NüVoices of the Diaspora: An evening of storytelling in NYC

NüVoices of the Diaspora is an evening filled with storytelling by artists and by the community, headlined by both young and veteran luminaries of Asian American writing and performance art. Muna Tseng, Alvin Eng, Karoline Kan, and Angel Yau will each present from their oeuvre varying from a reading, spoken word, video and music – dedicated to the theme of the evening: NüVoices of the Diaspora. Karoline, a writer born in Tianjin and living in Beijing, will be providing a counterpoint to the diaspora experiences with a reading from Under Red Skies, the first English-language memoir from a Chinese millennial to be published in America. 

As part of the evening we invite the audience to bring along their own poems or brief excerpts of writing, old or new, fiction or non-fiction, to share in the last half hour of the program. There is no obligation to bring anything, however, and we are looking forward to an incredible evening filled with stories and creativity.

MOCA (Museum of Chinese in America) charges $15 for events, which includes wine and museum admission. Event free for MOCA members. Link below re-directs to MOCA’s public programme platform. Tickets will also be available at the door… if we don’t sell out 🙂


NüVoices is an international editorial collective of writers, journalists, translators researchers, artists and supporters who celebrate the creative work of women who work on subjects related to China and the greater diaspora. The group started when a group of female journalists and friends felt frustrated that sources and ‘experts’ on China highlighted in media were predominantly men, and that there was a prevalence of ‘manels’ on China. In response we started a directory of nearly 500 female experts on Greater China, which has significantly boosted women and minority representation in media stories and conference programming. We are also working on a print anthology to showcase the diverse creative work of women on China. NüVoices now has volunteer-driven chapters around the world, including in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Washington D.C., Berlin, London and New York. We are an inclusive group and welcome all supporters of all genders.

Alvin Eng is a native NYC playwright, performer and educator. He will be sharing stories from “Our Laundry, Our Town: A Memoir Travelogue Through Chinese America.” This is a prose expansion of his one-person show, “The Last Emperor of Flushing,” which he has performed throughout the United States as well as in his family’s ancestral province of Guangdong, China. Eng is also the author and editor of the oral history/play anthology, “Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience on Stage” that has been assigned in college courses in the U.S., Hong Kong and China.

Karoline Kan is a former New York Times reporter who writes about millennial life and politics in China. She’s currently an editor at China Dialogue. She lives in Beijing.

Karoline will be reading from her new book, Under Red Skies, which tells the stories of three generations of women in her family and “how they navigated their way in a country beset by poverty and often-violent political unrest. As the Kans move from quiet villages to crowded towns and through the urban streets of Beijing in search of a better way of life, they are forced to confront the past and break the chains of tradition, especially those forced on women.”

Muna Tseng, born in Hong Kong, lives and works in New York since 1977, is an acclaimed choreographer, performer, teacher, founder and Artistic Director of Muna Tseng Dance Projects Inc., which has produced over 50 original productions performed internationally. She has collaborated with some of the world’s leading artists in music, theater and design, notably Chinese contemporary artists such as Tan Dun, David Henry Hwang, Bright Sheng, Ping Chong and Ong Keng Sen.

Muna Tseng has won numerous awards including a “Bessies” (New York Dance and performance Award), repeat choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts.

She also oversees the Estate Archive of Tseng Kwong Chi, a vast archive of her late brother’s conceptual performative photographs, the famous “East Meets West” self-portraits series (1979-1989) and his documentation of New York’s East Village art scene and art stars of the 1980’s such as Warhol, Haring, Basquiat, Scharf in exhibitions and publications world-wide.

Angel Yau is a comedic storyteller, sketch performer and filmmaker based out of Queens, New York. She is part of the sketch group AzN PoP! who performed at Joe’s Pub and various festivals. She is also a sketch actor at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Her comedic performances have been apart of various comedy festivals, SF Sketchfest, Women in Comedy, Solocom, etc. She has told stories on Risk!, Mortified! and Story Collider podcasts. She started An Asian American Film Thing which feature Asian-American filmmakers usually taken place at Caveat. Her passion is creating auto-biographical stop-motion animations about her lonely and awkward childhood.


Thanks to Kim Chan at PEN America for her kind introductions and support for this event