Newsletter | Mar/Apr 2014

Community Sustenance and History of Place

by Jean Nilsson, Ed.

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Rene Yung, artistic and founding director of Chinese Whispers and OWA member, is showing her site-specific art installation “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” at the San Jose Museum of Art through April 20.

Chinese Whispers newsletter describes an exhibit that “meditates on the search for sustenance by the 19th century immigrants in San Jose’s former Market St. Chinatown, which was destroyed by arson fire in 1877—and part of which was located right beneath the site of the present San Jose Museum of Art.

“Using a bowl of rice as the cultural icon symbolizing sustenance, the installation sets up a terse dialogue between a 9 x 7 ft charcoal drawing of a brimming bowl of rice; a cracked and restored historic rice bowl excavated from the archaeological site; and the translucent enlargement of a historic photograph of the raging fire, which fills the gallery windows overlooking today’s downtown San Jose. A Community Wall flutters softly with myriad hand-dyed paper slips bearing visitors’ reflections on the meaning of rice and sustenance.”

Rene thanks the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project and its partners for ongoing collaboration and support.

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