you to embody the simple and expansive answer to these two questions:

  • Who gets to be thought of as a visionary? Everyone, including you.
  • Who gets to flourish in the future? Everyone, including you.

The art installation will be on display for visitors during the museum’s regular tour hours Thursday through Saturday, as well as during a series of public open houses.

More Programs:
  • Opening Reception | Friday, May 3, 6-8pm: Explore the installation on the first floor of the house then head into the garden to shop from local AAPI makers and grab a local craft beverage from the museum’s biergarten.
  • Get Crafty! | Wednesday, May 15, 4-8PM: The Museum's month craft station will feature DIY good luck charms. Please note the installation will not be on view during this event.
  • Lion Dance Celebration | Saturday, May 18, 1-4PM: A celebration of our collective wishes for the future, featuring lion dancers at 2PM and informal Q+A with the artist Xena Ni.
  • Closing Night | Friday, May 31, 5-8PM: Open house.

All programs are free and open to the public. RSVP is requested for attendance. 

Despite different origins and family fortunes (literal and metaphorical), artist Xena Ni and brewer Christian Heurich’s migration journeys and ability to make their lives anew in the US echo one another.

Heurich was a German immigrant who naturalized as a US citizen. Ni is a Chinese immigrant who spent formative time in Germany and naturalized as a US citizen. From 1894-1956, when the museum was the Heurich family’s residence, Chinese people were excluded from the US due to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Despite a short era of anti-German sentiment during WWI, Germans never experienced a US immigration ban. Ni immigrated from China to the US in 1991, a century after the Heurich House was built and just 26 years after the ending of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

For the last decade the Heurich House Museum’s work has explored the American Experience with the goal of interpreting history more holistically and equitably while also connecting to the modern world. 

May you flourish in many futures. May many futures flourish because of you.

About Good Fortunes:

Enter a portal to the future made from mailboxes and cascades of red strings and bells. Inside one of the mailboxes is a message for you – a gift from the future sent to you by the visionary artists and organizers who traveled to the future with Xena to show you that America is still full of possibility, its future still able to be shaped by your hopes, visions, and actions. 

Your gift might contain a glimpse of a future technology, a mysterious scent, or a plantable seed. Your gift will include an invitation to write your own wish for the future and to send it to the future by ringing the portal bells. Good Fortunes opens on May 3rd and closes on May 31st, with programming throughout the month of May. As visitors leave their own wishes for the future, Good Fortunes will grow into a vessel for sharing hope, curiosity, and dialogue about every person’s role in shaping the future.

About We Should Talk:

We Should Talk is a series of art installations and programming powered by Asian American Womxn. Led by artist and curator Philippa Pham Hughes, and artists Xena Ni and Adele Yiseol Kenworthy, We Should Talk creates space for exploring the complexity of Asian American identity. We Should Talk received federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the American Women’s History Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

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