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Pop-up: Sally Wen Mao

Sat, Nov 9, 2019 from 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm PST
1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Sally Wen Mao pops-up in the Portland Art Museum galleries with her poetry collection, Oculus

Mao is paired with the artwork Please Participate by Jeppe Hein; found on the first floor of the Modern & Contemporary Art galleries. Please reference the Portland Art Museum Map to find this location.

In Oculus, Sally Wen Mao explores exile not just as a matter of distance and displacement, but as a migration through time and a reckoning with technology. The title poem follows a girl in Shanghai who uploaded her suicide onto Instagram. Other poems cross into animated worlds, examine robot culture, and haunt a necropolis for electronic waste. A fascinating sequence speaks in the voice of international icon and first Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong, who travels through the history of cinema with a time machine, even past her death and into the future of film, where she finds she has no progeny. With a speculative imagination and a sharpened wit, Mao powerfully confronts the paradoxes of seeing and being seen, the intimacies made possible and ruined by the screen, and the many roles and representations that women of color are made to endure in order to survive a culture that seeks to consume them.

Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao is the author of a previous poetry collection, Mad Honey Symposium. Her work has won a Pushcart Prize and fellowships at Kundiman, George Washington University, and the New York Public Library Cullman Center. Her most recent book of poems is Oculus.
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