A4 Recommends: December 2022

By A4 Staff
December 19, 2022

Whether it’s a perspective-shifting book, a silly YouTube video, or a visceral dance performance, sharing the things that we’ve discovered with one another is a core joy for us here at A4. It felt a shame to keep all of these fantastic recommendations to ourselves! And so, every month, members of the A4 staff compile some of our top suggestions. Here’s what we’ve been excited for this holiday season!:

We’ve been so thrilled with all of the coverage surrounding Stanford University’s Asian American Arts Initiative (AAAI)! In particular, we recommend Alex Paik’s review of the organization’s inaugural exhibition, “East of the Pacific: Making Histories of Asian American Art” for Hyperallergic and Lisa Yin Zhang’s interview with AAAI’s co-directors, Marci Kwon and Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander over at Frieze.

Sabrina Imbler’s first book, How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures is a wonderful collection of essays that explores themes in the author’s own life as a queer, mixed race writer through the lens of some of the ocean’s deepest-dwelling inhabitants.

Another author making a splashy debut is Jesmeen Kaur Deo, whose scintillating teen rom-com, TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is a delightful coming-of-age story that challenges notions of beauty, identity, and empowerment.


This playlist of Korean protest music from the ‘70s and ‘80s is awesome.

On January 6th, Keepsake House presents “From Story to Song,” an evening of storytelling and original music. During the event, Keepsake House’s resident songwriters and storytellers pair up to share their chosen stories through new, never-performed songs, accompanied by a full band.

If you missed Time to Say Goodbye’s first-ever live podcast taping at NYU’s A/P/A Institute this month, no worries! You can listen to the whole recorded conversation with hosts E. Tammy Kim, Jay Caspian Kang, and special guest Hua Hsu (you can also read a conversation between Hsu and author Ryan Lee Wong here on The Amp).

We’re obsessed with BTS’s RM performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk and how much he talks about the ways in which his experiences with art influenced his music.


While the movie adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s now classic graphic novel Persepolis came out in 2007, its reflections of coming-of-age as a young woman during the Iranian revolution of the ‘70s and ‘80s feel incredibly prescient today as the world watches the Iranian people demand, unequivocally: Woman. Life. Freedom.

Now that season 3 of “The White Lotus” is finally over, we can finally catch up on the new season of “Ramy”.

In partnership with the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Metrograph Theater has been screening “Taipei Stories,” a series of Taiwanese films from the past 60 years including Rebels of the Neon God and the titular Taipei Story. The series runs through January 7th.


Eyes on Iran,” the inaugural exhibition at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island faces the United Nations headquarters and amplifies the Woman, Life, Freedom movement. Featuring work by Sheida Soleimani, Z, Aphrodite Desiree Navab, Icy and Sot, Shirin Neshat, Sepideh Mehraban, and Shirin Towfiq, the installation is up through the end of the year.

Currently on view at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is the group exhibition, “Understatements: Lost and Found in Asian America.” Organized by Herb Tam, the show features works by Mika Agiri, Emmy Catedral, Xingjian Ding, Kiani Ferris, Megan Mi-Ai Lee, Jeremy Yuto Nakamura, Sharmistha Ray, and Yu-Wen Wu. The exhibition is up through January 6th.

In collaboration with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, A4 will be presenting two nights celebrating AAPI dance with performances from the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, J CHEN PROJECT, and H+ / House of Chow at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on January 14th and 15th.

At The Flea Theater, will unveil the NY premier of Max Giteck Duykers and Philip Kan Gotanda’s opera, “Both Eyes Open” on January 13th. The experimental chamber opera explores the psychic scarring that Japanese-Americans experienced during World War II and suggests paths toward healing.

The Hong Kong Ballet will present the US premier of its adaptation of Septime Webre’s “Romeo + Juliet” at New York City Center on January 13th and 14th. Set in Hong Kong in the turbulent 1960s, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers is given a fresh and thought-provoking retelling.

Add this to your Lunar New Year celebrations! Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will celebrate the year of the black water rabbit at NJPAC on January 21st and 22nd. A Newark tradition for over two decades, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will combine traditional Chinese celebration with modern flair; think red lions dancing to a hip hop beat.


Need a last minute gift for the holidays? Nothing says, “I’m setting you up for time management in the new year” like a beautiful new wall calendar. Soar Over Hate’s annual calendar features artwork by AAPI artists and raises funds for their scholarship supporting AAPI high schoolers with financial needs looking to pursue a career in the arts.

If you’re looking to dazzle, Kelly Bit’s Sublima jewelry is not only stunning; it’s sustainable too! Meanwhile, artist and educator Sahiba Johar makes the most delightful charms and jewelry with 10% of all proceeds going toward NYC’s Coalition for the Homeless.

pear ware makes items made from salvaged materials with a spirit of playful experimentation, and are, more often than not, one-of-a-kind. They are currently running an advent calendar of their glass and knit-wares.

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