Xin Lu is a large-scale media project exploring the intersections between autobiography, tourism, travel, immigration, exile, and displacement.
During the Xin Lu Video Bus Tour, the four videos are shown on tour buses along a specially curated route. The aim of the site-specific tour is to link issues raised by the videos with local history and communities, thereby “siting” these videos to where they are shown. “On the road” performances, informative lectures, guerilla hijacking, delicious food fusions, and reflective discussions will be incorporated into individual tours based on consultations with local artists, community activists, cultural historians, arts organizations, and other collaborators.
Guest Tour Guides:

Amitis Motevalli was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to the US in 1977. In 1995 she received a BA from SFSU in Art with a minor in Women’s studies and in 1998 an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Her work as an artist incorporates a combination of near-eastern aesthetic with a western art education. Motevalli states, “Being an immigrant in the US shows in my work a duality of culture, both natural and learned. In all of my work, I create a dialogue that critiques dominant views of oppressed people and culture in general”.


The Pocho Research Society (PRS) is a collective of artists, activists and rasquache historians who reside in Los Angeles. Dedicated to the systematic investigation of space, memory and displacement, the PRS understands history as a battleground of the present, a location where hidden & forgotten selves hijack & disrupt the oppression of our moment. In Operation Invisible Monument, the PRS confronts the construction of history through the public monument. Anonymous members installed mock historic plaques at different locations. The PRS identified these strategic sites in an effort to pay homage to historic erasure. By inserting plaques, the PRS hopes to interrupt historical amnesia, trigger memory and interrogate the present in order to see the world with fresh eyes rather than the diesel haze of a media-blurred present. The result, ideally, is a reconstruction or destruction of the hegemonic worldview responsible for the erection of the site's original monuments.


Kristina Wong is a nationally presented solo performer, writer, actor, educator, culture jammer, and filmmaker. Described by the East Bay Express as "brutal but hilarious... a woman who takes life's absurdities very seriously," her body of performance work includes short and full-length solo performance works, outrageous street theater stunts and pranks, subversive internet installations, and plays and sketch comedy. In her irreverently signature style, Wong’s performances, presented both as announced events along the tour and as guerilla theater at unexpected moments, will give a vigorous shake to the notions of “cultural tourism” and “authenticity”, and turn some of these problematic notions on their heads. For more information, go to Kristina’s web site.


Lunch Boxes by Diep Tran of Good Girl Foods
For the Xin Lu Video Bus Tour, Tran has prepared a specially designed bao (steamed buns) sampler, to be accompanied by Asian soft drinks or bottled water. Click here to see the menu and read about how Tran came up with it.

Persian Ice Cream from Mashti Malone's
Ice cream sandwiches by simply one of the best ice cream shops in Los Angeles, in Persian flavors such as rosewater, saffron, lavender, orange blossom...

Participating Organizations:

The Chinese American Museum is jointly developed and operated by the
Friends of the Chinese American Museum (FCAM) and El Pueblo de Los
Angeles Historical Monument, a department of the City of Los Angeles.
Located at the El Pueblo Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, CAM is housed in the last surviving structure of the city’s original Chinatown.
CAM’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation
of America’s diverse heritage by researching, preserving, and sharing
the history, rich cultural legacy, and continuing contributions of
Chinese Americans. For more information, please visit
Open Wednesdays - Saturdays, 10am - 3pm.

Founded in 1970, Visual Communications is the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center. The mission of Visual Communications is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans. Visual Communications will present the 24th edition of The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival May 1 through 8, 2008 at the Directors Guild of America, Laemmle's Sunset 5 Theatre, and Aratani/Japan America Theatre, among others. The Film Festival will include the latest new works by established and emerging Asian American filmmakers and video artists; Asian international artists; and filmmaker seminars, panel discussions and symposiums on topics relevant to Asian Pacific cinema. For more information, please visit



In the Xin Lu project, Los Angeles-based media artist Ming-Yuen S. Ma uses the metaphor of nomadism to examine his family history, which branches out from the former British colony of Hong Kong. He envisions Xin Lu (from the Chinese phrase xin lu li qing, literally translated as heart—road— experience— journey) as a conceptual road movie that travels in between cities and countries as well as language and identities. A major component of this project is four linked experimental videos. Three of the videos investigate significant points in a journey: departure (Mother/Land), passage (Movements East—West), and arrival ([os]). The fourth video, Myth(s) of Creation, is an examination of the travelogue itself, and acts as an index to the other pieces. To find out more about the Xin Lu project, click here

Ming-Yuen S. Ma and Visual Communications Presents
Xin Lu Video Bus Tours, Los Angeles
Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4, 2008

As part of Visual Communications’ 24th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, media artist Ming-Yuen S. Ma and Visual Communications will present two site-specific video bus tours featuring Ma’s experimental videos from the Xin Lu project. The two tours, first in a global site-specific series, will take place on Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th, 2008. In addition to the video screening on-board the 50-seat tour bus—imagine a screening-room-on-wheels—the audience will also experience a curated tour route along local geopolitical sites related to the content of the videos. “On the road” performances, informative lectures, guerilla hijacking, delicious food fusions, and reflective discussions will be incorporated into the Los Angeles tour in collaboration with Amitis Motevalli, Pocho Research Society, Diep Tran, and Kristina Wong.

Featured in, LA Times interview with Ming

Bus will leave from the Directors’ Guild of America (DGA) 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Boarding is at 12:30pm, and the tour is anticipated to last about 4-5 hours. Tickets for the bus tour are $25.00, including lunch and beverages. For complete program and ticket information call Visual Communications at 213-680-4462 x59 beginning April 2008 or visit the festival web site.