Last month, a devastating fire ravaged the archives of New York City’s Museum of Chinese in America, destroying valuable artifacts, textiles, photographs and more. In response, online gallery program Praise Shadows Fine Art is planning to launch a sale on Artsy next week, with sales benefitting the museum’s recovery efforts.
MOCA’s archive can be traced back to the ’70s, when community organizers collected items from Chinatown sidewalks and dumpsters to preserve the history of New York’s Chinese population. For the upcoming sale, Yng-Ru Chen, founder of Praise Shadows Fine Art, asked fine artists, illustrators and poets to create works that directly reference items from the archive. From laser etchings and folded paper works to cardboard box and mashed paper sculptures, over 20 artists have created works that speak to the importance of MOCA’s efforts in preserving and presenting Chinese-American history.
Artists featured in the sale include Jean Shin, Jon Burgerman, Katrin Sigurdardottir and more. The benefit sale will go live February 24 at 12 p.m. on Artsy’s website. Each work will be sold for $250 USD.
In other art-related news, Japanese street photographer RK will launch his “NEOrient” exhibition in Tokyo, Japan next week.
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Our ongoing series of posts showing the backstory and lives of the people represented by MOCA’s Collections continues. Using archival photos, letters and documents from a scrapbook donated to our collection, this video tells the story of the Ging Hawk Club, an association of Chinese American women founded in 1929 that offered an alternative to traditional, male-dominated associations. The Ging Hawk-"striving for knowledge"-Club brought together some of the first Chinese American women who attended college in the United States. Over the years, they provided community services, formed the backbone of war relief efforts, and led the conversation around U.S.-China relations at a global level. By challenging traditional Chinese family values in their pursuit for education and demanding Chinese representation in American institutions, the Ging Hawk Club demonstrated extraordinary courage and persistence. The video also features interviews with several donors to our Collections: Sandra Lee of Harold L. Lee & Sons Insurance, Dr. Betty Lee Sung and Marcella Chin Dear. Fortunately, the original Ging Hawk Club photo scrapbook survived the fire at 70 Mulberry Street and we have sent it to an offsite facility for treatment. Its condition, however, remains unknown. This video was originally produced in 2019, when we honored the Ging Hawk Club at our annual Celebration of Community Heroes. Video filmed and edited by Justin Onne. #chinatown #chineseamerican #americanhistory