CONSUMPTION is a project that grew out of Rick Lowe’s residency with Asian Arts Initiative. The goal of the project was to explore ways to bridge relationships between the diverse stakeholders along Pearl Street in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North. CONSUMPTION used multiple strategies to shed light on the relationships between the homeless, the upwardly mobile middle class, and other community stakeholders. Strategies included neighborhood clean-ups, intensive time spent with homeless men, workshops, and community meetings that led to the production of Finding Comfort, an installation that activated the first storefront on Pearl Street, and Kitchen of Corrections, a pilot, pop-up restaurant initiative that used prison food recipes and stories of incarceration to cultivate dynamic social and economic exchange between returning citizens and local residents from the neighborhood.
CONSUMPTION was conceived by Rick Lowe and led by artists Emily Chow Bluck and Aletheia Hyun-Jin Shin, and Chaplain Jeffrey Harley in primary collaboration with a group of men (the “Overcomers”) overcoming homelessness, addiction, and incarceration residing at a local rescue mission.