Kitchen Islands

between you and me,
between mouth and homeland,
between recipe and ancestral memories were always the kitchens.

As part of the Happy Family Night Market event on July 13, 2019

[image description: several young adults seated at a handmade work table, smiling at each other while writing and drawing with markers.]  

In hand with cooking, kitchens provide a place for communing, learning, gossiping, and sharing. For the installation I collaborated with Minh Bùi to create a kitchen set that gives the attendees of Happy Family Night Market a space to gather and share their stories surrounding food.

Based on the many kitchens that hold special significance for us, this installation will consist of basic appliances (e.g., a sink, fridge, stove) made out of primarily cardboard and dimensional lumber. On the surfaces of these recreated objects will be images and color schemes of food packaging we grew up with.

We displayed culturally specific items and personal effects that are often found in pan-Asian/Pacific Islander kitchens.
At the center of this installation we constructed a large kitchen where our poetry reading took place and participants responded to questionnaires about their own kitchen experiences, and hung out during the day-long event.

Additionally, attendees engaged with our video programming spanning from video art to cooking tutorials playing off a small box television, a library of cook books and other texts, and impromptu group activities focused on recipe building and storytelling.


Minh Bùi
KT Pe Benito

Program Facilitators
Emilio Martinez Poppe
Joselia Hughes
Brianna Leatherbury
Paloma Martinez-Miranda

Video Contributors
Resilient Root Farms
High School Students of East Camden
Courageous Kitchen
Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi
Tiem Hoang

Poetry Reading
Joselia Hughes
Aldrin Valdez

Thank you to Lucky Riso for our print materials!

Event photos by An Rong Xu