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Photo courtesy of the Mahjong Project

Mahjong Night

Thursday, February 29th, 2024 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm​


Collaborator: The Mahjong Project


Image Credits: Courtesy of The Mahjong Project 

For some, mahjong is something new and exciting; a game they may have heard of but never had an opportunity to play. For others, it’s a game associated with distant memories of childhood, watching family members huddled around the table and listening to the click-clacking of tiles. And then for others, mahjong is a part of their everyday life, it’s a way to socialize regularly with friends.


Setting up mahjong tables at Edge on the Square in Chinatown will invite an intergenerational mix of people and experience levels to sit together and play. This in turn will facilitate interaction and conversation. Reimagining the space as a site of play and entertainment will also encourage people to interact with the space differently, and may entice or strike the curiosity of people who have not visited before to step inside.


As part of the event, The Mahjong Project will provide instruction and guidance to attendees who are new to the game. In addition, The Mahjong Project will also collect stories from participating players about their memories of playing mahjong. Who taught you how to play? What’s a house rule or family superstition you hold about the game? What made you want to learn how to play? Stories will be collected either through audio or written form, and provide an added layer to the event that will get people contemplating their own family histories and traditions.


Playing mahjong alongside the art displayed for the Within Others exhibit will also prompt attendees to think about mahjong as a means of personal and collective healing, especially for those who have grown up around mahjong but perhaps didn’t partake in playing. What does it mean to take a seat at a mahjong table where you may not have felt comfortable or confident to do so before? Does engaging with mahjong feel different today than it did in previous years, given the shifting visibility of the Asian American community, your own relationship to Asian American identity, and the broader political landscape?


About The Mahjong Project:

Nicole Wong has spent the past few years documenting her family’s very specific and complicated house rules for playing mahjong. The Mahjong Project is her effort to preserve a small piece of her family history, bring more people into the joy of playing the game, broaden the awareness of the game’s significance to the Asian diaspora and American culture, while also encouraging others to contemplate unique family traditions in their own lives. The Mahjong Project hosts pop-up mahjong nights around San Francisco and Oakland, and collects stories and anecdotes about mahjong at (IG: @themahjongproject)   

Photo courtesy of the Mahjong Project

Image Credits: Courtesy of The Mahjong Project 

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