Curatorial Projects > Chico & Chang (2011-2012)

Lordy Rodriguez
Chang’s America, 2011
Ink on paper
Courtesy of the artist & Hosfelt Gallery

“There is something inherently American or Western with the terms Chico and Chang. They're like cultural equivalents to a Taco Bell or Panda Express where the cultural origination is obvious but seen as American when placed in their "homeland." To play with this duality, the text in both these pieces are of the top 10 Asian and Latino neighborhoods in America. Even though these neighborhoods are mostly Asian or Latino, the name of these neighborhoods lack the cultural connection to its population. The opposite happens to well-known immigrant neighborhoods like the Mission district in San Francisco and the multitude of Chinatowns where the cultural representations remain strong but the neighborhood populations do not.

The color patterns relate back to those cultural connotations. For example, in "Chang's America," the red and yellow comes from the Chinese flag, the gray from the color of the Mao suit, and the purple which represent death in many east Asian countries. In "Chico's America," the red, green, and white come from the Mexican flag, the orange relates to migrant workers, and the beige which is an often used gang color. Names and color are strong representative elements and in these two pieces they play their roles to reflect on the dualities that all immigrant populations must deal with.” – Lordy Rodriguez

Top 10 Asian Neighborhoods
(ranked by % of total households that are Asian in the neighborhood or suburb)
1: Mission Hills-Vineyards North - 74.6% (Fremont, San Francisco)
2: Cameron Hills South - 63.9% (Fremont, San Francisco)
3: Fremont Place - 54.2% (Los Angeles, Los Angeles)
4: Avalon-Vineyards South - 54.2% (Fremont, San Francisco)
5: Cupertino South-Regnart Canyon - 46.1% (Cupertino, San Francisco)
6: The Midwest Club - 40.1% (Oak Brook, Chicago)
7: Trinity Lakes - 37.4% (Oak Brook, Chicago)
8: Summitpointe Golf Club - 36.9% (Milpitas, San Francisco)
9: Kahala - 33.2% (Honolulu, Honolulu)
10: Lakeview - 31% (Hillsborough, San Francisco) 

Chico & Chang

June 11 - August 20, 2011
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA

Photo credit: Scott Chernis