Martin Wong
On the Languages of Martin Wong


Solomon “Zully” Adler is a curator and doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford, where his dissertation considers the life and work of Martin Wong. He is the recipient of the Watson Fellowship for international research on underground music, the Marshall Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge and The Glasgow School of Art, the Shorenstein Research Fellowship at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Clarendon Scholarship in support of his studies at Oxford. Previous exhibitions include Brook Hsu: Signs of Life and Melvino Garretti: Space Versus Space at Vernon Gardens, Los Angeles, Mythos Psyche, Eros: Jess & California, co-curated with Nancy Lim at SFMOMA, and Redd Ekks: X at Arcadia Missa, London. Adler runs the Goaty Tapes music label and House Rules press, through which he published Casual Junk & Bedroom Mythology: Lo-Fi Music in the Twenty-First Century and Charlie Nothing: State of the Ding. His article on Wong’s early years in Eureka, “Humboldt Fog,” can be found in the November, 2022 issue of Artforum.


Yasmin Ramirez is an art worker, curator, and writer based in New York City. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Graduate Center, CUNY.  Born in Brooklyn, Ramirez was active in the downtown art scene of the early 1980s as a club kid and art critic for the East Village Eye. Attracted to street art and hip hop, she became acquainted with emerging artists and writers, many of whom are now icons of the 1980s. Currently an independent curator, Dr. Ramirez has collaborated on curatorial projects with The Bronx Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, The Loisaida Center, The New Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Franklin Furnace, and Taller Boricua. Her critically acclaimed exhibitions and panels include: Pasado y Present: Art after the Young Lords, 1969-2019 (2019); Home, Memory, and Future (2016); Martin Wong: Human Instamatic (2015); ¡Presente!: The Young Lords in New York (2015); The Puerto Rican Art Workers and the Construction of the Nuyorican Art Movement (2014); Re-Membering Loisaida: On Archiving and the Lure of the Retro Lens (2009); “Esto A Veces Tiene Nombre”: Latin@ Art Collectives in a Post-Movement Millennium (2008); The Boricua in Basquiat (2005); Voices From Our Communities:  Perspectives on a Decade of Collecting at El Museo del Barrio (2000).


Agustín Pérez Rubio is a historian, professor and researcher with extensive curatorial work with more than 150 exhibitions at museums, art centers and biennials in Latin America and Europe. He is involved in projects that question issues related language and to rethink decoloniality, both in the field of museums and in that of dissident sexual practices based on feminist and queer theory. He was also the Artistic Director of the MALBA (Buenos Aires, 2014–18), Chief Curator and Director of the MUSAC (Leon, 2003–13). Curator of the 11th Berlin Biennale (2018–2020) and the Chilean Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Member of the Board of the CIMAM and the Istanbul Biennial (2017–22). He received the honour of being a Guest Professor at the Institute for Art in Context (Berlin University of the Arts, 2019–20). He recently co-curated the exhibition Action / Gesture / Paint: a global story of the women of abstraction 1940­­–1970 at Whitechapel Gallery, London and is currently co-curating projects for the Van Gogh Museum; Arles and Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2023- 2024,) while producing the most comprehensive publication about the queer Chilean artist Francisco Copello.


Chris “Daze” Ellis began his prolific career painting the gritty New York subways in the mid 70s while attending the High School of Art & Design. He is one of the few artists from that period to make the successful transition from the subways to the studio. His first group show was the Beyond Words show held at the Mudd club in New York in 1981. Showing alongside artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Daze sold his first work, an impromptu collaboration with Basquiat, from this show. His first solo show was held a year later in 1982 at Fashion Moda, a gallery in the Bronx. Since then, he has had countless solo shows in such cities as Monte Carlo, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, Beijing, Chicago, and Singapore. His work has also been included in numerous group shows and museum surveys internationally. Alongside these museum and gallery exhibitions Daze has also completed many public art projects over the years. Some of them include completing a mural for the Star ferry terminal in Hong Kong, lectures at Hofstra university and the Bronx Museum, completing the design of an entire train station in Hannover, Germany alongside fellow artists Lee Quinones and Crash, youth workshops with kids during the Hutuz festival in Rio de Janeiro, and completing a mural for the Vivo City shopping center in Singapore. Dazes paintings have found themselves in the private collections of Madonna, and Eric Clapton among others. His work can be found in the permanent collections of such museums as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and The Ludwig Museum in Aachen, Germany. Daze continues to live and work in New York City.


Alexei “NEON” Tursan was born in Trento, Italy in 1970. From 1978–89 he studied classical dance at the Heinz-Bosl Foundation, Munich, and at the State Ballet School, Berlin, in 1990. Tursan had various engagement at the German state theaters as well as free dance projects until 2002. He is Aerosol Writer since 1984/85 and worked on various art projects, exhibitions and trips worldwide ever since. NEON went on a ‘painting mission’ to New York City in 1988–89 and various times in the 1990’s. 


