Co-organized with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Representing Chinatown explores the ways generations of Asian American residents, artists, and filmmakers have recorded the people, places, and community events of San Francisco’s Chinatown. New commissions by Macro Waves and Chelsea Ryoko Wong capture the sights, sounds, and textures of this iconic neighborhood as a site of collective resistance and resilience. Additionally, the artist Reagan Louie has curated a selection of photographs and ephemera from CAAM’s institutional history and the collections of local activists, including the personal archives of the late filmmaker Loni Ding.
Collectively, these works consider Chinatown’s place in the artistic and popular imagination; the lasting effects of past and current xenophobia and racism on the neighborhood, most recently through anti-AAPI hate wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic; and, in turn, how to support its ongoing recovery.
The Representing Chinatown exhibition is part of CAAM’s Community Residency at SFMOMA during spring 2022, the first onsite residency of this series.
Header image: Macro Waves, A Cinematic Schematic of Chinatown Resilience, 2022 (detail); commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; image: courtesy Macro Waves
About SFMOMA’s Community Residency Program
SFMOMA’s Community Residency program awards paid residencies with the museum’s Public Engagement department to local, national, and international community centers, nonprofits, publishers, collectives, and individuals. This program seeks to collaborate and share space, resources, and platforms with socially engaged artists and organizations working both within and beyond the boundaries of art. Residencies vary in scope and duration — from one week to several years in length — and result in wide-ranging programs including exhibitions, events, workshops and artistic commissions.