Indigo Som loves: blackberry pie, poetry, letterpress, goats, gazpacho, country music, rigorous intersectional feminisms, the knitting of hats, being on boats. Chinese restaurants good & bad, flying dreams, old machines, popovers, roses, very large salads. Labyrinths & beaches, swimming in the rain, the triple gem.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I was born, bred, & buttered.

I lead dream groups at Ancestral Apothecary School in Oakland.



Solo & Duo Exhibitions

Mostly Mississippi: Chinese Restaurant Pictures from the South. Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco CA. Catalog. 2005.
Chinese Restaurant Pictures. Mills College Art Museum, Oakland CA. 2003.
Pastel Diaspora. Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco CA. 2003.
Supply. Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa CA. 2001.
Introductions. Braunstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco CA. 1999.
American American: Indigo Som/Donna Keiko Ozawa. Crucible Steel Gallery at CELLspace, San Francisco CA. 1999.
fixations/collections/crushes. Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale NY. 1997.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character. Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco CA. Catalog. 2009.
Road Trip. San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose CA. 2008.
One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now. Asia Society, New York NY. Catalog. 2006. Travels 2007-08 to: Blaffer Art Gallery, Univ. of Houston, TX; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley CA; Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles CA; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, HI.
Drawn In: Drawing in Residence Phase III. Torrance Art Museum, Torrance CA. 2007.
Pirated: A Post-Asian Perspective. Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco CA. Catalog. 2005.
Resonance & Response: Artists’ Books from Special Collections. Wellesley College, Wellesley MA. Catalog. 2005.
Roadside Elixir, Spring Open House, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito CA. 2004.
Ninety from the Nineties: A Decade of Printing. New York Public Library. Catalog. 2004.
The Art Health Fair. Oakland Museum of California. 2003.
Unbound and Under Covers: Experiments in Visual Writing. Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley CA. Catalog. 2003. 
Sew Fine. Islip Art Museum, East Islip NY. 2002.
La Perruque. office/gallery, San Francisco CA. 2001.
Reading the Cards. San Francisco Center for the Book. 2001.
Needle Art: A Postmodern Sewing Circle. Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA. 1999. Travels nationally 2003-06.
A Book Is Not A Book Is Not A Book. Betty Rymer Gallery, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 1999.
Bound to Happen. Paul Mesaros Gallery, West Virginia University, Morgantown WV. 1999.
Out West: The Artist’s Book in California, Part I. Center for Book Arts, New York NY. 1998.
Westward Bound. Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City UT. 1998. Travels through 2000. Catalog.
shrink. Southern Exposure, San Francisco CA. 1997.
The Sequential Desire. Kala Art Institute, Berkeley CA. 1997.
Fahrenheit 451. San Francisco Art Commission Gallery. 1997.
Dilemma. Gary Marks Gallery, Chicago IL. 1997.
Bay Sampler: A Book Arts Celebration Honoring the Opening of San Francisco’s New Main Library. 1996.
Book: handmade & limited edition books by women. 848 Community Artspace Gallery, San Francisco. 1994.

Grants, Awards, Residencies

The Creative Work Fund, Visual Arts Award for collaboration with Chinese Historical Society of America, 2004.
The Anderson Center, Red Wing MN, Residency Award, 2003.
Give Something Back, materials grant for Supply, 2000.
Yaddo, Residency Award, 2000.
Centrum, Residency Award, 1999.
The Millay Colony for the Arts, Robert Simpson Fellowship Residency, 1997.
Women’s Studio Workshop, Artists’ Book Residency Grant, 1996.


Links open online catalog entries.

John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence RI
Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cleveland Institute of Art, Artists Books, Cleveland OH
Columbia College, Chicago IL
DePaul University, Chicago IL
Rubenstein Library Rare Books, Duke University, Durham NC
Rare Books, Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
The Getty Research Institute, The Getty Center, Los Angeles CA
Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvikodden, Norway
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA
Indiana University, Bloomington IN
Special Collections, James Madison University Library, Harrisonburg VA
Kala Art Institute, Berkeley CA
Library of Congress, Washington DC
Artists Books Collection, Long Island University, Brooklyn NY
Central Library Rare Books, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles CA
Maine College of Art, Portland ME
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore MD
Mills College, Oakland CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York NY
The Newberry Library, Chicago IL
New York Public Library
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY
Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
Rochester Institute of Technology Archive Collections, Rochester NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Public Library Special Collections
Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL
Stanford University Library Special Collections, Stanford CA
Texas Woman’s University, Denton TX
Tyler School of Art Special Collections, Temple University, Elkins Park PA
Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley
Arts Library & Asian American Studies Center, University of California Los Angeles
University of Colorado Boulder
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark DE
University of Louisville, Louisville KY
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA
University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT
University of Vermont, Burlington VT
University of Washington Seattle
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA
Washington University, St. Louis MO
Special Collections, Margaret Clapp Library, Wellesley College, Wellesley MA
Yale University Art Gallery and Arts of the Book Collection, Yale University Library, New Haven CT
Numerous private collections.


