The Story Behind
I’m an immigrant who has been living in New York for almost twenty years. Nowadays, unfortunately, “immigrant” has become a bad word. But during my firsts days living in NY, somehow, I felt that I had finally found a city where I belonged.
I was born in Lima, Peru; my mother was born in the Andes region of Peru, from indigenous stock. She moved to Lima, the capital, to pursue a college degree. My father was born in the north of Lima, the son of Chinese immigrants from Canton. His family also moved to the capital. My parents met in El Rimac, an old impoverished colonial neighborhood in Lima. My mother became an obstetrician, and my father, a teacher at a technical school. Growing up as a mixed-race person in Lima was challenging: I was neither fully Chinese nor Peruvian, so arriving in New York, at last, I felt I had found a city where I belonged.
Chris Yong-García | Project Leader
The Project Ahead
The current political climate is demonizing Latinos, imposing bans on Muslims, putting children in cages, and sending toddlers to defend themselves in immigration courts. There is a surge in white supremacy activity, hate crimes and violence against minority groups. These days, immigrants are seen as a plague on an America on its way to “getting great again.”
It is time to remember and embrace that most people living in the United States today are immigrants, except for indigenous populations and African people taken here against their will as slaves. The great spirit of transformation, the drive to create a new life, is what binds us together, this invented “American spirit,” with all its troubled strength and checkered history. It is time to recall the roots of this nation, to rebrand the immigrant experience as the American experience.
This visual arts project will have a multi-ethnic approach rooted in historical research. It will be a non-partisan project, with no political agendas. The goal will be to reconfigure the perception of immigrants in the U.S. by promoting unity and empathy within the population, with the aim of creating a “grassroots movement” in New York City and beyond.
The project will start in September 2019, as I work to acquire my Master Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts, the project will have two stages:
Stage One: Project development September 2019 - July 2020
Identity branding system
Stage Two: Project Execution August 2020 - March 2021
Based on the results or previous stage, we’ll develop the final project
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Art Benefit Show: Project’s Official Launching
On Tuesday February 26th, 2019, Chris presented his first solo show in New York. This includes a series of black and white ink paintings that he developed during his studies at the Art Student League of New York. These paintings were created after Chris went through a long period of stagnation with his art yet found his way back to the canvas. The exhibit reflects some of Chris’ introspection from his journey about identity, finding a new home outside his native country, and rediscovering new ways to create.
The art benefit was a success (all the paintings sold) and had a massive response from the community; the Peruvian General Consul in New York, Ambassador Maria Landaveri attended and delivered a speech to attendees.
Click below to read the curator’s text: