"Grandma," 2019, by Gloria Wong

Photographer Gloria Wong brings photos from her “sik teng mm sik gong” (“pardon my Chinese”) series to the Friends Indeed Gallery this spring, and the timing feels perfectly aligned for this sampling.

The collection on display through May 7, titled “Gloria Wong: Three Tongues,” showcases the Carole Badgley Emerging Artist Award and Chick Rice Award for Excellence in Photography winner’s work exploring the intergenerational, intercultural dynamics in Chinese American families. The complete series was created primarily in Wong’s multigenerational home, presenting domestic tableaux and familial interactions in a soft, creamy focus. Its title comes from a commonly used phrase by second-generation Chinese American children, who understand their parents’ native language but do not speak it well themselves.

To walk through San Francisco’s historic Chinatown to get to the intimate glass storefront gallery, and see the images of Chinese elders, feels especially poignant during this moment, where images of violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community are all too prevalent and real.

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