Oliver Wang
Oliver Wang

Dr. Oliver Wang is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times as well as his own audioblog, Soul-Sides.com.

Website: o-dub.com
Q&A

LOCATION: South Pasadena/SGV

EXPERTISE: Popular culture/music, race/ethnicity, noodle soups

INSPIRATION: The complex, ugly/beautiful histories of communities in Los Angeles

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN YOUR AREA: The Arroyo

ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU'D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: James Baldwin, circa mid-1960s, in Paris

PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: Ambient cafe noise

WHY YOU LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE: Food, food, food

Recent Articles
In the Pocket with James Gadson: An Essential Mixtape
In the Pocket with James Gadson: An Essential Mixtape
If you've listened to pop music over the last 40 years, you've heard James Gadson. The musician is one of the most successful and prolific session players in history.
This Is Slick: A Conversation with Graffiti Writer/Clothing Designer Slick
This Is Slick: A Conversation with Graffiti Writer/Clothing Designer Slick
L.A. graffiti writer/street clothing designer Slick talks about working with Ice Cube, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. and Pharcyde, and why his iconic "L.A. Hands" don't belong to a certain mouse from Anaheim.
Visual Play: A Conversation With Designer Brent Rollins
Visual Play: A Conversation With Designer Brent Rollins
L.A. native Brent Rollins sits down with Oliver Wang to discuss his work as the art director of the lauded underground music magazine ego trip, his album cover designs for Spank Rock, Black Star, and Blackalicious, and his logos for Boyz N' The Hood and Mo' Better Blues.
Considering CityWalk: A Brief History of the Mall and Artificial Neighborhoods
Considering CityWalk: A Brief History of the Mall and Artificial Neighborhoods
Think LA's Citywalk is an amusement park or an "idealized reality" of city living? Oliver Wang investigates the forced perspective of one of LA's most perplexing attractions
The Altered Reality of 'K-Town'
The Altered Reality of 'K-Town'
The idea of a reality show, set in L.A.'s Koreatown, documenting the antics of young Asian Americans, made instant waves. As news of the show spread, the response to "K-Town" always combined amusement, outrage, and curiosity.
The Essential L.A. Riots Mixtape
The Essential L.A. Riots Mixtape
It was music - and hip-hop in particular - that served as seer and storyteller in the months before and after the L.A. Riots. Oliver Wang addresses a series of moments, captured in music, from before and after the Riots, offering a cultural lens to understanding an event that, 20 years later, continues to leave its imprint on Los Angeles.
San Gabriel Valley Goes Viral: the Fung Bros Rep the 626
San Gabriel Valley Goes Viral: the Fung Bros Rep the 626
After the Fung Bros. arrived in Los Angeles, they recognized the uniqueness of the local culture in the San Gabriel Valley and coined it the "626 Lifestyle," a nod to their area code, aka the "Boba Life," referring to that milk tea and tapioca ball concoction served out of countless SGV mini-malls.
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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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