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Responses is an offering to our country in a moment of crisis. Chinese and Asian Americans are being blamed as the genesis of the coronavirus and targeted in assaults across the country, harming their bodies as well as their sense of belonging. To help us navigate what is happening, the exhibition explores the lessons of history and raises a collective voice against the rising tide of 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.

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. Visit our website (mocanyc.org) for live, in-person performance schedules.

We invite and encourage you to add your stories and responses to the wall. By doing so, you can boost the healing energy of our voices joined into a singular cry for justice.

Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism and related programs are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Con Edison, Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC)®, Stash, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Special thank you to Edward Cheng, former Director of Communications, for his tireless contributions to the OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection oral histories. In gratitude for a generous gift from MacKenzie Scott, MOCA is able to reopen the Museum and present this exhibit with free admission for all.

Starts
July 15, 2021
Ends
March 27, 2022
Category

Installation Views

David Youtz (President, Yale-China Association)
Echo Yu He and Noah Fisk shipping donated PPEs to healthcare workers at the peak of the pandemic. Photograph by Ventiko
Jennvine Wong, Black Lives Matter march through Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Khamla Erskine 許麗蓉, Croton Face Masks Makers, PPE recipient portrait, healthcare facility
Not A Virus PSA, 2020 by Kyra Yip 葉雪恩
Anti-Asian Hate Rally in Columbus Park, 2021. Photograph by Mary Luke
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
Seema Shakti, Solidarity With Our Asian Brothers and Sisters, 2021
Deserted, April 15, 2020. Photograph by Tewfic El-Sawy
Tina Chung and Sherry Zhong 鍾學正 of The US Chinese Women Organization (UCWO) donating funds and medical supplies to support hospitals and other medical institutions in the Walnut City, California area.

Performances

ARKAI

In Radiance

Created, Produced, and Performed by ARKAI (Philip Sheegog and Jonathan Miron)

July 2021 / Notes from the composer

In light of the recent rise in AAPI hate crimes, we sought to write a piece that would bring solace and healing into the world.

The piece is structured in three parts, opening with a scene of isolation, emptiness, and confusion. It questions the tragic violence and yearns for belonging.

The second section transforms in a resurgence of spirit and steadfast resolve to be. We rediscover the motions and emotions of daily life – enduring resilience, jubilant dances, and proud dignity.

The third section emerges with a newfound radiance, illuminated through communal healing and understanding. There is collective care, hope, and an assurance that everything will be alright.

This musical cycle is a representation of life’s journey in its many forms. Through every challenge, what sustains our humanity is the love and compassion that we give to each other.

Live Performance Schedule

12:00 PM EDT, Saturday, October 23

7:30 PM EDT, Thursday, November 18

3:00 PM EDT, Sunday, December 12


The J Chen Project

YOU ARE SAFE

A new dance by Jessica Chen

Commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in America for the exhibition Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism, 2021

‘“You Are Safe” is a response to the current escalation in xenophobia and bigotry targeting Asian-Americans. In 2020, hate crimes involving AAPI victims soared in NYC. This work will immerse audiences in the uplifting voice of collective Asian-American resilience, by using the power of the body to offer a transcendental expression of our collective humanity. By generating awareness, amplifying stories that go unheard, and transforming painful experiences into something beautiful and powerful, we can take steps towards healing. That process begins with telling our own stories ourselves and ensuring that others hear them too.’ – Jessica Chen

Sound Score Composed by Tony Yang

Costumes Designed by Lui Konno

Performed by

Hayoung Roh, Rafael Sanchez, Xiang Xu, Sumire Ishige,
Fang-Ting Yeh, Chieh Hsiung, Carl Ponce Cubero


MOCA recognizes and thanks the many contributing voices that made this exhibit possible:

ARKAI (Philip Sheegog and Jonathan Miron)

Marina Bhargava

Cecilia Xie Lan Birge (Princeton Chinese Community)

Jing Cai (American Chinese Culture and Education Foundation)

Vinh Cam

Carolina Castillo

Dave Chan, Melissa Yan, Leo Chan, and Stella Chan

Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai (Heart of Dinner)

Xiao Chen

Jessica Chen (J CHEN PROJECT)

Kenneth R. Chester Jr and Linglong Wei (US-China Common Concern Committee)

Kenneth “ActionKid” Chin

Cynthia Choi

Vera Chow

Fabiana Chiu-Rinaldi

Tina Chung and Sherry Zhong (U.S. Chinese Women’s Association)

Mengyu Dong

Tewfic El-Sawy

Khamla P. Erskine (Croton Face Masks Makers)

Dr. Rajeev Fernando (Chiraj)

Sunhoo Foo

Laura Gao

Echo Yu He (N95forNYC)

Clara Hsu and the Grant Avenue Follies

Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang

Steffi Huynh

Russell Jeung

Mike Keo

Joanne Kwong

Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu aka Only Won

Eric Lee

Robert Lee

Gigi Li

Jefferson Li

Xiaowen Liang

Sheung Mei Liu and Jonathan Stein

Dr. Thomas Lo

Dave Lu

Mary Luke

Bianca Mabute-Louie

Patrick Mock

Erdem-Undral Naranbaatar

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Seema Shakti

Liang Shao

Victor Sheih (Allendale Chinese Community)

Michael Sheng

Homer Shew

Claire Shin

Ivan Small

Grace Sue

Ee Tay

Bonhui Uy

Katie Wang (Lynbrook Chinese American Community)

Shuyi Wang

Edwin Wong (Forest Hills Asian Association)

Jennvine Wong

Charlie Wu (Montgomery Chinese Community)

Ellen Wu

Penny and David Yao (Chinese American Museum Foundation)

Kyra Yip (Concerned AsAm Citizens of NYC)

David Youtz

Justin Yu

Perry Yung / Yung Hoi

Xia Zhao (Stony Brook Medicine)

Justin Zhao

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The J Chen Project