Photographer Louis Chan’s My Home, an acclaimed series exploring the New York City Chinese immigrant experience, will showcase at Pearl River Mart’s gallery space from March 18 through April 30 as part of the store’s ongoing artist-in-residence program. The exhibition features a collection of large-scale photographs capturing the often cramped and crowded living spaces of Chinese immigrants that represent culture, identity and psyche in a very personal way. Known for addressing socio-economic issues in his work, Chan began the project in 2011 to chronicle how Chinese immigrants assimilate—or resist assimilation—and how they reconcile their dual Chinese and American identities.
Born and raised in New York by Chinese immigrant parents, Chan studied photography under the late American artist Roy DeCarava. Chan recently exhibited at the Borough of Manhattan Community College Shirley Fiterman Art Center, the Murray State University Curris Center Gallery and the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery. He earned his MFA degree from Hunter College.
“I regard My Home as a contemporary marker for Chinese Americans to reflect back on the hopes, dreams, and sacrifices made for them by older generations in order for their own children to have a chance at a better life in America,” said Chan. “A legendary New York family business like Pearl River Mart perfectly encapsulates that message, which is one of the many reasons why I’m honored to exhibit my work at their gallery.”
“Louis’s work invites you to stare at it for hours,” said Joanne Kwong, President of Pearl River Mart and daughter-in-law of Pearl River founder Ming Yi Chen. “Chinese and Chinese-American audiences will immediately identify with many of the items pictured—from Ovaltine to cutesy plush animals to plastic bags from Chinatown—but the feelings conjured by the work as a whole are powerful, universal and familiar to anyone who has ever strived to achieve the American Dream. We couldn’t be prouder to have Louis Chan’s work on exhibit at Pearl River.”
Pearl River’s artist-in-residence series is a monthly curated exhibition featuring local artists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Previous artists have included painter Chris Mendoza, photographer Corky Lee, art collective Chinatown Art Brigade, and multimedia artist Wiena Lin.