Sitars and K-Pop: Photos from Asia North

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BmoreArt’s Picks: May 28 – June 3

May is officially Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and since 2019 Baltimore has marked the occasion with the Asia North festival. Centered around the western half of Station North—traditionally the southern end of Baltimore’s Koreatown—the programming includes a diverse mix of cultural output from across the eastern hemisphere and its diaspora. Visual artists, business owners, musicians, performers, and so very much excellent food from the APIMEDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Desi American) communities are annually featured in a series of tours, events, and exhibitions. 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Asia North, there’s still a week to go, with Ryan Jafar Artes and Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi’s guided writing and open mic night Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV coming up on Wednesday, May 29th from 7–9 p.m at 16 W. North Avenue, which is the former ICA Gallery space. The closing reception for the festival on Friday, May 31, 5 – 9 and will take place at both Motor House and 16 W. North Ave.

The closing night festivities will spill down the block to the North Ave Market, with performances by Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts, Sutradhar Institute of Dance, Steve Hung, Spike Yee & Proper, and high school K-Pop dance group 1PICK. Hosted by Adrianna Morgan, the event will also feature food from Koshary Corner. and Bale Gracia (House of Grace), a pop-up bar curated by Lane Harlan.

Photographer Mollye Miller captured the opening night of Asia North, including the visual art component of Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV. That exhibition, curated by Nerissa Paglinauan and Ryan Jafar Artes, features work by Kurt Astudillo, Hannah Atallah, Nancy Berson, Katherine Broadwater, Rieko Chacey, Yunkyoung Cho, Anna Divinagracia, Barbara Han, Jahru, Annette Wilson Jones, Priyanka K, Adele Yiseol Kenworthy, Heejo Kim, Myungsook Ryu Kim, Paige Dasol Kim, Jinyoung Koh, Anthony Le, Nipun Manda, Tayyab Maqsood, Sushmita Mazumdar, Gabriel Pilac Melendres, Adrianna Morgan, Kat Navarro, Nadia Nazar, Josh Nguyen, Lynn Nguyen, Sookkyung Park, Syeda Rahman, Yeeve Rayne, Hannah Shaw, Asma Shikoh, and Amelie Wang. The show is on view through the closing night at Motor House.

“It’s beautiful to see how the Asia North Exhibition and Festival has blossomed over six years in the Station North Arts District,” says Abby Becker, Station North Arts District Manager. “Every year, we learn and connect more deeply with the area’s heritage as Baltimore’s first unofficial Koreatown and more broadly, with the APIMEDA artist community. We’re especially looking forward to bringing back an outdoor Makers Night Market for the closing event, which will be Friday May 31 on North Avenue.

“Love Letters is a tribute to themes of home, belonging, and love, with the understanding that any of these seemingly simple notions are actually quite complex on their own, and especially in combination,” says curators Nerissa Paglinauan and Ryan Jafar Artes. “Artists responded to our call with such meaningful and personal work.”


Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang
Yong Han Lion Dance Troupe
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