Two paintings by well-known local artist, sculptor and writer Willi Chen are now part of an exhibition in the United States highlighting Chinese Caribbean art.
‘Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art’ opened on Friday (September 15) in Los Angeles and according to the website of the organisers, the exhibition “explores the art of the Chinese Caribbean diaspora from the early 20th century to the present day. By examining the contributions of artists of Chinese descent in Cuba, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and beyond, the exhibition reveals the hidden complexities of the transcultural art of the Caribbean.”
The exhibition is being presented in two parts: ‘History and Art of the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora’, on view at the California African American Museum (CAAM) through February 25, 2018, and ‘Contemporary Chinese Caribbean Art’ on view at the Chinese American Museum (CAM) through March 11, 2018.
This exhibition is organised by the CAAM in partnership with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University and the CAM. The curators are Alexandra Chang, A/P/A Institute at NYU, and Steven Y Wong, CAM, in co-ordination with Mar Hollingsworth, CAAM.
Chen, a Marabella/Pointe-a-Pierre parishioner, told Catholic News last week that he was humbled by the invitation. The two paintings selected by museum officials who visited his studio in 2014 in preparation for the exhibition, were Forest Barriers and Red Landscape. Both were done in acrylics over 20 years ago.
The officials had commented on “the contemporary treatment of the works and were impressed that the content were from our local West Indian landscape”.
The paintings were papered, bubble-wrapped and placed in a strong wooden container, which was fumigated for three days before International Shipping collected the artwork for the exhibition.
Lead support for this exhibition and publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. Major support is being provided by the Friends of the CAM with additional support provided by Daisy Chow and Eugene Lam; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and Doré Hall Wong. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.