Interior Lives: Photographs of Chinese Americans in the 1980s by Bud Glick

October 18, 2018 - March 24, 2019


In 1981, the New York Chinatown History Project (now the Museum of Chinese in America) commissioned photographer Bud Glick to document the street life, people, and domestic scenes of Chinatown during a time of major changes in the neighborhood. A new wave of immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China were moving into Chinatown, opening up new businesses just as older shops were closing down. This wave brought new life to Chinatown, and it also marked a shift. The bachelor society culture of the Chinese exclusion-era was giving way to family-oriented community. General stores serving a mostly male community struggled to stay in business as arcade halls started popping up.


Glick’s remarkable photographs capture this pivotal moment in Chinatown’s history. Recently he has re-connected with some of his subjects from over 30 years ago, and plans to conduct interviews with them about their lives, then and now. The photographs and these new oral histories will be the basis for an exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Fall 2018.


The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Chinese in America in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York exhibition Interior Lives: Contemporary Photographs of Chinese New Yorkers.