This year, the Year of the Dragon 2012, the Chinese Historical Society of America revitalizes its museum with an infusion of art. CHSA has reached out to its artistic community to create works that interpret and respond to the themes presented in its history galleries. The first of these art installations, Remnants: Artists Respond to the Chinese American Experience, includes five artists whose works focus on personal narrative, memory and family – concepts that characterize Chinese America. The exhibition, on view April 12 through December 15, 2012, features works by Nancy Hom, Michael Jang, Lenora Lee, Cynthia Tom, and Flo Oy Wong. Remnants debuts with an opening reception on Thursday, April 12, 6pm to 9pm at the CHSA Museum, 965 Clay Street, San Francisco.
“The inauguration of the Remnants exhibition signals a new creative approach for our exhibition program,” says CHSA executive director Sue Lee. “We are always looking for ways to offer our visitors a deeper understanding of the Chinese American experience.”
The centerpiece of Remnants is a site-specific installation of the set from the performance “Passages” by Lenora Lee Dance. A powerful portrayal of the journey endured by Lee’s grandmother through Angel Island and into American life, “Passages” presents a memorable narrative through stunning visuals. Works by Nancy Hom, Cynthia Tom, and Flo Oy Wong further explore themes of family and remembrance using a range of artistic expression, bearing unique witness to Chinese American history.
On Saturday, April 14, at 1pm, the CHSA Second Saturday program provides a deeper look into the installation “Passages: For Lee Ping To” with a performance by Lenora Lee Dance, and discussion with artist Lenora Lee (Free with Museum admission.) An Artists’ Q&A panel expanding on themes in the exhibition will be scheduled in June (TBA).
Founded in 1963, CHSA is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of Chinese American history. In 2011, CHSA celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening at the landmark Julia Morgan-designed Chinatown YWCA building in 2001. Through exhibitions, publications, and educational, public programming, CHSA promotes the contributions and legacy of Chinese America. The Chinese Historical Society of America is located at 965 Clay Street, San Francisco, 94108. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-5pm, and Saturdays 11am to 4pm. (Closed Sunday, Monday, and Holidays.) Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $3 for students/seniors, $2 for children 6-17. The museum is free the first Thursday of the month. Further information on these and other programs at CHSA is available by calling (415) 391-1188 x101, or at www.chsa.org