Puerto Rican artists in a group exhibition Soul Mining at The Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM)

Sofía Córdova, side a/ jibarita girl side b/ r arrastrá, 2017-2018
original composition, 7" vinyl record, acrylic on wallpaper, wood, yoga mat
Commissioned by the Arizona State University Museum, 
Installation at ASU Museum, Fall 2017

Monterey Park, CA – The Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) presents Soul Mining, an exhibition that looks broadly at the influence of Asian labor and culture in the
Americas with artists from Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Works on display uncover histories of forced migration, political struggle and transformation, and offer personal narratives to reconcile with these collective experiences.

When the United States signed into federal law the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, Chinese immigration was suspended. The formerly welcomed Chinese laborers were expelled and began moving south into Mexico and Latin America. It is said that the original fence along the southern border was built not to keep the Mexicans out but rather to detour Chinese immigrants from re-entering the United States. The narrative in the exhibition reflects a complex history of forced migration tied deeply to a web of social, political, and economic issues.

Soul Mining exhibition view  Installation photo by Monica Orozco
Photo courtesy The Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM)

“Soul Mining brings into focus contemporary art pertaining to the Asian diaspora in the Americas, and we are thrilled to partner with the Arizona State University
Art Museum (ASU) to present this exhibition,” said VPAM Director Pilar Tompkins Rivas. “Artworks in the exhibition underscore transnational dialogues relevant to us here in the City of Monterey Park, home to one of the largest Chinese American communities in the country.”

“In the exhibition the border wall becomes a metaphor and narrative that represents current and past reflections on issues of migration through the unique lens of the Asian diaspora in the Americas,” said exhibition co-curator Julio César Morales.”

“Soul Mining provides an idiosyncratic perspective for how individual stories interact with collective experiences,” said exhibition co-curator Xiaoyu Weng. ”More of these stories should be told in order to destabilize mainstream yet often stereotypical narratives about immigrants.”

Pablo Guardiola, Confianza China

Soul Mining is curated by Julio César Morales, ASU Curator, and Xiaoyu Weng, Robert H.
N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Artists featured in the exhibition include Sofía Córdova (Puerto Rico),
Sergio de la Torre (México), Pablo Guardiola (Puerto Rico), Mimian Hsu (Costa Rica), Suwon Lee (Venezula), Hung Liu (China), Richard Lou (United States), Ranu Mukherjee (United States), Brandon Som (United States), and Max Yavno (United States).

Soul Mining exhibition on view through July 14, 2018. Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Vincent Price Art Museum is free. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 12:00pm–4:00pm, with extended hours on Thursday until 7:00pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays and national holidays. Vincent Price Art Museum, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099.


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