Poinciana Hung-Haas is a Chinese-American arts activist who grew up in Oakland Chinatown. She uses arts as a medium to share stories of growing up in a town engulfed by a rich culture, one that is filled with a diversity of people, music, food, and street art. Her upcoming exhibition, Unsigned, Unsealed, Delivered (I’m Yours), featuring poetry from spoken word poet, Ellis Chhourn, shines light on Asian American youth and how their experiences influence what they portray through a variety of art forms. The exhibition title draws inspiration from Stevie Wonder’s song, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”, but here, “unsigned” represents those who are undocumented, “unsealed” represents open wounds and trauma, and “delivered” represents arriving in America. Finally, “I’m yours” represents belonging here and taking up space with pride.
Unsigned, Unsealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) can be viewed at OACC during OACC’s business hours (Wednesday – Saturday, 12 PM-5 PM) starting May 10th, 2023.
For the past seven years, Poinciana has developed her fine art and fashion design skills through her education at Oakland School for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and throughout Downtown Oakland. Poinciana also created the Dragon Power design representing Oakland Chinatown, which is currently being sold by Oaklandish. Outside of school, Poinciana advocates for her community as an intern for AYPAL. She also works at the Lincoln Recreation Center, where she strives to introduce kids to her own passions. Poinciana plans to major in Urban Studies at UC Berkeley next Fall, where she can continue strengthening her voice and power.
Ellis Chhourn is a Cambodian and Lao-American spoken word poet from the Dubbs in East Oakland California. He is a Social Justice advocate and uses his writing to speak for himself and his community by expressing his struggles in a beautifully poetic way. He shares his stories not to seek pity but for the sole purpose of telling his story for others to hear and possibly relate to. He finds freedom in his writting being able to have no restrictions on what he has to say or how he says it.