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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: 'L.A. Heat' Art Exhibit Pays Homage To Hot Sauce Kings Sriracha & Tapatio

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If you're as addicted to hot sauce as we are, then you might want to check out the art exhibit "L.A. Heat: Taste Changing Condiments" that launches March 13 at the Chinese American Museum (CAM).

What's more L.A. than honoring how much we love to douse our food with Sriracha and Tapatio? The exhibit is the brainchild of Steven Wong, the Interim Executive Director and Curator of CAM, and features work from 30 L.A.-based artists who are inspired by those burning-hot, firetruck-red sauces. The artwork includes paintings from different types of artists (designers, illustrators, street artists and gallery artists) and also a video piece by Yoshie Sakai and an interactive recipe book by Erik Benjamins. Some artists include Ching Ching Cheng, Sket One and David Chung.

Wong has his reasons for launching an exhibit that pays homage to the red sauce. "I love hot sauces," he tells LAist. "I love Sriracha and Tapatio. I’m also a proud Angelino, and found it intriguing that these sauces are also from L.A. Looking at foodways in Los Angeles, and in particular the rise of Sriracha and Tapatio, were ripe for artists to explore."

Both David Tran, the owner of Huy Fong Sriracha, and Luis Saavedra, the CEO of Tapatio, have been looped in about the show. Saavedra has been supportive and will be attending the opening reception. However, Wong says Tran isn't as involved since "he has other things to worry about." (And it's true—the Sriracha king has been facing opposition to his hot sauce factory in Irwindale from some residents who have been complaining about an odor.)

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"I hope our visitors are able to walk away inspired to make the next culinary or artistic innovation that will remind people that Los Angeles is the cultural capital of the United States," Wong says.

"L.A. Heat" kicks off March 13 with an opening reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and continues through July 12. You can find more about the exhibit here. CAM is located at 425 N. Los Angeles Street in downtown and is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.