‘Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism’ Opens at Museum of Chinese in America




Asians for Black Lives: An unnamed woman at a Black Lives Matter rally near the White House, Washington DC. She is holding a sign that says “Yellow Peril Supports Black Power.” Photograph by Mengyu Dong

The doors of The Museum of Chinese in America are back open after a fire that nearly devastated their collection. Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism will open on July 15th. It is an exhibit that helps to navigate through a plethora of targeted assaults across the country, and a way to explore solutions, including raising a collective voice against anti-Asian hate and violence.

A monumental Timeline of Anti-Asian Racism in America lines the perimeter walls with historic lowlights in the treatment of Asians and Asian Americans. Hand-painted and inscribed by MOCA team and community members, the timeline details events related to American imperialism in Asia, early race riots that uprooted established immigrant communities, discriminatory laws and policies that reinforced Asian American marginalization, intimidation campaigns during the communist Red Scare, and Islamophobia after 9/11, among other injustices. It culminates with an expanded look at the past year’s spike in anti-Asian violence. Artist Homer Shew brings these events to life with newly commissioned murals that reflect the strength of our communities throughout this long history.

In Radiance, created produced and performed by ARKAI (Philip Sheegog and Jonathan Miron).

The central Response Wall features submissions to MOCA’s OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection, an initiative to document and preserve stories of collective Asian American resilience, generosity and agency during the pandemic. Since April 2020, we have gathered community voices through documentary photography, video footage, original art and music, protest signs, and social media awareness campaigns. The projected video and soundtrack weaves together excerpts from oral histories conducted over the past year to tell a multi-dimensional story of the pandemic through an Asian American lens.

As part of Responses, MOCA has commissioned new music composers ARKAI (Philip Sheegog and Jonathan Miron) and modern dance company J CHEN PROJECT to create new time-based works responding to and interpreting the exhibition’s themes.

In addition, a new dance by Jessica Chen entitled ‘You Are Safe’ will premiere on Thursday, July 15th at 7:30pm.

Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism will be on view from July 15 to September 19, 2021. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is located at 215 Centre Street, NYC. Admission is Free through September 19, 2021.

While you’re there, be sure to see the mural, Spread Love: Stop Asian Hate, on the side of the New York Chinese Alliance Church. Stroll along the new street mural on Doyers Street, Rice Terraces by Dasic Fernandez. Check out the vibrant murals created by Assembly for Chinatown on outdoor dining spaces. Don’t miss one of NYC’s newest landmarks, the Kimlau War Memorial.