Acclaimed Performance Artist Kristina Wong Performs And Exhibits At University Of The Arts

Kristina Wong reviews how a 20-year history as a culture jamming performance artist prepared her perfectly to run a shadow FEMA during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Feb. 01, 2024

Acclaimed performance artist Kristina Wong performs and exhibits at University of the Arts. Events sponsored by the School of Art and the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts.
Kristina Wong: 8 Lessons in Art, Activism, and Creative Collaboration from the Auntie Sewing Squad, Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. at Caplan Recital Hall, 17th floor 211 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Tickets will be available Jan. 26.

What value do otherwise unessential artists bring in times of crisis?How are artists equipped to make the social change that even the most organized of institutionalized efforts cannot? In this hilarious lecture, Kristina Wong reviews how a 20-year history as a culture jamming performance artist prepared her perfectly to run a shadow FEMA during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gallery Exhibition: Kristina Wong's Vagina
Feb. 5–March 15, 2024
Gallery Visit: Feb. 26, 1 p.m.
University of the Arts, Anderson Hall, Gallery 8, 8th floor
333 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Would you like to see the vagina of a real life Pulitzer Prize finalist? Well, you are in luck, because the bits of Kristina Wong (finalist in Drama, 2022) are on display at UArts for a limited time! You don't even have to buy her dinner or sit through one of her evening-length solo shows. She's just giving us a peek—curtains-free! Sure, it's a handsewn costume version of her vagina, which she performed standing up and gave keynote speeches in for years ... but! It's flappy! It was sewn long before the cheap (mostly white lady) vagina costumes were available on Amazon! And the terrible jokes she told while wearing them somehow became more arthouse!

Is it an accurate rendering? Likely not. In truth, she's spent more time looking at other people's vaginas than her own. But this anthropomorphic replica of the body part that scares her the most opens up conversations about queerness, trauma, and all those things that Wong says her “pesky Chinese American upbringing repressed.”

Kristina Wong is a Doris Duke Artist Award winner, a Guggenheim fellow, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Drama. She's a performance artist, a comedian, an actor, and a writer who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong, and Africa. She's been a guest on late night shows on NBC, Comedy Central, and FX, and starred in her own pilot with Lionsgate for truTV. Her commentaries have appeared on American Public Media's Marketplace, PBS, VICE, Jezebel, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post, and CNN. Wong's been awarded artist residencies from MacDowell, San Diego Airport and Ojai Playwrights Festival. She is currently the artist-in-residence at ASU Gammage and the Kennedy Center Social Practice Resident.

Her recent Kristina Wong for Public Office was simultaneously a real-life stint as a local elected official in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and rally campaign show. That show was filmed for Center Theater Group's Digital Stage. She's created and directed original theater works with residents of LA's Skid Row, the Bus Riders Union, undocumented immigrants, and most recently the formerly incarcerated Asian Pacific Islanders members of API Rise. Kristina founded Auntie Sewing Squad, a national mutual aid network of volunteers that sewed cloth masks for vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their book, The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care and Racial Justice, was published by the University of California Press. Her role in the Auntie Sewing Squad is the subject of her currently touring Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord— a New York Times Critics Pick that premiered off-Broadway at New York Theater Workshop. The show won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. Auntie Kristina's Guide to Asian American Activism will be published by Beaming Books in spring 2026. It is co-written with the producers of Radical Cram School, the web series she has created for kids.