CCA Curatorial Practice and CCA Wattis Institute Present uncontained: categories always leak, April 28–May 13, 2023

Featuring work by five acclaimed female artists—Candice Lin, Cathy Lu, LaRissa Rogers, Cammie Staros, and Stephanie Syjuco.

LaRissa Rogers, Licked Until Your Tongue Rubbed Raw, 2022 (detail).

LaRissa Rogers, Licked Until Your Tongue Rubbed Raw, 2022-23. 15 handmade painted porcelain plates, candied brown sugar skins, saliva, unplugged microphones. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and Second Street Gallery. Photo credit: Stacey Evans.

San Francisco, CA—March 21, 2023—California College of the Arts (CCA) is pleased to announce uncontained: categories always leak, a group exhibition featuring five women artists—Candice Lin, Cathy Lu, LaRissa Rogers, Cammie Staros, and Stephanie Syjuco—working in mixed media installation, curated by the CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice Class of 2023: Julianna Heller, Zoë Latzer, and Meghan Smith. The exhibition will be on view from April 28 to May 13, 2023 at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco.

The exhibition will address containment in both a literal and metaphorical sense, inspired by Trinh T. Minh-ha's writing in Woman, Native, Other: “despite all our desperate, eternal attempts to separate, contain and mend, categories always leak.” Exhibiting artists use vases, vitrines, or vessel-like forms to trace specific trade histories, global power dynamics, and museological plunder, while also addressing broader concepts of value, spillage, and emptiness. We ask, how does containment relate to identity, culture, and power? What, or who, is being contained? How are artists breaking free of restraints, liberating what is confined, flowing over and beyond their containers?

The five artists included, all with multimedia and interdisciplinary practices, unearth the hidden histories of colonial goods to connect material culture with human experiences.

Stephanie Syjuco, Selections from the series RAIDERS: International Booty, Bountiful Harvest (Selections from the Collection of the A____ A__ M_____), 2011 (detail).

Stephanie Syjuco, Selections from the series RAIDERS: International Booty, Bountiful Harvest (Selections from the Collection of the A____ A__ M_____), 2011. Digital archival photo prints mounted onto laser cut wood, hardware, crates. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist, Catharine Clark Gallery, and RYAN LEE Gallery.

About the Artists

The CCA curatorial cohort is thrilled to include Los Angeles-based sculptor Cammie Staros in her first Bay Area exhibition. Staros uses ancient ceramic techniques to sculpt, twist, and distort classical-style vases before plunging them into live aquariums, bringing symbols of so-called “Western civilization” into contemporary settings.

Also exhibiting for the first time in the Bay Area, Los Angeles-based artist LaRissa Rogers uses materials like sugar and porcelain to challenge the politics of hybridity, authenticity, and visibility as a Black and Korean woman. Her sculptural installation Licked Until Your Tongue Rubbed Raw melts over time, transcending the containment of racialized bodies.

2022 SFMOMA SECA Awardee Cathy Lu deconstructs assumptions about Asian American identities and cultures. Her site-specific installation Production displays concrete casts of both discarded objects and priceless treasures, questioning cultural notions of value and authenticity.

Oakland-based artist Stephanie Syjuco investigates and intervenes in archives, often unearthing the imperialist origins of museum collections. In RAIDERS: International Booty, Bountiful Harvest (Selections from the Collection of the A____ A__ M_____), Syjuco downloaded images of valuable vases from the San Francisco Asian Art Museum’s online database, printing and arranging low-resolution copies in a clever installation that subverts institutional authority.

Los Angeles-based artist Candice Lin, recently included in the 2022 Venice Biennale, researches the material histories of commodities as they relate to global trade, migration, slavery, and violence. Her multisensory sculpture System for a Stain churns a mixture of tea, cochineal, and poppyseeds that flows in tubes throughout the exhibition, eventually spilling and leaking into the gallery space.

uncontained: categories always leak will be on view from April 28 to May 13, 2023 at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition with artist remarks and curator tours on Friday, April 28, from 5 to 8 pm. An exhibition catalog with original essays and interviews by members of the curatorial cohort, and featuring newly commissioned inserts by Consuelo Tupper Hernández, Shao-Feng Hsu, and Gericault De La Rose, will be available for purchase from the Wattis Institute. More information for visitors is available on the Wattis Institute website, including information about the exhibition and publication.

Public Program

The CCA curatorial cohort is pleased to present a free public program featuring multidisciplinary artists Stephanie Syjuco and Gericault De La Rose at the Wattis on Saturday, May 6, 2023 from 6 to 7 pm. The artists will be in conversation before De La Rose performs In Between, queering the concept of body-as-vessel through art historical references and Filipinx manananggal mythology.

Calendar Editors, please note:

  • CCA Curatorial Practice and CCA Wattis Institute Present uncontained: categories always leak
  • April 28–May 13, 2023
  • Opening reception: Friday, April 28, 5–8 pm
  • Public program: Saturday, May 6, 6–7 pm
  • Location: 360 Kansas Street (between 16th and 17th streets), San Francisco
  • Gallery hours: Wednesday–Saturday, noon–6 pm; closed Sunday to Tuesday
  • Admission: Free

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

In CCA’s two-year MA in Curatorial Practice, students work closely with faculty mentors—and collaborate with fellow students—to develop the intellectual, analytical, and practical skills needed to pursue a range of professional paths in curating contemporary art. The program positions the curator as a researcher, advocate, and ally who understands context as a means of articulating connections among artists, artworks, ideas, information, and audiences. Curatorial Studies students acquire the knowledge and tools provided by museum studies, exhibition studies, or arts administration programs, but they are also encouraged to work creatively, think critically, and imagine a practice beyond the current boundaries of the art world. We ask students to challenge the assumptions and inequities on which museums and other arts institutions have been built and to envision how cultural producers might work together to foster new models for the future.

About CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Hervé Guibert: This and More; Josh Faught: Look Across the Water Into the Darkness, Look for the Fog; Maia Cruz Palileo: Long Kwento (which traveled to the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah); Jeffrey Gibson: Nothing Is Eternal; Lydia Ourahmane: صرخة شمسية Solar Cry; Cinthia Marcelle: A morta; Vincent Fecteau; Abbas Akhavan: cast for a folly; Akosua Adoma Owusu: Welcome to the Jungle (which traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans); Diamond Stingily: Doing the Best I Can; Rosha Yaghmai: Miraclegrow; and Adam Linder: Full Service (which traveled to Mudam Luxembourg).

As a research institute, the Wattis dedicates an entire year to reflect on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public programs and publications involving the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers. Past seasons featured Lorraine O’Grady, Joan Jonas, Andrea Fraser, David Hammons, Seth Price, Dodie Bellamy, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Cecilia Vicuña.

The Wattis also hosts an annual Capp Street Artist-in-Residence, one of the earliest and longest-running artist-in-residence programs in the country, founded in 1983 by Ann Hatch as Capp Street Project, and incorporated into the Wattis Institute in 1998. Each year, an artist comes to live and work in San Francisco for a semester, teaches a graduate seminar at CCA, and develops a new body of work or research. Recent participants include Mirra Helen (2021-2022), Raven Chacon (2020–2021), Hồng-An Trương (2019–2020), Abbas Akhavan (2018–2019), contemporary (2017–2018), Melanie Gilligan (2016–2017), Carissa Rodriguez (2015–2016), and Nairy Baghramian (2014–2015). For more information, visit

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

CCA offers a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is among the 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CCA as one of the top 10 graduate schools for fine arts in the country.

Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others.

CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.

Lindsay Wright

Director of Integrated Communications

+1 530-906-8805

[email protected]