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Testimony – Exhibition

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Date(s) - 04/06/2018 - 06/10/2018
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Asian Art Museum


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“Testimony has always been about building relationships. I was curious about what a longer-term, socially engaged artist project in a museum could look like,” explains Mayer. “The subjects come from Eliza’s own life, connections she made with organizations that work within these communities, and the result is a sensitive and timely exploration into the San Francisco immigrant experience at multiple levels, from the mundane to the cutting. As one participant put it, ‘even immigrants get their hearts broken.’”

San Francisco has long been a city of immigrants; by 1860, at least half of its residents were foreign-born. Today, 35% of San Franciscans were born in a country other than the United States. In this exhibition, artist Eliza Gregory introduces us to more than a dozen immigrants to San Francisco — from China, Germany, Guatemala, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia and Vietnam — and asks, “What does it mean to belong?”

Gregory invited each individual to tell his or her own story through an interview touching on family history, the immigration process, and adapting to a new culture; a portrait photograph; and meaningful objects such as scrapbooks and family albums. Complex, multifaceted and sometimes unexpected, these stories hint at thousands of other untold tales, illuminating the lives of our neighbors, our families, ourselves.

“The project asks people to listen to each other,” says Gregory. “I am trying to find new ways to tell stories that promote equality, tenderness and compassion.”

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