Circles and Circuits

Chinese Caribbean Art

Circles and Circuits

Book Pages: 120 Illustrations: 150 illustrations Published: April 2018

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Asian American Studies, Caribbean Studies

Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art examines artistic production in Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Panama, where large immigrant populations and political, economic, and socio-cultural conditions enabled the development of rich art practices in the Chinese diasporic community. The volume touches on the dynamic interconnections between the Chinese diasporic art communities and intercontinental Caribbean art movements bringing into focus the intimate relationships between the artists and those around them, including those who influenced their work, from peers to mentors and family. Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art ultimately explores how global migrations and the legacies of cultural, political, and economic power have shaped Chinese Caribbean art practices in the Caribbean and its diaspora. 

This catalog accompanies the exhibition Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art, presented in two parts: History and Art of the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora at the California African American Museum and Contemporary Chinese Caribbean Art at the Chinese American Museum. The exhibition is part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Presenting a wealth of rarely seen artworks, archival materials, and scholarship, the exhibitions and catalog shift the frame of critical discourse on Chinese Caribbean art history and visual cultures. Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art offers a foundational introduction into Chinese Caribbean art and its global context.

History and Art of the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora will be on display at the California African American Museum from September 15, 2017 through February 25, 2018. Contemporary Chinese Caribbean Art will be on display at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles from September 15, 2017 through March 11, 2018.

Contributors. Alexandra Chang, Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Julia P. Hertzbert, Mar Hollingsworth, Walton Look Lai, Sean Metzger, Patrica Mohammed, Lok Siu, Steve Wong

Published by the Chinese American Museum with the assistance of the Getty Foundation and distributed by Duke University Press


"The historical, geographical, and biographical information in this book rivals the art in terms of interest and variety." — Don J. Cohn, ArtAsiaPacific

"A genuine contribution to the growing literature on modern and contemporary Caribbean art.  . . . A fundamental publication for anyone interested in the artistic production of the modern and contemporary Caribbean." — Deborah Cullen-Morales, American Quarterly


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Price: $45.00

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Alexandra Chang is Curator of Special Projects and Director of Global Arts Programs at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University and the author of Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Arts Collectives, from Godzilla, Godzookie, to the Barnstormers.

Steven Y. Wong is Curator at the Chinese American Museum.

Mar Hollingsworth is Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager at the California African American Museum 

Evelyn Hu-DeHart is Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface. California African American Museum / Mar Hollingsworth  6
Preface. Chinese American Museum / Steven Y. Wong  7
Introduction. Coolies, Shopkeepers, and Artists: A Historical Overview of Chinese Immigrants and Their Descendants in the Caribbean / Evelyn Hu-DeHart  9
Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art / Alexandra Chang  14
Artists in the Exhibition  58
A Historical Context for Chinese Migration / Walton Look Lai  150
Intersecting Trajectories: Chinese and Indian Artists in Trinidad in the Early Twentieth Century / Patricia Mohammed  158
Past - Present: Conversations with Maria Lau and Katarina Wong / Julia P. Herzberg  178
Caribbean Art and Chinese Imaginaries / Sean Metzger  196
Diasporic Affect: Circulating Art, Producing Rationality / Lok Siu  214
Works in the Exhibition  222
Acknowledgements  228
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-9987451-0-7
Publicity material