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Patty Chang "Milk Debt" // Nung-Hsin Hu "Welcome Home" Exhibition Visit

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18th Street Arts Center (Olympic Campus)

1639 18th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404

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Visit 18th Street Arts Center's Olympic Campus to view Patty Chang's "Milk Debt" on view Oct 19 - Jan 22, and Nung-Hsin Hu's show!

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Milk Debt | Patty Chang

18th Street Arts Center Olympic Campus (Main Gallery - green bldg)

October 19, 2020 - January 22, 2021


Welcome Home | Nung-Hsin Hu

18th Street Arts Center Olympic Campus (Atrium Gallery - blue bldg)

November 16 - December 29, 2020

These exhibitions are open by appointment only. Each time slot can accommodate groups of up to six individuals. All visitors are expected to check in at the front door, wear masks, and maintain a distance of 6 feet at all times from others who are not part of the same family group.


Milk Debt is a multi-part video project consisting of videos of lactating women pumping their breast milk as they recite lists of fears drawn from multiple communities across different geographical regions.

The project arises from the artist’s environmental anxieties, and looks to feminist strategies to reconsider the relationship between body and land. As the overarching fear of climate change bubbles up multiple concerns around global unrest, changing geographies, crumbling democracy, and the future we leave for our children, this project makes visible the internal or invisible, and explores how acts of love and empathy (like the giving of breastmilk to a child) help us think expansively and beyond ourselves.

For her solo exhibition at 18th Street, Chang presents video works that highlight several communities that live and work in the large metropolitan areas of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and the Texas/Mexico border. The title Milk Debt comes from the concept in Chinese Buddhism that a child can never repay the mother for raising and feeding it with her breast milk. Therefore, it is necessary to repay the debt through payments towards the afterlife of the mother. Milk debt is an arrangement that binds us to our history and to the earth. Through a process of collecting the fears of these communities to craft each film’s script, Chang exposes the wounds in our collective cultural consciousness so that we may rethink the process of healing.

Chang’s exhibition was originally scheduled to open to the public on May 16, but due to COVID-19, has been rescheduled to October 19, 2020 – January 22, 2020. Chang reopened participation in her List of Fears in March 2020 after Safer at Home measures were instituted, and held a livestream event of videos created from responses submitted during the pandemic. Curator Anuradha Vikram, who initiated Chang’s project at 18th Street, and curator Asha Bukojemsky of Marathon Screenings participated in a panel discussion (available at on May 22, 2020.


Patty Chang is a Los Angeles based artist working in performance, video, writing, and installation. Chang emerged from New York’s alternative art scene of the mid-1990s, producing works dealing with themes of gender, language, and empathy. Throughout her career, Chang has challenged the parameters of performance by addressing issues she observes in contemporary society.

Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New Museum, New York, BAK, Basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Fri Art Centre d’Art de Freibourg, Fribourg, Switzerland, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, England, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the M+ Museum, Hong Kong, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Her work received a 2003 award from the Rockefeller Foundation and a 2012 Creative Capital award. Chang holds a BA from the University of California, San Diego (1994).

[caption: Patty Chang, Milk Debt, 2020, video still. TRT: 60 min. Courtesy of the artist.]



Welcome Home is a multimedia installation in 18th Street Arts Center's Atrium Gallery (blue building) by Taiwan-based artist Nung-Hsin Hu. The exhibition includes a 16mm film loop, videos, sound, drawings, and photographs which the artist will produce during her residency period at 18th Street Art Center. Welcome Home reflects the artist's loss of her own childhood home as well as her observations of those who are unhoused in Los Angeles. The project investigates the meaning of “home” in all its complexities beyond its physical manifestation, and explores how a personal definition of home may shift both one’s identity and perspective.

This project will also address how the current pandemic era has also shifted the meaning of home. Through the months-long lockdown and stay-at-home order, the restriction between body and space made people feel “sick of home” and “homesick” at the same time. Moreover, the damage to the economy will increase the number of individuals losing their homes and being forced to relocate, especially the arts/culture and immigrant workers. The artist will connect with some local and international individuals who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness, conducting interviews to inform a new definition of home.


Nung-Hsin Hu is a Taiwanese born U.S.-based interdisciplinary artist who interweaves video, sculpture, performance, and installation in her practice. Her work intends to reveal the invisible status, articulate the unconsciousness, and perform the vulnerability through a poetic and whimsical approach. Her current projects utilize analogue film combining traditional and direct film-making techniques to address a sense of loss, archive the ephemeral and discuss the subjects of time and memory.

Hu has exhibited and screened widely both in the U.S. and abroad including, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York, Videoformes Festival in France, Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, and Oil Street Art Space in Hong Kong. Hu has received various grants including, Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan-International Exchange fellowship, and Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning - Van Lier Fellowship. She has also participated in international residencies, including, Casa das Caldeiras in São Paulo, the Lichtenberg Studios in Berlin, the Arctic Circle Residency Program in Norway, SHIFT residency at EFA project space in New York, SÍM residency in Iceland.

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18th Street Arts Center (Olympic Campus)

1639 18th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404

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