Charlie Ahearn, born 1951, directed the hip-hop classic Wild Style (1983). His later film work includes Martin Wong a portrait of the artist painting his Chinatown series in his tiny apartment, to his last days in San Francisco (1998), and a feature documentary Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer (2012). Ahearn has been working on a series of musical shorts such as: Bongo Barbershop (8 min., 2005) staring Grand Master Caz (Wild Style) and Dancing Industry (3 min. 2014). Ahearn co-authored Yes Yes Y’all (2007), an oral history of the first decade of hip-hop with over 100 Ahearn’s photos. In the past decade Ahearn has exhibited paintings reflecting hip hop culture at Beyond The Streets Los Angeles (2018), New York (2019) and London (2023). Ahearn lives in New York City.


Mark Dean Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Art at San Francisco State University and a Senior Advisor for the Asian American Art Initiative at Stanford University.  He has organized more than one hundred exhibitions for both college galleries including Humboldt State University, the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University and Yale University, as well as international venues including San Francisco’s de Young Museum and Asian Art Museum, Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum, the Nordic Watercolor Museum in Sweden, the Isamu Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Garden in New York, the Shanghai Museum, and the Yokohama Museum of Art.  He was the co-curator of Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision that opened at the Newark Museum of Art.  He is also the Principal Editor of Asian American Art: A History, 1850–1970 (2008: Stanford University Press), the online Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné (2022: Stanford Libraries), and five titles for UC Press.


Dr. João Florêncio is senior lecturer in history of modern and contemporary art and visual culture at the University of Exeter, UK, and incoming Professor of Gender Studies at Linköping University, Sweden. A queer cultural theorist of visual cultures of sex, sexuality and the body, he is the author of Bareback Porn, Porous Masculinities, Queer Futures: The Ethics of Becoming-Pig (Routledge, 2020).


Amanda Lee Koe’s first short story collection, Ministry of Moral Panic (Ministerium für öffentliche Erregung, Culturbooks Verlag, 2016) won the Singapore Literature Prize, and was shortlisted for the Haus der Kulteren der Welt’s Internationaler Literaturpreis and the Frankfurt Book Fair’s LiBeraturpreis. Her debut novel, Delayed Rays of A Star (Die letzten Strahlen eines Sterns, Culturbooks Verlag, 2022) was an NPR Best Book of the Year. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, Paris Review, Guernica, e-flux and Vogue. Born in Singapore, she lives in New York. She is a 2023 DAAD Artist-in-Residence in Berlin.


Manuel Solano (b. 1987 in Mexico City, MX) lives and works in Berlin. In 2012, they graduated from the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in Mexico City. In 2013, Solano lost their sight due to complications from an HIV-related infection. Since then, they have developed unique methodologies to continue an art practice which includes painting, video, and installation. The artist explores memory and identity, balancing the autobiographical with pop cultural imagery, focusing on processes of subject-formation through self-portraiture, insisting on our shared experiences whilst drawing from their personal history. Solano’s work has been shown in numerous institutional exhibitions worldwide, including solos at Dundee Contemporary Arts, UK (2022), Pivô, São Paulo, curated by João Mourão and Luís Silva (2021), Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2021), ICA Miami, curated by Alex Gartenfeld (2018), and the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2018); their institutional group exhibitions include Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvikodden (2022), Palais de Tokyo, Paris, curated by Hugo Vitrani (2019), and New Museum, New York, curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Alex Gartenfeld and Francesca Altamura (2018). Their work is currently on view in the group exhibition Soft Touch at Sultana Summer Set in Arles.


Moshtari Hilal is an artist, curator and writer living in Hamburg. She studied Islamic Studies in Hamburg, Berlin and London with a focus on gender and decolonial studies and is co-founder of the collective Afghan Visual Arts and History and the research project Curating Through Conflict with Care.


Sinthujan Varatharajah is a freelance researcher and essayist living in Berlin, where they curate the event series dissolving territories: cultural geographies of a new eelam. They studied political geography and were part of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art with the research and art installation how to move an arche. In 2017–2018, Varatharajah was a board member of the European Commission Advisory Council on Asylum and worked for several years for various human rights organizations in London and Berlin.


Alvozay is a creative platform for BIPoC art and music founded by rapper Ebru “Ebow” Düzgün and cultural worker Tmnit Ghide. In it, they build structures for emerging local BIPoC artists within the music industry and facilitate knowledge transfer. Since 2020, they have hosted several events, including the Alvozay Festival. They have also collaborated with documenta fifteen’s Meydan Festival. At the 2022 VUT Indie Awards, hosted by the Association of Independent Music Companies, Alvozay was nominated in the “Best New Music Business” category.