Intercultural Dumpling Making Party @ Camera Obscura Art Lab

Photos by Emily Hart Roth

Dumplings come in various shapes and sizes, but many cultures share the tradition of making pouches of dough stuffed with yummy goodness.

On March 11, Camera Obscura Art Lab Artist-in-Residence Grace Hwang invited participants to learn about dumplings from around the world at an Intercultural Dumpling Making Party.

“My main focus was to take something, like the dumpling, that each culture has modified and created as their own comfort food, and make connections between them,” said Hwang, who invited four chefs to demonstrate making dumplings.

Chefs Jessica Li made Chinese jiao zi, So Yun Cho made Korean mandu, Teresa Flores made Mexican empanadas, and Rachael Narins made Jewish kreplach. Twenty-two participants tried their hand at making these dumplings while discussing the cultural and political implications of this special food group over placemats designed by Ahree Lee.

“It was a really great variety of traditions,” said Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Supervisor Naomi Okuyama. “What was nice is that dumplings are universal. Every culture has something like this, so people were able to see the parallels as well as the differences — and not only see them, but smell and see and touch. It was an experience that reached all the senses.”

— Christina Campodonico


  • The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation raised $88,000 for school arts programs with its March 11 Greg Coote Concert for the Arts, headlined by Michael McDonald and Weird Al Yankovic. smmef.org
  • The 18th Street Arts Center is staging a series of participatory pop-up art actions about gentrification between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, March 24.
    Text “IMDOWN” to 555888 for updates.
  • The solar-powered Pacific Park Ferris Wheel will turn off its lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, in honor of Earth Hour. pacpark.com
  • The Santa Monica Jaycees hold their March networking mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at Vito’s Pizza. facebook.com/SantaMonica Jaycees
  • The Santa Monica Public Library is offering 3D design and printing workshops in April for teens on spring break. smpl.org
  • The next Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast happens on April 6 at The Double Tree Suites. smchamber.com