Perform Chinatown: Rush Hour 2015

Image from Perform Chinatown's Facebook page

Image from Perform Chinatown’s Facebook page

The weekend is right around the corner and Los Angeles’ Chinatown is heating things up with Perform Chinatown 2015: Rush Hour.

In its sixth year, this annual festival showcases works from “artists, performers, dancers, social practitioners, and creative minds,” which we think is a great descriptor of Los Angeles’ creative side in general.

Image from Perform Chinatown's Facebook page

Image from Perform Chinatown’s Facebook page

Free to the public, Perform Chinatown occurs on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m..


Keep an eye out around every corner, in art galleries, public spaces, you name it, for: “endurance-based pieces, public engagement work, dance and movement pieces, stand-up comedy, karaoke, micro-parades, derives, spoken word, noise, and experimental music.”

Why the theme Rush Hour? Here’s the story Molly Jo Shea — co-director of gallery and international artist residency ESXLA, and more importantly, curator of Perform Chinatown — forth on the event’s website:

Rush Hour’s title is inspired by the restaurant Foo Chow, which is located at the entrance of Chung King Road.

Having grown up primarily in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, I always thought it was a great gimmick that they listed ” A best seller movie by Jackie Chan RUSH HOUR was shot here” on the outside of their restaurant. I’m not particularly sure what order I’m supposed to read these phrases but I loved that it was a way for them to differentiate their restaurant amongst the endless options of Chinese restaurants in Chinatown.

A couple of years ago they shot that Ryan Gosling movie, ” Gangster Squad” in Chinatown and Chinatown was further set dressed to look more Chinatown-y with a variety of cheap Hollywood props. This also meant painting over Foo Chow’s sign.

After they completed the movie, the production company repainted the sign in the same confusing, poetic grammar as if nothing happened. No one seemed to notice.

This year perform Chinatown is going to be a variety of acts, performances, and happenings that will be inspired by elements of this sign.

What is a fake? How do we identify ourselves? What is our relationship to Hollywood? Will anyone notice our presence? Will anyone notice our absence?

But even more obvious, RUSH HOUR is a fitting title for performance art in Los Angeles. RUSH HOUR is a complicated timeframe and feeling. Sometimes it is meditative. Sitting in it can be a form of endurance. It can be a time to learn secrets about your fellow passengers. It can be time of reflective thought; sometimes indulgent. You are simultaneously very aware of being alone while being surrounded by people. Going nowhere fast.

For the most up-to-date information re: Perform Chinatown: Rush Hour 2015 visit

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