Kathy Change was born in Springfield, Ohio on October 10, 1950. Her great great grandfather Hung was an official of the Imperial government in China. She lived and studied Chinese poetry in Cambridge with her maternal grandfather, William Hung, who founded the Chinese history department at Harvard. Her father and her brother were science professors. Her mother and her grandfather Hung were both writers who envisioned stories about utopias. Kathy moved to the Bronx with her family where she attended Mills College and NYU. She was classically trained at the Academy of Ballet. Her focus was science and math, although she soon became aware that "if you seek logic in calculus you find mysticism." She joined the student revolutionary movements in Berkley where she also attended the Academy of Art. She was married to Frank Chin, and during their five year union, they collaborated on productions of the Asian American Theatre movement of the 70's.
Kathy was part of the Greenwich Village artist milieu of New York City until she moved to Philadelphia in 1981. During her time in West Philadelphia Kathy's theories developed beyond the former dialectic toward her own vision of the "Transformation" to address the entire paradigm of capitalism. Her ideology was informed by democracy in its purest form, the I Ching, yoga, meditation, as well as feminist, anti-war activism. She continued her attention-grabbing performance art pushing for her plan to save the world. She chose the peace sign sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania to make her final site-specific statement of self-immolation on October 22, 1996. Kathy Change is memorialized every year in front of the peace sign which now stands as a metaphor for her critical message of hope for the world.
"Call me a flaming radical burning for attention, but my real intention is to spark a discussion of how we can peacefully transform our world. America, I offer myself to you as an alarm against Armageddon and a torch for liberty."
Kathy Change 1996
We are always looking for volunteers. Contact us or just stop by on October 22nd at the peace sign sculpture at 36th & Locust Walk on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
THE CRITICAL TIME IS NOW!