Snow In Midsummer is a work that deeply resonates with the violence seen here in New York and across the country targeting AAPI communities. It is intolerable violence that impacts all of us.
To honor those lives lost to anti-Asian bias and to hold space for all of us grieving and seeking to heal, Classic Stage Company has collaborated with Kalani Van Meter, a student artist from the School of Visual Arts, on the design of a series of three Ghost Chairs, which have been interspersed throughout the theater.
In many cultures, including Chinese, chairs are often left at funerals or meal tables unoccupied to honor the deceased, often adorned with clothing or food items. It is the hope that these three chairs help honor those impacted and lost to this violence.
You can find three Ghost Chairs designed by Kalani Van Meter in our theater throughout the run of Snow in Midsummer.
“With each of these chairs I hope we as a community can begin to process the generations of grief, trauma, and heartache we’ve been through as Asians in America; and realize the power intersectional solidarity has in the battle against hatred.”
— Kalani Van Meter
FROM THE ARTIST
I’m not particularly religious or spiritual, but I do believe in ghosts. Not spirits in white sheets, or the kind that glow and float through forests; these ghosts are familiar. Their faces are people we’ve known. Their presences are reminiscent of lives that have been lived on lands unfamiliar to us. They live with me, and haunt my past, present, and future. Although their formidable expectations may be overwhelming at times, they serve as a reminder of the work that has and still needs to be done.
My activism, including my art, is a love song to the Asian women who raised me. With each of these chairs I hope we as a community can begin to process the generations of grief, trauma, and heartache we’ve been through as Asians in America; and realize the power intersectional solidarity has in the battle against hatred. In all our communities, whether Black, Asian, Native… It is femmes, trans, two spirit, elders, and youth that are targeted, and the first to face the harshest violence of white supremacy. It is time we reflect, celebrate, and most importantly cherish the multifaceted experience of being Asian American.
Lastly I would like to dedicate these chairs to my mother, I love you endlessly.