Tag Archives: Ryan Wong

“Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York” at Interference Archive, Curated by Ryan Wong

Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York

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Thursday December 5, 2013 – Sunday February 23, 2014

Opening: Thursday December 5, 7-10pm

Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York charts a history of Asian American activism, organizing, and cultural production in the 1970s, the first exhibition to focus on New York as a center of this national phenomenon. Through posters, leaflets, newspapers, film, and music, Serve the People shows how Asian American identity was shaped by reclaimed histories, revolutionary politics, feminist awareness, third worldism, and community organizing. The culture created by young activists and artists in the movement embodied their ideals, speaking to the excitement and urgency of the time.

Curated by Ryan Wong.

In 1970s New York, one might have heard the folk group A Grain of Sand sing about “the struggle,” walked by a mural celebrating Asian American histories, or attended a screening of a documentary on garment workers in Chinatown. I Wor Kuen and Worker’s Viewpoint Organization distributed their revolutionary messages through newspapers and study groups, while community organizations like Asian Americans for Equal Employment galvanized Chinatown into mass protests. Basement Workshop served as an umbrella for artists’ projects as well as groups like Chinatown Health Fair, Asian American Resource Center, and the Amerasia Creative Arts Program.

In recovering and presenting this past, Serve the People cuts against the stereotype of political apathy among Asian Americans, and offers a radical history for today’s activists to build upon. The political horizon for Movement activists was limitless, whether they worked towards community control, artistic self-expression, or political overthrow. This energy is palpable in the culture they produced. In light of the great immigration of Asians to America since the 1960s and the looming questions of America’s economic and political relation to Asia, these works remind us of a moment of pride and revolution for a newly-formed identity.

Visitors are invited to handle and read through two of Interference Archive’s newest acquisitions: the seminal collection of art and poetry Yellow Pearl, and copies of the nationally-circulated Bridge Magazine. Other objects on display include the Asian Americans for Action Newsletter (published by Yuri and Bill Kochiyama in their home), buttons and posters for the Chinatown Health Fair, iconic photographs of the Peter Yew police brutality protests by Corky Lee, and posters designed by artist Tomie Arai.

A full schedule of public programs will accompany the exhibition, including film screenings, discussions, and readings. Please check back here for a full list. As of now, the following events are scheduled:

Sunday December 8, 2013
2-8pm
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park (NOT AT INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE)

Gathering the Grassroots
Over twenty organizations, representing the next generation of Asian American activism, will convene at this annual event to discuss collaboration and movement building.
__________

Tuesday December 10, 2013
7-9pm
Interference Archive

Serve the People Gallery Tour and Interference Archive Open House
A gallery tour with curator Ryan Wong
__________

Sunday December 15, 2013
1-2pm
Chinatown, Manhattan

Walking Tour: A People’s History of Chinatown
A one-hour walking tour of major sites of struggle and community-building in Manhattan’s Chinatown during the 1970s and 80s. Viewing of exhibition at Interference Archive afterwards.
(Meet by the Statue of Confucius at Confucius Plaza, Intersection of Bowery and Division St.)
__________

Wednesday January 15, 2014
7pm
Interference Archive

Film Night: Short Films from the Movement
A sampling of short films produced during the Asian American Movement focused on reclaiming histories and capturing contemporary organizing.
__________

 

Thank you to our generous lenders, A/P/A Institute at NYU, Tomie Arai, Corky Lee, and Museum of Chinese in America. Original research and exhibition development for Serve the People supported by Museum of Chinese in America.

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Museum of Chinese in America Opening Reception for Spring Exhibitions Wed., April 25, 6-8pm

In Bloomberg Special Exhibitions Gallery

America through a Chinese Lens

April 26 – September 10, 2012

Featuring photographs and projects by:

Yan Deng, Wing Young Huie, Wayne Liu, Arthur Ou, Julie Quon, Ka-Man Tse, Tseng Kwong-Chi, Ann Woo, An Xiao, Amy Yao, Chien-An Yuan, Hai Zhang, Jiajia Zhang
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Community photographs from MOCA’s collection

America through a Chinese Lens surveys photography of American life as shot by contemporary Chinese and Chinese American artists, documentary photographers and non-professionals, identifying the specific ways in which the Chinese have used the camera to see this country – its beauty, contradictions, and realities. The exhibition spans many generations of photographers: contemporary artists who use the medium as well as snapshots taken by new immigrants from the 1950s to today which have been selected from MOCA’s permanent collection. During the run of the show, new media artist and design strategist An Xiao will be shooting and posting photographs regularly as she travels throughout the west and southwest, offering a live visual essay about her America on our tumblr page: chineseinamerica.tumblr.com.

Curated by Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions


In the Jundy and Tin An Cheng Digital Salon

June 4, 1989: Media and Mobilization Beyond Tiananmen Square

April 26 – September 10, 2012

June 4, 1989: Media and Mobilization Beyond Tiananmen Squaredraws from MOCA’s extensive collection of Asian-American and Chinese-language periodicals to reconstruct a narrative of the coverage of and response to the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre of 1989. These periodicals tell the story of the sister movement sparked in America: thousands, mainly young Asian-Americans, marched and rallied in cities across the country in solidarity with the Chinese protesters. The crackdown of June 4 politically galvanized the Chinese-American community, and the protests escalated. Amidst the current renaissance of popular protest, June 4, 1989: Media and Mobilization Beyond Tiananmen Square offers a chance to reflect critically on the inseparable roles of protester, journalist, and spectator at home.

Curated by Ryan Wong, Assistant Curator

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