Asian American Arts Alliance

Portraits of New York Chinatown

Event Details

Portraits of New York Chinatown

Time: December 19, 2013 to April 13, 2014
Location: Museum of Chinese in America
Street: 215 Centre Street
City/Town: New York, NY
Website or Map:…
Event Discipline: other, visual
Organized By: a4 - Network Admin
Latest Activity: Dec 19, 2013

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Event Description

Portraits of New York Chinatown was initiated as an oral history project by artist Tomie Arai and scholar Lena Sze as MOCA prepared to move into its current home in 2009. The project addressed the vital question of MOCA’s own role within the communities of Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo through interviews with 27 neighborhood residents and community leaders. At the core of these conversations were the ever-present concerns of gentrification and displacement. Out of this material, Arai developed interpretive ‘portraits’ based on the content of the interviews.Her composite portrait of Chinatown involves a complex blend of oral history, screen printing, and personal artifacts selected by the artist and her subjects.   Image Credit: Tomie Arai, Framing an American Identity, 1992. - See more at:

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