Encore Series: No-No Boy
Asia Society at Home
Asia Society Texas' Encore Series brings you the very best of our in-person programs — in bite-size form. Revisit highlights from events you've enjoyed live, or sample exciting new performances, all from the comfort of home.
No-No Boy (aka Julian Saporiti)'s music and artwork combine original folk songs, storytelling, and archival images to create an immersive experience exploring Asian American and transpacific histories, with music drawing on thrillingly diverse traditions: jazz musicians inside internment camps, Saigon rock 'n' roll teenagers, Filipino cruise ships, punk rockers, and church choirs in Chinatowns. Speaking as much to the present as to the past, his work also touches on Saporiti's own research work in Texas and at the southern U.S. border.
In this Encore Series clip from his concert at Asia Society Texas Center in March 2022, Saporiti performs "Boat People" from No-No Boy's first album 1942. This stripped-down acoustic version emphasizes the beauty of the lyrics, recounting the story of a Vietnamese refugee in Canada and the refugee experience of the narrator's mother. Saporiti performs in front of a projection, slowly zooming out, of a monumental photograph of a Vietnamese refugee camp in Malaysia. The image, like his music, captures the scope of history and the individual humanity within it in one stunning stroke.
About No-No Boy
Julian Saporiti aka No-No Boy is a Vietnamese and Italian American songwriter and scholar. His multi-media work “No-No Boy” has transformed his PhD research on Asian American history into concerts, albums and films which have reached a broad and diverse public audience. By using art to dive into highly divisive issues such as race, refugees and immigration, Saporiti aims to allow audience members to sit with complication as music and visuals open doorways to difficult histories. Saporiti holds degrees from Berklee College of Music, University of Wyoming and Brown University and has worked with cultural institutions such as Lincoln Center, the LA Philharmonic, the National Parks, and Carnegie Hall.
Performing Arts and Culture programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Syamal and Susmita Poddar. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, and The Brown Foundation Inc. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, and Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Additional support provided by the Wortham Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, United Airlines, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.
Performing Arts and Culture Presenting Sponsors
Syamal and Susmita Poddar
Official Airline Sponsor
Performing Arts and Culture Program Sponsors
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.