KCHUNG Radio is a creative hub of artists, musicians, philosophers, and tinkerers broadcasting live on 1630 AM from above a Pho restaurant in Los Angeles’s Chinatown. The group coalesced after Mountain School of Arts student Solomon Bothwell made a small transmitter with the intention of creating a community radio station, and, shortly thereafter, fellow student Harsh Patel developed a bold red-and-white logo that visually formalized the nascent endeavor. KCHUNG’s early experiments in the studio of artist Luke Fischbeck quickly led to regular programming as well as invitations to broadcast at art-related events and openings, and opportunities such as a three-month-long Public Engagement residency at the Hammer Museum in 2013.
The group now includes more than 100 DJs broadcasting some 75 live, original-content shows each month, from reports on wildlife conservation to on-air meditation guidance to performance- and sound-art broadcasts, as well as music programs. The breadth of this roster reflects the nonhierarchical structure of KCHUNG. Anyone can sign up to be a DJ (though the waiting list, at this point, is long), and no participant has more authority than another. This open structure creates a culture of experimentation that defines the group. As Jennifer Moon, host of the program “Adventures Within” says, KCHUNG is “a combination of anarchism and punk with faith and love.”