Earlier this month when I took two of my kids to visit my first-born, I took the little ones to the Museum of Chinese in America, a place I’d wanted to visit for a long time but somehow hadn’t gotten around to until then. It’s in an unassuming building, so if I didn’t notice the signs on the light posts, we have have missed it.
But once we got there, the outside signage is very prominent.
We went for their temporary exhibit of paper creations made by passengers on the Golden Venture ship that crashed into the shores of New York back in the 90s. The passengers were mostly from Fujian province in China and were sent to different detention centers around the US, including York, Pennsylvania. It was a very dark time in US immigration history.
My kids are well aware of Chinese paper sculpture because the seniors I volunteer with in Chinatown often make animals, flowers, and vases out of folded paper for my kids. So these Golden Venture sculptures resonated with us.
We spent most of our time at MOCA at the Golden Venture exhibit, but also saw the rest of the museum. We liked this lion dance costume and Chinese peasant art.
And the old fashioned Chinese dry goods store.
We could have spent much longer in this section about stereotyping and racism.
MOCA is soon going to have a new show about Chinese pharmaceuticals that will go into the space where we saw the Golden Venture exhibit. It’s located at 215 Centre Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown.