As a way to actively engage visitors in a conversation about immigration issues, FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures will present the story of the passengers of the Golden Venture, a ship carrying 286 undocumented Chinese immigrants that ran aground in New York City in 1993. Selected from MOCA’s collection, over forty sculptures collectively created by the immigrants while detained for years at York County Prison will be on display. Through symbolic representations that include caged birds and American eagles, the sculptures give shape to both the quantitative and qualitative time spent waiting for uncertain legal outcomes. For most of these sculptures, their forms are Chinese folk art, but their subject matter is uniquely American. Idiomatic expressions and art-related theories of the “fold” as a form, action and metaphor will be used as an organizing principle for the exhibition’s content and design. In addition to archival materials, recently recorded oral history interviews with many of the immigrants and their supporters will also be played on overhead speakers to provide multiple perspectives on the attainment of the American Dream.
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