HomeBad Ass AsiansChina Daily: Asian American movement documented in photographs

China Daily: Asian American movement documented in photographs

Serve the People: Asian American movement in New YorkThe little known story of Asian American activism in the 1970s is documented in a photo exhibition at the Interference Archive in New York through Feb 23, reports the China Daily.

Titled Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York includes posters, newspapers, leaflets, political buttons and photographs from the period.

Groups like the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) sprung up from that period.  Curator Ryan Wong describes the exhibition as a “constellation of organizations, individuals and actions”.

“As someone with a lot of friends who are Asian American activists and artists today, I can say that for many of us, it feels like we have no history,”  Wong said. “That history is lost or buried, and rarely included in text books. The reality is that there would be no Asian American identity without the Asian American movement, because it was a conscious group effort to define ourselves.”

Although the exhibition is New York centric, it recognizes the movement would not have been possible without what happened on the West Coast with the protests at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University for ethnic studies.

Among the photographers featured are Corky Lee and Tomie Arai.

You can get a better sense of what was going on during this period of history in the China Daily.


  1. RE: Asian American movement documented in pictures: Please note Tomie Arai is a graphic artist & has an exhibit at MOCA along with Annie Ling who is a photographer entitled “Portraits of Chinatown”.


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