The Pandemic School


Upcoming Classes 2pm-4pm

JAN2022 workshops postponed due to Omicron 

  1. Handwriting: Memory, Material, and Mimesis | Prerna | postponed

  2. My Surroundings as My Vessel | by Maxwell McInnis | postponed

  3. In Touch With Homeland | Aki Shibata | postponed

Past Events

  1. Burning Jin Paper | by Peng Wu | DEC 4th

  2. Coiling Together | by Alonzo Pantoja | DEC 5th

  3. Counterspaces | by Yuko Taniguchi | DEC 11th

  4. Quarantine Newsroom Collage | by Chris Harrison | DEC 12th

  5. Soundtracking and Playlist Making with Trina! | by Trina Fernandez | DEC 19th

Location: Soo Visual Art Center 2909 Bryant Ave S #101, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Open enrollment starts now! Limited eight spots for each in-person workshop. Sign up here!

Any questions? please email:


  1. The Pandemic School is a small experimental learning platform for primarily BIPOC artists to share their learnings during the pandemic. 

  2. Every artist-led workshop has a simple format: making & chatting.

  3. Made possible by SooVAC, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the donors of Since COVID19 project. 


Traditional Jin Paper  / 2021
Collected in Quanzhou China

Burning Jin Paper

Led by Peng Wu

Saturday December 4th from 2pm to 4pm.
Open enrollment starts now! Limited eight spots for each workshop. Any questions? please email:
*All necessary materials will be provided to those who sign up to participate.
*No previous artmaking experience necessary. *Vaccination proof or 72 hours negative COVID test is required to attend the workshop. 

Workshop Overview:

My father passed away in the middle of the pandemic last year. The existing spiritual rituals for grieving became a more traumatizing experience due to the pandemic procedures the city implemented. I was shocked and disappointed by how insufficient these rituals in my culture could contribute to the healing process.

So I decided to invent my own. I traveled to an ancient city in the south coast of China called Quanzhou 泉州, where an ancient ritual called Burning Jin Paper is still practiced in the public. The ritual can be seen in China and many Asian countries, through which people connect and have conversations with their deceased family members and ancestors.

A few friends and I started to collaborate on reinventing the ritual for everyday spiritual experiences. We asked the question; How we can better reconcile with our past through art making and sharing? While I was in China we experimented with hand papermaking and printmaking to allow everyone to create their own Jing Paper. During the process of creating and designing the Jing Paper, we talked. At the end of the event we burned our handmade Jin Paper to ash.  In front of the fire we shared our stories of the past as a way of processing events we still did not fully understand.

I learned many stories about how the pandemic had forced them to leave their normal lives in such a brutal and unexpected way, leaving them with a shock and trauma still difficult to process. Often language and conversation is no longer a sufficient tool to fully understand these profound events. That is why I am bring the Jing Paper Burning Ritual to SooVAC as a workshop to create a safe space where one can find a different way to learn and heal.

Lead Artist Bio:

Peng Wu is an interdisciplinary artist and designer dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, health disparity, queer rights etc. Through collaborating across disciplines and cultures, he has created participatory art installations exhibited in art institutions such as Weisman Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as numerous public spaces and community centers both in the U.S. and China.  He is also an independent curator working with international cultural organizations on various exhibitions. Recent projects include the tour exhibition Home of Memories by Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project; Shanghai International Paper Art Biennale at Fengxian Museum etc. He is also an educator currently working as an assistant professor at St Cloud State University and an adjunct professor at Minneapolis College of Art and Design MFA program. 

Workshop Materials: 
All Materials are provided. No previous artmaking experience required. 

Images from previous Jin Paper Workshop / 2021
Hosted in Shanghai China

Handmaking paper during Jin Paper Workshop / 2021
Hosted in Shanghai China