The Foundation is pleased to offer our grantees the opportunity to share information about their grant on our website.  We hope it will offer the public increased visibility for your work.

Terms and Conditions. This form is intended for those who have received a Puffin Foundation grant.  By filling out this form, you will be requesting Puffin to post information about your granted project on our web site.  Please fill out the form carefully.  It includes the option to provide an email address for the public to contact you, as well as providing an email address for the Foundation to use internally that would not be made public.  Note that if you include personally identifiable information in your public content, it can be used and viewed by others.   We are not responsible for the information you choose to include in public content.  The Foundation reserves the right to edit any submissions for size and appropriate content.  If you wish to give photo, audio or video credit for submissions, such credit should be included in your text under the description of your project.


Portraits of New York Chinatown

Arai, Tomie
Year Grant Awarded 2013

Email >
State > NY Zip Code > 10025
Website >
Website >
Website >

Portraits of NY Chinatown is a collaborative oral history and mixed media installation that is currently on view at the Museum of Chinese in America from Dec. 13, 2013 - April 13, 2014. Led by artist Tomie Arai, the project engaged Chinatown residents and stakeholders in a dialogue about the past, present and future of their community. Central to these conversations were the ever-present concerns of gentrification and displacement. Over 37 interviews were conducted with students, community leaders, small business owners, garment and restaurant workers and long-time residents to create a composite portrait of this historic NY neighborhood.

Arai’s collaborative portrait of Chinatown continues her material investigations into printmaking, while synthesizing her interests in social history, memory and community. Acknowledging the challenges of creating a portrait of the community that is both truthful and cohesive, the artist remaps Chinatown as a shifting neighborhood whose streets and avenues cross and recross imaginary boundaries. Starting with the Chinatown Core—the 6 or 7 blocks referred to historically as the Five Points (and once home for poor European immigrants at the turn of the century), Arai constructs a narrative of overlapping spaces and histories. In her bird’s eye view of Chinatown, the artists telescopes back and forth from ‘portraits in place’ to a fractured grid that suggests that change is an inevitable part of the New York cityscape.

Also included in this exhibition are objects from the interview subjects’ personal collections that represent stories about Chinatown. The memories embedded in these personal artifacts were folded into a visual display that reflect the changing face of this historic ethnic enclave over several generations. Through this important collaboration with MoCA, Portraits of NY Chinatown attempts to look beyond the streets and stereotypes and into the imaginations, memories and visions of the people who live and work ther