Is there tofu in Pittsburgh?

chung yean cho




My mother always asks me:

"Is there Tofu there?"

"Is there a rice in Pittsburgh?"

"Is there Kimchi there?"

"Is there a supermarket in Pittsburgh?"


















This piece is one of the series of work
inspired by Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities".
This video comes from my private story. In it,
I am on the phone explaining Pittsburgh to my mother in Korea.
The video invites the audience into a new Pittsburgh landscape
that I dreamed. Like"Alice in Wonderland," it will represent how different
imaginations operate between two cultures.

It reminds me that I am in different territory. There is no Asian town in Pittsburgh,
but there are some Asian communities. I also see Asian architecture and landscape
besides a big modern Western building downtown.
What I was interested in was Asian architecture becoming a strange kitsch style.
I realized that Pittsburgh is affected by its hybridized culture.
It doesn't matter anymore whether architecture or culture is authentic.
It represents just how people fill up their space with any fantasy and imagination of "Otherness."

see the video and more by chung yean cho at