Selected Press & Publications

In the interest of space, exhibition catalogs are not included here. Please see exhibitions listings, above.

Dubious Gastronomy: the Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA. Robert Ji-Song Ku, University of Hawaii Press, 2013. “Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character: Re-framing Questions of Identity,” Ann Taylor, 6 Aug 09. 

San Francisco Art Examiner. “Chinese Cultural Center and Kearny Street Workshop: Present Tense Biennial,” Marisa Nakasone, 6 May 2009. 

SF Weekly. “Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character,” Traci Vogel, 5 May 2009. 

KQED Arts. “Art review: Present Tense Biennial: Chinese Character,” Claire Light, 5 May 2009. “On the Road,” Kristi Beardshear, 29 December 2008. 

Mercury News. “San Jose Museum of Art: ‘Road Trip’ takes us to the byways and highways of America,” Charlie McCollum, 26 September 2008. 

Metro Silicon Valley. “Drive, They Said,” Michael S. Gant, 1 October 08.

Honolulu Weekly. “Identity Aesthetics: Asian-American Art at a Crossroads,” Marcia Morse, 2 July 2008. 

Los Angeles Times. “Art Review ‘One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now,’” Christopher Knight, 11 March 2008. 

Downtown LA Scene. “Asian Art, by Way of Blondie,” Julie Riggott, 26 February 2008. 

Artweek. “‘One Way or Another’ at the Berkeley Art Museum,” Alison Bing, December 2007.

The Daily Californian. “Forging Disparate Identities: Diversity is Key in Berkeley Art Museum’s New Collection of Modern Asian American Art,” Daniel Spaulding, 24 September 2007.

East Bay Express. “One Way or Another,” Kelly Vance, September 2007.

Asian American Press. “Essays From the Cultural Popular in Asian America: A Book Review,” Sanaphay Rattanavong, 24 May 07. 

Audrey. “A Different World,” Shannon Goss, June/July 2007.

Art Papers. Review of “One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now,” Timothy Liu, May/June 2007. (Texas Visual Art Online). “Dislocating Asian American Art,” Vivian Li, March 2007. 

Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists. Kara Kelley Hallmark, Greenwood Press, Westport CT, 2007. “Asian Pop: Art Breakers,” Jeff Yang, 16 Oct 06. 

Newsweek International. “Insiders Looking Out,” Vibhuti Patel, 2 Oct 06. (World Journal). Review of “One Way or Another,” David Hsieh, 22 Sep 06. 

The New York Sun. “Defying the Definitive,” Daniel Kunitz, 14 Sept 06. “Stripteases, Sheiks, Sneakers Are Today's Asian American Art,” Carly Berwick, 12 Sep 06. 

New York Times. “A Mélange of Asian Roots and Shifting Identities,” Roberta Smith, 8 Sep 06.

Ocala Star-Banner. “Needle Art at CFCC threads craft, fine art,” Laura Byrnes, 6 Jul 06.

Kitchen Sink. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Indigo Som Sets off for Take-Out,” Becca MacLaren, Vol. 3, Issue 3, Fall 05.

Artweek. “Indigo Som at the Chinese Historical Society of America,” Lindsey Westbrook, April 05.

San Francisco Chronicle. “Berkeley artist goes deep to get her fill of Chinese restaurants,” Annie Nakao, Mar 05.

AsianWeek. “Mississippi Chinese Restaurants: A Work of Art,” Sam Chu Lin, 3 March 05.

Time Out Chicago. “On pins and needles: DePaul Art Museum exhibits a diverse array of textile arts,” Ruth Lopez, 2 March 05. 

KPFA-FM, Berkeley CA. Radio interviews: “Apex Express” & “Against the Grain”, March 05; “Flashpoints,” February 99; “Asian Souls”, 1995; “Queer in Your Ear”, 1994.

Contra Costa Times. “Art good enough to eat,” Eric Louie, 17 Feb 05.

KNBR, KFOG, KSAN and KTCT, San Francisco CA. Radio interview with Gimmy Park Li, Feb 05.

KTSF TV, San Francisco CA. Cantonese & Mandarin News, 28 Feb 05.

New York Times. “As All-American as Egg Foo Yong,” Michael Luo, 22 Sep 04. 

Giant Robot. “China Buffet: Sweet and Sour Sister,” Robert Ito, #33 10th Anniversary Special, Summer 04.

KPIX Television, CBS/VIACOM. Evening Magazine feature by Dave Stoelk, 8 January 04 (aired again 22/6/04 & 13/12/04).

New York Times. “Books as Art Objects (Reading Is Optional),” by Michael Frank, 2 January 04.

KQED-FM Radio. Pacific Time feature by Fawnee Evnochides, 25 December 03. “The Art of Rock-and of Chinese Restaurant Take-Out Menus,” by Ben Fong-Torres, 23 November 03. Featured Artist of the Week, 21 Nov 03.

KTVU Channel 2 (Oakland CA). Bay Area People feature, 8 November 03.

San Francisco Chronicle. “Are chop suey and deep-fried everything really Chinese food? Artist Indigo Som says takeout menus can tell us something about Asian culture in America,” by Annie Nakao, 11 October 03.

Contra Costa Times. “A trail of fortune cookies across America,” by Janet Levaux, 10 October 03.

Artweek. “'Unbound and Under Covers' at the Berkeley Art Center,” by Terri Cohn, September 03.

Berkeley Daily Planet. “Merging Books and Literature With the Visual Arts,” by Fred Dodsworth, 8 July 03.

The New York Times. “Art Reviews; When Embroidery Is More Than a Craft,” by Helen A. Harrison, 17 March 02. “La Perruque (The Wig), the office/gallery,” by Courtney Fink, February 02. “La Perruque (The Wig) at the office/gallery,” by Greg Youmans, September 01.

Artweek. “Kurt Steger, Indigo Som & Lowell Darling at the Sonoma Museum of Visual Art,” by Frank Cebulski, March 01.

Reviewwest Magazine. “Indigo Som, Collector’s Gallery, Oakland Museum of California,” by Eileen Tabios, December 00. 

Sculpture magazine. “Textual Objectives: Objectified Text: Some Ruminations on Recent California Art Practices,” by Terri Cohn, September 00.

Surface Design Journal. “Indigo Som: Gingham as Social Commentary,” by Virginia Davis, Fall 99.

New Art Examiner. “Extended Review” of “Needle Art” by Terri Cohn, September 99.

San Francisco Chronicle. “Bedford's Needlework Exhibit Pokes Holes in Gender Roles,” by Sam McManis, 11 June 99.

Walnut Creek Journal. “Bedford Gallery Opens 'Needle Art' Exhibit,” by Catherine D. Jacobson, 22 April 99.

Making Memory Books By Hand, ed. Kristina Feliciano, Rockport Publishers, Gloucester MA, 99.

Artweek. “'American American' at Crucible Steel Gallery”, by Berin Golonu, April 99.

Art Papers. “New Directions in Book Arts: A (Mostly Northern) California Perspective,” by Terri Cohn, Nov/Dec 97.

KALX 90.7 FM, Berkeley CA. “Women in the Arts” interview with Laura Prives, 18 November 97.

Bay Area Reporter. “Wonder Words: ‘Fahrenheit 451’ revels in verbal prolixity,” by Steven Jenkins, 2 October 97.

Artweek. “Art and Language: Con(text): artists working with words,” by Terri Cohn, June 97.

Chicago Reader. Review of “Dilemma”  by Mark Swartz, vol. 26, #28, 18 April 97.


Selected Writing Publications

Hyphen magazine. “Southern Exposure: How I Learned to Take Pictures,” Indigo Som, Spring 2013.

Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, eds. Mimi Nguyen & Thuy Tu. Duke University Press, 2007. “Chinese restaurant drive-thru,” 28 September 2003.

Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry, eds. Todd Swift & Philip Norton. Rattapallax Press, New York NY, 2002.

Xin Lu: A Travelogue in Four Parts, Part Two: Mother/Land, a video by Ming-Yuen S. Ma, 2000.

Crab Orchard Review, Asian American special issue, Spring/Summer 1998. Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale IL.

There Is No Name For This: Chinese in America Discuss Sexual Diversity, a video documentary by The Visibility Campaign, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, San Francisco CA, 1997.

Bamboo Ridge #69, Spring 1996. Bamboo Ridge Press, Honolulu HI. 

My Lover is a Woman: Contemporary Lesbian Love Poems, ed. Lesléa Newman. Ballantine Books, New York NY, 1996.

Surface Tension, ed. Meg Daly. Simon & Schuster, New York NY, 1996.

Plural Desires: Writing Bisexual Women's Realities, ed. The Bisexual Anthology Collective. Sister Vision Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,1995.

Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries & Visions, ed. Naomi Tucker. Haworth Press, New York, 1995.

The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian & Pacific Islander Lesbian & Bisexual Women, ed. Sharon Lim-Hing.  Sister Vision Press, 1994.

Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay & Lesbian San Francisco, eds. Blackman & Healey. Manic D Press, San Francisco CA, 1994.

Asian/Pacific American Journal. Asian American Writers’ Workshop, New York NY. 
Vol. 3, #2, fall/winter 94. Heroes & Superheroes.
Vol. 2, #2, fall/winter 93. EnGendering Visions:  Roles, Reversals & Revolutions.
Vol. 2, #1, spring/summer 93. Witness Aloud: Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Asian/Pacific American Writings.

Salmon magazine, summer 1992. Somerville MA.

Piece of My Heart: a Lesbian of Colour Anthology, ed. Makeda Silvera.  Sister Vision Press, 1991.




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