The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) will present its groundbreaking exhibition examining Chinese American identity,Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Archiving. The title of the exhibit was inspired by a Chinese proverb, “Each wave of the Yangtze River pushes at the wave ahead.” As a metaphor for Chinese American history, the waves represent successive generations of immigrants unearthing the histories of those that came before them, and in the process of discovery, addressing pertinent issues of identity, memory and history. To date, MOCA owns the largest Chinese American collection in the United States, featuring over 65,000 artifacts, oral histories, textiles, photographs, and more. The exhibition will highlight the best of its archives and special collections while engaging visitors in a discussion about identity. The Museum will celebrate its 35th year anniversary in January 2015.
Memory Prints is a solo exhibition by Phillip Chen, a visual artist from the Midwest. In fifteen relief etchings centering around his family, Chen reckons with significant moments in Chinese American history. At first glance, individually and as an ensemble, these relief prints are schematic and enigmatic. Rooted in personal experiences, the prints depict precisely drawn tools and everyday objects that reflect his family’s occupational histories. The etchings can be approached as part futurist blueprints and part archaeologic shards, each juxtaposed in an almost Rube Goldberg set of relationships and movements. Their rich darkness reveal precisely drawn tools and everyday objects, an occasional human visage. Each array on each print is imaginatively filled in with lines that interlink and interrelate the items.