Earlier this year, following the publication of Amy Chua?s controversial memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Wesley Yang?s provocative response, “Paper Tigers,” prompted a flood of debate among the Asian Pacific American community. This revamping of Asian identity will be explored in MOCA?s Trending Asian America series, an ongoing public program that brings together leading voices in contemporary Asian American culture to explore topics that impact Asian Americans today and tomorrow.
“The diversity of this series lies behind the overarching term ‘Asian American,'” said Beatrice Chen, Director of Education & Programs at MOCA. “In seeking different ways to define Chinese American culture, we hope to strengthen MOCA?s connection with the Asian American community across different generations and develop a new voice that will ultimately generate a national conversation.”
Kicking off this series on Thursday, October 6 at 6:30pm will be “The Yin and Yang of Contemporary Asian American Culture”. Acclaimed graphic novelist Gene Yang (Level Up; The Eternal Smile; American Born Chinese), New York Magazine contributing editor Wesley Yang (“Paper Tigers”), and author and columnist Jeff Yang (The San Francisco Chronicle’s “Asian Pop”) – all of whom happen to share the same last name – will be conducting a candid, no-holds-barred discussion of recent trends, including the evolving nature of Asian American identity, the challenges of Asian masculinity, and the perils (and promise) of “tiger” parenting.
On Thursday, December 8 at 6:30pm, MOCA will also host “The Hapa Project with Kip Fulbeck.” Since 2001, award-winning artist, performer and filmmaker Kip Fulbeck has been travelling around the country photographing over 1200 volunteers from all walks of life who identify themselves as hapa (a once derogatory label which has been embraced as a term of pride by individuals of mixed Asian or Pacific Island descent). The Project is part of MOCA?s core exhibition, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, which features a series of these photographs as well as handwritten responses to the question “What are you?”
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