CUT FRUIT/과일깍자! at Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art's Solstice Saturday

Saturday, June 22, 2024
3 – 8PM

In many Asian and Asian American families, fruit is shared as an act of love in abundance: often present at a child’s first birthday celebration in Korea called a doljanchi; given in oversized boxes as housewarming gifts; and placed at altars for even our ancestors to enjoy. 

And in the transnational and intergenerational cultural memory, Adele 이슬 Kenworthy’s CUT FRUIT/과일깍자! asks what can spacializing love look like for generations to come? For the artist, it was memories of her umma cutting fruit.

CUT FRUIT/과일깍자! will be at the National Museum of Asian Art as part of Smithsonian’s annual Saturday Solstice celebration on June 22! 

Adele will cut fruit for you as artists Thu Ahn Nguyen and Xena Ni invite you to 1 on 1 listening sessions. Visitors will also have an opportunity to share their own stories of love and cut fruit. 

Instead of signs listing prices per pound, CUT FRUIT/과일깍자! invites visitors to carry the questions asked between the peels and slices: 

  • what is the first taste you can remember?
  • what is something you always wished someone had asked and knew about you? 
  • what fruit carries your favorite memories?
  • who is allowed to gather? 
  • who is allowed rest?

This project is the third and final installment of the ‘We Should Talk’ series, created by Philippa Pham Hughes, Adele Yiseol Kenworthy, and Xena Ni. ‘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.

Adele Yiseol Kenworthy is an artist organizer and her vulnerability is her superpower.

She explores how flowers have dyed, draped, and nourished social movements; what it means for socially engaged art to exist as an embodied practice of care; and tends the spaces of cultural memory and art as reimagined heritage work.

Adele was in the inaugural cohort of the M.F.A. in Social Practice Art at the Corcoran School of Art and Design. In 2022, she was invited to the Washington Project for the Arts Artist Organizer Spring Residency and Transformer’s Exercises for Emerging Artists Program. They’ve exhibited at Transformer Gallery, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Brentwood Arts Exchange, The Fearless Artist Pop up Gallery at Art Basel Miami, Gallery 102 at George Washington University and NEXT (2022) Festival at the Corcoran School of Art and Design. Their work has been featured in The Washington Post, District Fray, Washingtonian, Hyperallergic, and NBCWashington.

Her art practice and community is located on the traditional lands of the Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan) people, in the Washington, DC metro area.

Led by artist and curator Philippa Pham Hughes, artist and designer Xena Ni, and Adele 이슬 Kenworthy ‘We Should Talk’ focuses on creating immersive art installations and programming that delve into the complexity of Asian American identity. Applying an aesthetic of care and delight, we create relational spaces in which the public (and participants) can share deeply and honestly, learn from one another, explore, and grow together. We Should Talk, we champions participatory, community-centered art as a means to honor the diverse narratives within Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. (Learn more at