Circles and Circuits I & II


California African American Museum
(September 15, 2017–February 25, 2018)

Chinese American Museum
(September 15, 2017–March 11, 2018)

Flora Fong, "Virgen de la Caridad," 2014, Oil on canvas

Flora Fong, “Virgen de la Caridad,” 2014, Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and California African American Museum

The Caribbean is a complex and vibrant region overlaid with multiple histories. Part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, Circles and Circuits I & II: Chinese Caribbean Art is a two-part exhibition on view at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and Chinese American Museum (CAM) that explores this specific and much overlooked component of the region’s collective identity. As such, there are myriad connections between the two locations, as notions of place, time and memory pervade each, layered with the inherent complexities of the diaspora.

Although the exhibition thematically begins with the modernist explorations of Chinese Caribbean artists of the early 20th century, the legacy of the region’s multiple diasporas reach far deeper. The main gallery of Circles and Circuits I at CAAM, focuses on didactics which provide the historic context of a region largely shaped by the African presence, as millions of slaves were brought to the region over the course of three centuries. Chinese immigration to the Caribbean islands came in the post-Emancipation period, first as indentured laborers in the early 1800s, later followed by waves of immigration prompted by economic difficulties in China after the Opium War (1839-1842) and the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 in the United States. …

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