Photo courtesy of Janelle Jones

Photo courtesy of Janelle Jones

Muna Tseng was an Artist-In-Residence by the Baryshnikov Arts Center for April of 2017. During her month-long dance residency, she developed, choreographed, directed and performed in her new dance-theater work, IT’S ALL TRUE: GRANDFATHER. Using her paternal polygamous grandfather as a starting point, the piece explored the white-washing of Asian-American history using orientalist tropes and questioned the notion and value of truth and myth in so doing.

As part of the residency, the Baryshnikov Arts Center commissions writers to engage with residents and their work’s development, culminating in a short written essay that reflects on the work. Here it is:

Muna Tseng’s BAC Story by Karen Shimakawa


Performers Chanterelle Menashe Ribes & Perry Yung Photo courtesy of Janelle Jones

Performers Chanterelle Menashe Ribes & Perry Yung
Photo courtesy of Janelle Jones

Learn more here.

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On Thursday, April 28th, at 8 pm, Muna Tseng participated in Fabulous Women, the first night of Food For Thought, a three-night performance event curated by Iréne Hultman Monti, André Zachery, and Mina Nishimura, held at St. Mark’s Church.

This performance, curated by Iréne Hultman Monti, featured 10 Fabulous Women dancing together in a nod to Steve Paxon’s “Satisfying Lover” on the glorious stage of Danspace Project for one night only. Other performers featured are Emily Carson Coates, Jane Comfort, Moriah Evans, Liz Gerring, Patricia Hoffbauer, Iréne Holtman Monti, Doris Reyes, Vicky Schick, and Charmain Warren.

St. Mark’s Church is located at stage of Danspace Project, on 2nd Avenue and East 10th Street in the East Village.

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This year, as part of the O.P.E.N. Forum at the Singapore International Festival of Arts, Muna will give a talk entitled “A Year In the Life of a ‘Bessie: New York Dance & Performance Award’ Nominator.”

The talk questions assumptions and notions of categorizing art and explores the idea of hybrid and multi-disciplinary works emerging on the scene. In this lecture, Muna will draw on her rich experience as a Bessie Nominator and Chair of the Current Practice sub-committee to consider the current art scene in New York and internationally.

 The talk takes place Tuesday, July 5th, at 7:30 pm at 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 239007.


On Sunday, March 6 at 3 pm, please join Muna at the Aidekman Arts Center at the Tufts University Art Gallery Boston for a screening and discussion of SlutForArt a.k.a Ambiguous Ambassador and 98.6: A Convergence in 15 Minutes. 

The dance-theater piece was conceived, choreographed and performed by Muna Tseng and directed by Ping Chong. Captured on video, the work features voiceover interviews about Tseng Kwong Chi in tandem with projected photographs in a deeply moving homage to the memory of an artist and brother who succumbed to the AIDS virus in 1990 at age 39.

At 2 pm, prior to the screening, please join Muna as she leads a guided gallery tour of the exhibition Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera

After traveling to the Grey Art Gallery at NYU and the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera is at its third venue on its US tour and has garnered critical praise from The New York Times and Boston Globe. The show comprises over 80 of Tseng Kwong Chi’s works and is the first comprehensive retrospective of its kind. The exhibition is on view now until May 22nd.


On Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, Muna will participate in After Fukushima: A 24 Hour Event, organized by Eiko Otake for the Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church. The event takes place on the fifth anniversary of the natural and nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Following discussions and a performance by Eiko, the vigil will begin at 10 pm on the 11th, and runs till 10 pm on the 12th.

Muna will be performing at 6 pm on Saturday, March 12.


LMCC-LogoOn March 10, Muna participated in a panel discussion organized by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The panel Confrontations in Context explored the way artists shaped the societal and political landscape of 1980’s and 1990’s New York. 

The panel was moderated by Martha Wilson and additional panel participants included Todd Ayoung and Agnes Denes. It was held at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, located at 475 Tenth Avenue, on the 14th Floor.

Muna Tseng by SharomAloufParis Photo – The Platform
On November 13th at the Grand Palais in Paris France, Muna Tseng discussed her work at the Estate on the panel Epic Journey: Photographic Legacies. The platform was moderated by Lisa K. Erf, Chief Curator, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, with David Raymond and Loretta Würtenberger.


SlutForArtRemembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi

Friday, May 1, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Free | RSVP
NYU Cantor Film Center, Theater 101
36 East 8th Street, New York, NY 10003

On May 1, 2015, A/P/A Institute at NYU hosted a conversation and screening on dance, performance, and art with Ping Chong, artist; Bill T. Jones, dancer-choreographer; and Muna Tseng, dancer-choreographer, sister of Tseng Kwong Chi and trustee of his estate, moderated by Karen Shimakawa, associate professor and chair of Performance Studies, TSOA, NYU. The event began with an excerpt of the performance SlutForArt a.k.a.Ambiguous Ambassador and 98.6: A Convergence in 15 Minutes choreographed and performed by Muna Tseng and conceived and directed by Ping Chong. The screening was followed by a conversation with Tseng and Chong with Bill T. Jones.

This was be a unique opportunity to peer into Tseng Kwong Chi’s artistic collaboration with Jones and Keith Haring on the famous Body Painting photographs taken in 1983, which will be on view at the Grey Art Gallery’s exhibition Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera from April 21 through July 11. Jones shared little seen footage of the artists working together with Haring.

Co-sponsored by A/P/A Institute at NYU and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery.


Visual AIDS

Tseng Kwong Chi Retrospective: Guided Tour & Discussion with Muna Tseng, Pato Hebert and Alex Fialho
Saturday, April 25, 3.30 PM – 5:00 PM | Free
Grey Art Gallery, New York University
100 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003

On the opening weekend of “Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera,” the first major solo museum exhibition of the work of Tseng Kwong Chi, Muna Tseng, choreographer-dancer, sister of Tseng Kwong Chi, and trustee of his estate; Pato Hebert, Associate Arts Professor of Art & Public Policy (TSOA), NYU; and Alex Fialho, Programs Manager, Visual AIDS will lead a guided tour and discussion of the exhibition, discussing Tseng Kwong Chi’s provocative life and performance-based photography.

Co-sponsored by Visual AIDS and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery.