Neighborhood background Story


A computer generated site specific installation

< Public art


Portfolio Writing in English Writing in Chinese Events Biography


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The story:

The incidents leading up to the destruction of my Toyota truck is as follows: on November 4, 1993 the window of my truck was smashed, tires slashed and a note was left on my windshield. "You fucking wonton soup eater, you mother fucker… get out of here! Thanks you for your cooperation". The truck was parked on Morgan Avenue close to Thames Street where I have lived and worked for years. The neighborhood is mostly industrial with a few Latino families. I reported the incident to the police. The case was recorded as a bias case. The perpetrator was found a few months later. I was asked to give permission to bring this person up for trial. My answer was negative. I wanted the person to understand my consideration. On the June 8, 1994, someone then set fire to and destroyed my truck while it was parked in front of my building. Neighborhood was created out of response to this incident.

In Neighborhood, the image of urban industrial violence and cultural confrontation are physically present.  I intended this as a starting point for people to understand both the interesting aspects of, and the harshness of our multi-cultural reality. I see cultural exclusivity as a basic survival instinct for virtually every vernacular culture. Historically, this instinct has worked, until whenever another different culture has emerged, and the single, unified structure of one society has been displaced by that of another; time no longer progresses in a single linear direction, and the relativity of cultural values of a society thereby becomes evident. Today, New York City is one of many places where different cultures can be cultivated strongly enough to give rise to confrontation and threatens the assumed values of others. This phenomenon creates many civic troubles for the City, but at the same time it forces us all to go through the process of dealing with a substantial struggle of understanding and balancing among different cultures and values. So-called "minority" cultures have become less and less merely exotic decorations, and more and more an integral part of our overall social structure.