A visitor looks at exhibits during the press preview of Chinese Medicine in America: Converging Ideas, People and Practices and On the Shelves of Kam Wah Chung & Co. in the Museum of Chinese in America in New York, the United States, April 25, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
CONVERSATION BETWEEN HERITAGES
"The Chinese-American population is a vital part in the making of this country. Unfortunately, it's been under-recognized," Nancy Yao Maasbach, MOCA's president, told Xinhua. "One of its (MOCA) main goals is to help people understand the contributions by Chinese in the formation of this country."
MOCA, which has about 50,000 visitors a year, aims to engage audiences in an on-going and historical dialogue, in which people of all backgrounds are able to see American history through a critical perspective, to reflect on their own experiences, and to make meaningful connections between the past and the present, the global and local, themselves and others, she said.
Mah noted the Chinese medicine exhibitions are exactly a good space for initiating conversations between cultures.
"I think the more that we have conversation, genuine conversation, genuine curiosity, interest, respect will all benefit," she said. "That reflects the benefit of having been of Chinese heritage living in America."
"Through the conversations you have realized that we share so much in common and we need to make it not only a local phenomenon, but a global phenomenon, finding the places we really can connect, learn and benefit one another," Mah said.
"You know, wondering who are we, what is our place in the world and how it relates to us and one of the ways that we can do so beautifully is through art of the landscape painting," said Mah. "The classical Chinese landscape paintings have big, big landscape, but a very very tiny person."
"On the one hand, you might say we're so small and insignificant. The other perspective to look at it is that we have a place in this big landscape, and that we can so definitively see that we fit in there in a very specific way," she said. "And that I think it is the importance of history, the importance of culture and really the importance of medicine." (Xinhua reporters Zhang Mocheng and Zhang Yichi contributed to the story)