USC Pacific Asia Museum reopens and vows to be a platform for community artists

For the first time since the pandemic shuttered museums around the country, the USC Pacific Asia Museum is reopening its doors to the public.

To mark the historic occasion, the museum is hosting an “Opening and Closing Weekend” starting May 29. The unique event sends off an exhibit of work by women living and working in Los Angeles. It opened last year but could only be seen online.

we are here USC PAM

“Do Donkeys Know Politics: Scaffolding Series I” is a multichannel, multimedia installation created by artist Sichong Xie that explores the impact of art and the fluidity of memory as protection. (Photo/Peter Perigo)

“We had never done this before,” said Bethany Montagano, the museum’s director. “But we wanted to do right by these artists. Even though the show has had such an incredible following, we just thought it needed to be seen by an audience in person.”

Montagano views the museum as a place where art meets activism, and this particular exhibit speaks to issues that have come to the forefront over the last year, including civil unrest and hate crimes targeting Asian and Asian American communities.

“Right now, the pain is palpable in the community,” she said. “I think those who have had their sense of belonging degraded because of their race, sex and gender identity felt that pain.”


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