I Wish It Were April Fool's Today


i'm thinking ' hot wing'
I can envision the table full of semi experienced people with marketing degrees just blowing through cash to come up with the full name. I see it all the time, with my marketing degree and mid level experience.

It invites:

Have you been to the Chinese wing of the Wing?

Hello, would you like to contribute to a new wing, for the Wing?

What? A wing for a Wing?

Yes, this is for the new wing of the Wing...to sit near the old wings of the new Wing...not the old Wing thought.

Awww, whadya go and do that to those nawce flauwer people?
Red Five Museum standing by?
I really like the Wing Luke a lot, in theory, but the problem with it is that like a lot of museums, it's barely a museum at all. They've spent most of their money on stuff that requires graduate degrees in museum management to come up with, and some fancy architecture, but they're awfully short on STUFF.

Show, don't tell; the affecting parts are not even directly open to the public unless you take the tour, like the old shop or the old hotel upstairs. Seriously, if you don't take the tour, you won't see ANYTHING; it's a great tour. But the museum otherwise seems to mostly be designed to host large cocktail parties.

It reminds me in this regard of some other museums, like the Washington State Museum of History in Tacoma, which is mostly full of terrible diorama-style figures in fake period clothing, or the bane of museums everywhere, the idiot kiosk-style computers running terrible PowerPoint presentations, except they're usually broken.

There is SO MUCH TO TELL about the history of the ID; just the Nihonmachi section alone could be absolutely fascinating if it was more in-depth. Washington Street! What was there before the freeway, before Yesler Terrace?

Another flaw of the Wing Luke: it's stuck in a time warp, in which Seattle's Asian-American history ends with street marches in the early seventies; more modern Vietnamese and Chinese immigration is totally ignored. The viewpoint is entirely that of people who came of age in the political ferment of the late-60s, early-70s, and then stops.

And it's too sanitized, leaving out stuff like the fascinating history of nightlife, both in ID clubs both above- and below-board, but also overlapping with the African-American scene on Jackson Street. An exhibit about clubs like the Wah Mee, which was an important part of the community for 75 years before it became known only as a murder scene, for instance. This is all tied up in Asian community politics, of course, which is sad.

In many ways I learned more from the haphazard photo and map exhibits in the Panama Hotel tea room. The maps of Nihonmachi in there, with all the comments from former residents about what used to be on the street there, are just fascinating. The Wing could be as good as that, but it isn't. Yet.
This post seems condescending towards an important cultural institution. 'Why not make a gag out of the name for a museum honoring the experiences of Asian-Pacific Americans? It can be like that other, more well-known museum-that-isn't-a-REAL-museum.' *giggle*

Establishing The Wing as a nickname enables the organization to benefit from a quicker name to say and a shorter name to billboard in materials.

This sounds reasonable for marketing purposes. Like SAM. Or the Frye. Or, yes, the EMP.

At the same time, the full name reinforces what The Wing experience is all about and expands what the word Asian is meant to encompass in the museum’s name.

The museum focuses on the lives of Asian-Pacific Americans and immigrants. The addition of "Pacific" makes it clear that this includes Filipinos and Polynesians. Adding "Experience" denotes a focus on human lives rather than art.

Are there any Asians on staff at The Stranger?
Considering the continent of Asia touches three major oceans, and includes (guesstimate) well over 2.5 billion people, saying "Pacific" does narrow it down a bit. You've heard of the term "West Asian" to describe the lands from Pakistan on west, right?
But if they called it the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience EXPLOSION! it would be even cooler.
Thanks #7 and #8. Great comments. Jen Graves does make a good unintentional point that part of the Asian-Pacific American experience is getting belittled by white douchebags on a daily basis.
@8: It's been awhile since I've written anything that's seen print but I'm Asian, and a Stranger Freelancer, and I think the rebranding is misguided at best. I could be okay with "Wing Luke Asian Pacific Museum," as it'd be more inclusive and accurate but "...Asian Pacific American Experience" just seems insecure and clumsy.

Calling it "The Wing" is fine, kind of hokey but fine-- but telling people you have a nickname is again, insecure and shows a lack of understanding in how to market the museum in an appealing way.

And I'm with Fnarf on his general critique of the museum's collections and programs. The tours are phenomenal, but the museum itself is a bit lackluster.
@Fnarf and Christopher Hong

I think you are both referring the Wing Luke's adjustment period after it entered its new building. The new space is 8 TIMES the size of the old space. I've heard a lot of complaints from people who visited right after the move and it seems the Wing didn't fill out its new britches until a year or so later. It's growing pains, cut em some slack. Besides the building itself has more culture than the SAM or the Frye's white cube architecture.

That said, it still doesn't have enough room to showcase all of the Asian Pacific American experiences at one time. There are about 16 exhibit spaces, excluding the tour spaces, and there are far more than 16 issues (current or historical) affecting APIA peoples. I roll my eyes when people criticize any museum for not having enough work represented. There are too many objects to show at one time, that's why museums have temporary exhibits. Just keep coming back every first Thursday.

That said the Wing now includes its tour when you buy a ticket, so no one misses out. For just a couple bucks more they will even take you on a 90 minute tour of Chinatown.


Go on the Chinatown tour, they will talk about Nihonmachi and Wah Mee if you want to know more.
@8: Because "The Wing Luke," as it's referred to now, is too many words for marketing purposes, compared with "The Wing"?

Seriously, sometimes a thing just does not make sense.

I wasn't even referring to the "Pacific" denotation, which is obviously clarifying. But using the word "Experience" in a SEATTLE museum is INVITING comparison to a museum that 'isn't a real museum,' as you put it.

Why do that????
I can has museum experience too. Love the Wing. @12 has the best name idea.
I think it's pretty clear from teh very first sentence...makes it a quicker name to say and shorter for billboard materials.

@14: I believe it was referred to as The Wing Luke Asian Museum before.
Every other museum (and institution in the city) gets to shorten its name but the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience? That's clearly too long, Wing Luke Asian Museum was pushing it too. Let's not forget when Professor Edwin R. Strangerstien's Northwest Editorial Experience shortened its name.
@16: No, everybody who actually attended it used the nickname "the Wing Luke."
@18: Hmm, looking at the past flyers and previous logo, it looks like it says "The Wing Luke Asian Museum".
Oh dear. How weird and unnecessary.
@19: Right, I was referring to "people who actually attended it"—you were not one, I presume, given that you're guessing at the nickname by looking at logos and flyers.
@21: HAHAHAHAHAAA...that statement couldn't be any more false.