House Poem was created by by Huang Xiang, the first exiled writer in the City of Asylum residency program. Mr. Huang lived in the house for almost three years with his wife. The house is now used by other writers in City of Asylum/Pittsburgh programs.
Huang Xiang’s work had been totally repressed and banned in China. He created this very public “house publication” as a way to celebrate his arrival in Pittsburgh and his freedom to publish without persecution. The calligraphy on the house includes selections from Huang Xiang’s poetry, and is in the expressionistic “grass style” that is his trademark.
House Poem was dedicated on November 21, 2004, with a public reading of the house by Huang Xiang. The day was declared “Huang Xiang Day” by the Mayor and Council of the City of Pittsburgh. The response to House Poem inspired City of Asylum/Pittsburgh to create the public library of text-based artworks on Sampsonia Way.