Dan Kwong

Solar System Distancing, 2020
Rubber balls, inflatable beach balls, acrylic paint, steel rebar
10 feet high, various size planets from 6 inches to 16 inches

Artist Statement
Given the attention being paid to spatial relationships between bodies (and our fixation on 6-foot spacing), this piece is a reflection on the relativity of distance: What is “far”? What is “near”? What is “close”? What is “distant”? SOLAR SYSTEM DISTANCING seeks to take us beyond our earthly trials and tribulations and remind us of our connection to the cosmos.

Starting at a 36′ diameter Sun painted on the 18th Street Arts Center parking lot, nine hand-painted three-dimensional models of the planets will be displayed at appropriate distances away from 18th Street, relative to their actual distances from the Sun.

Public will begin by driving into the parking lot, doing a lap around the Sun, and then be launched on their mission to visit all the planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and even poor rejected Pluto.

Heading westward on Olympic Blvd., the journey will then extend north on Pacific Coast Highway. Public will be guided by Google map coordinates (I may hand out a printed legend as well), spanning approx. 28 miles — from the Sun at 18th Street, to distant Pluto at Leo Carrillo Beach!

Embark on a fun scavenger hunt-style drive, feel the immensity of our solar system, and meanwhile enjoy a trip up the beautiful Southern California coastline!

And after all that, “six feet” may not seem very far away at all.

Dan Kwong is an award-winning multimedia performance artist, director, writer and visual artist who has been presenting his work nationally and internationally since 1989. His theatrical work often features handmade props and set pieces that manipulate size and scale for dramatic effects.

 Touring extensively, Kwong has performed at venues all across the U.S. and in Asia. He is recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for his work. 

He is writing a stageplay, MASAO AND THE BRONZE NIGHTINGALE, a story of inter-racial romance set in post-WWII Little Tokyo. COVID willing, production is scheduled for April 2021 at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights.

He is developing a personal storytelling-based theater project based on interviews with residents of the Pico neighborhood around 18th Street Arts Center. WE WERE ALL HERE is slated for possible production in late-2020/early 2021.

Kwong serves as Associate Artistic Director for Great Leap, a multicultural performing arts organization based in L.A. www.greatleap.org.

He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Mentor Resident Artist at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.