Artist Writing: Fan Club

FAN CLUB, 1994


“Vincent Chin, June 19, 1982. Chinese American engineer, Vincent Chin, was bludgeoned with a baseball bat by two white autoworkers who shouted, ‘It’s because of you mother- fucking Japs we’re out of work!’ Chin died on June 23rd. The killers were sentenced to three years probation and a three thousand dollar fine after the trial. A subsequent conviction and a federal civil rights prosecution was overturned on appeal. Thus, neither killer ever served a day in prison.”

from: THOSE WHO HAVE DIED: Bias-Motivated or Related Killings Since 1981, Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, NYC

Fan Club is composed of an ash baseball bat that is sliced into fan-like sections and reconstructed with silk and blood. This object was conceived to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death. The complex circumstances that lead to Chin’s murder are very much a part of this work. Closed, it maintains a sport and American persona. When opened, it is transformed into a fan stained with blood in the form of another nationalistic insignia. Mistaken identity based on stereotypes and economic and nationalistic paranoia are components in this weapon/ tool/ object for sport, and in this country.

Additional Notes:

Dr. Haun and Yu lin Saussy’s translation of the cartouche they prepared that appears on the mounted version Fan Club:

Something to whip up the baseball fans — a Setting Sun fan.
In  memory of Vincent Chin and all victims of racial violence.

The calligraphy was done by Mel Chin’s father.