NYC Chinatown Showcases Anti-Asian Racism Exhibit

Jul 21, 2021 | AA, China, CULTURE, NEWS

An exhibit entitled “Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism” was unveiled by a New York City museum. The exhibit was curated through submissions that were received during the pandemic, during the surge of anti-Asian hate.

The Museum of Chinese in America recently unveiled a new exhibit entitled “Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism.” The exhibit marked the start of something new for the museum not only because of the recent spike in Asian hate but also because it’s one of their first exhibitions after the museum was ravaged by a fire in January 2020.

According to the Museum President Nancy Yao, there used to be a question on how they can survive, but they just kept on pivoting. Thankfully, most of the museum’s collections were saved from the fire.

About the Exhibit

To make the new exhibit come to life, the museum implemented virtual programming strategies to call for submissions.

“We felt like even though the submissions since April 2020 were really wonderful … it wouldn’t have been enough,” said curator and director of exhibits at the museum, Herb Tam. He also added that the exhibition was to “make people aware of how this is not new, the way that Asians have been made to feel foreign, or the way we have been scapegoated for a disease.”

The museum showcased a timeline of bigotry and racism that the Asian community has suffered throughout the years, including how the first Asian immigrants were treated, as well as the stereotypes related to them.

In a lot of ways, the pandemic has opened the door for anti-Asian bias, with government officials publicly using racist slurs, and blaming Chinese people for the virus.

Some of the most attention-grabbing parts of the exhibition includes the photo series of Mike Keo that showed Asian Americans sharing their identities with #IAMNOTAVIRUS.

Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang also showcased a collection of yellow whistles that visitors can take. The two founded the Yellow Whistle Project which offered the whistle as something they could use if their security was threatened. The color is a reference to how the color has been weaponized against Asian Americans.