Today was the August Moon Festival, celebrating what is held to be the largest full moon of the year. In Boston’s Chinatown that means lion dances, kung-fu demonstrations, moon cakes, and a battle for local souls fought between the Falun Gong and various local churches. This year, it also marked the debut of the Hudson Street Gallery, a Chinatown art space. The gallery held an open house today in advance of its grand opening scheduled for September 6 in conjunction with the Asian Community Development Corporation‘s Hudson Street Stories project.

Temporarily located in the garden level of a mixed-use building at 18 Hudson street, Hudson Street Gallery kicked off with two shows: a quartet of contemporary urban photographers, and a show of Chinatown historical material curated by the Asian CDC.

Brian Matiash and Jason Sundram showed portraits and Chinatown scenes in both standard and High Dynamic Range (HDR) processes. Both spent time in the gallery and on the streets shooting, so expect additions to their flickr streams soon.

Two more photographers, Jason Liu and Lee Cullivan took literally night and day approaches to urban photography. Liu presented three poster-sized glossy prints emphasizing the dynamism of Boston, with long exposures turning cars into streaks of light. Cullivan’s early morning Chinatown street scenes are deadpan and static with a soft palette, but there’s energy and humor embedded in the piled-up businesses of Chinatown ready to burst to life as soon as the photographer walks away.

Hudson Street Gallery will be open weekends and by appointment for a while.  Interested viewers and artists should get in touch.  I’m eager to see if and how an art space like this can make a go of it in Chinatown.