Under the direction of Paul Kwan and Arnold Iger, began their exploration experimental theater/performance arts in 1982, their first performance entitled Confrontation of Culture and Identity . In 1983, they presented a performance work entitled Persona Grata . Thereafter, the name of the group was established. They went on continued developing works for the in the genre of experimental theater, they have performed at venue such as The Magic Theater, Intersection for the Arts, and The Lab. They did their last performance at the Grand Opening of The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 1993.
Having worked on the trilogy for a decade---Anatomy of A Springroll began in 1991, completed in 1993, the second part Pins and Noodles (1996), and the final part A Wok in Progress (2000), were all broadcast nationally on PBS---and having progressed from Hi 8 to Digital Video, Kwan and Iger are familiar with creative life on the cutting edge of technology.
The genesis of the food trilogy lay in Kwan and Iger's decision to turn their successful stage play, Anatomy of A Springroll , into a documentary film, hoping to reach a wider audience. Like the play, the film and its sequels focus on the complexities of Kwan's Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and use the rituals of choosing, preparing and consuming food as ways to explore ethnic identity, family life and the intersecting of cultures.
While developing the project, Kwan and Iger, who collaborate in a wide range of artistic mediums, decided that if they were to truthfully tell Kwan's story of immigrating from Vietnam in 1973 and adapting to life in America, they would have make three one-hour documentaries. "Given the themes we had and the ways we wanted to tell our story--with poetry, masks and mixed media---we knew we had material for more than one hour program. Also, since we were looking at the immigrant experience through the lens of food, we figured making the trilogy was a good opportunity to have our lunch paid for the next ten years."