Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism

When 15 Jul 2021 - 19 Sep 2021
Where Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013
United States

After more than a year of shuttered operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a 5-alarm fire at its Collections space, the Museum of Chinese in America’s (MOCA) main museum space at 215 Centre Street will reopen on Thursday, July 15, 2021. The Museum’s reopening and its new exhibition will provide crucial focus on the historical roots of anti-Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) racism from the earliest days of American history.

MOCA’s reopening will be anchored by a new original exhibition Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism. This exhibition is the culmination of MOCA’s yearlong OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collectioninitiative that welcomed submissions of creative, artistic, and public responses to the tumultuous events of 2020-21. Art, essays, videos, music, and physical artifacts were donated by people from across the U.S. and Asian diaspora. The exhibition will offer an immersive experience and space for reflection, empowerment, and action by inviting Museum guests to leave their own responses as new platforms for understanding and education. The exhibit will run through the middle of September.

Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism features a comprehensive timeline on the gallery’s perimeter walls that traces 200 years of racism against Asians and Asian American Pacific Islanders, culminating with an expanded look at the past year’s spike in anti-AAPI violence. Artist Homer Shew will bring these events to life with specially commissioned murals that reflect the strength of communities throughout this long history. Commissioned pieces by J CHEN PROJECT and ARKAI will complement the exhibit run on select days.

At the heart of the exhibition are the artwork, multimedia, and material objects submitted by the public through MOCA’s OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection, which documents the agency and generosity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donation efforts, transnational interconnectedness and organizing in digital and physical spaces, and the resourcefulness individuals have embraced to: counter anti-AAPI hate, cope with pandemic life, and tackle issues around social justice.

A projected soundtrack and video in the gallery weaves together excerpts from hours of oral histories recorded in the past year for the OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection to tell a multi-dimensional story of the pandemic through an AAPI lens.

The Responses exhibition concludes with a space for visitors to leave their own responses, using their choice of materials: written text, drawing, or collage. These visitor responses will then be added to the OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection in a growing display of resistance and reflection to counter hate and fear.

For more information please click here.
Image courtesy of the event organizer.