The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Wednesday, November 21: Open 10am-7pm
Directions & Admission

← Back to Past Exhibitions 2014

Crossing Cultures: Belle Yang, A Story of Immigration: June 6-August 24, 2014

2nd Floor Solari Gallery


Up on Granddaddy Hill, 1998. Chinese ink and watercolor

Imagine a map of your life. Where are you going, and where have you been?

Belle Yang traces her path through vibrant paintings, illustrations and graphic novels about her experience as a Chinese American immigrant in Santa Cruz County.

With charming depictions, Yang narrates the story of her family’s journey from China to America with insight, wit and humor.  Seminal Chinese-American author, Amy Tan, remarked that Yang “writes in English and thinks in Chinese,” endowing her works with a unique combination of accessibility and intimacy.

Born in Taiwan, Yang spent part of her childhood in Japan before immigrating with her family to the US at the age of seven. In an effort to reconnect with her parents’ mainland Chinese roots, and escape an abusive romantic relationship, Yang studied at the Beijing Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting, where she developed an appreciation and respect for traditional ink paintings and folk art.  Her acquired fluency in Mandarin allowed her to unlock a colorful wealth of stories springing from her father and his ancestors.

After witnessing the horrors of the Tiananmen Massacre, Yang returned to the US determined to not waste her freedom of expression, and to serve as a voice of justice for immigrants.  Exhibitions of her work have been presented at museums and cultural centers such as the National Steinbeck Center, Monterey Museum of Art, San Francisco Main Public Library, Pacific Asia Museum, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and the Boston Public Library.

In Crossing Cultures, Yang—whose Chinese first name, Xuan, means “Forget Sorrow”—shares her inspirational journey through enchanting depictions of family stories and childhood memories.

Crossing Cultures: Belle Yang, A Story of Immigration was developed by the Bakersfield Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, California, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Join us for exhibition-related events:

Free First Friday: Belle Yang Artist Talk

Friday, June 6 | 5:30PM

Belle Yang discusses her background, artistic process, and recent projects.

3rd Friday: Art that Moves

Friday, June 20 | 5-8PM

Cid Pearlman, our current Participatory Performing Artist in Residence, creates a participatory movement experience inspired by the exhibition. Join Cid in physical reflection on what we leave behind and what we carry with us as we travel through our lives.

Free First Friday: Immigration Stories

Friday, August 1st | 5:30PM

Community members share personal and historic stories about immigrating to Santa Cruz County.

3rd Friday: Games and Folklore

Friday, August 15th | 5-8PM

This event explores playful traditions from many cultures. Learn more about Chinese folklore and folk art in hands-on workshops.



BMA Logo black

IA&A logo final vector jpeg