Press Release

Pace University Art Gallery Hosts Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB) Exhibit, “Degentrification Archives”

February 7, 2023
NYC street with people gathered to watch an event

Works featured highlight gentrification of Manhattan’s Chinatown

Pace University Art Gallery is pleased to present “Degentrification Archives,” an exhibit by the Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB) that uplifts the stories of people most directly impacted by the gentrification of Manhattan’s Chinatown, with the long-­term goal of protecting and preserving their neighborhood. The exhibit opens on Friday, February 10 with a reception from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. and remains on view through Saturday, March 25. This exhibit is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

CAB is an intergenerational collective driven by the fundamental belief that cultural, material, and aesthetic modes of production have the power to create change. CAB is comprised of Asian American and Asian diaspora identifying visual artists, media makers, writers, educators, archivists, and organizers with deep roots in Manhattan's Chinatown.

Together they make work that centers art and culture to support community-led campaigns around issues of gentrification and displacement. In conjunction with the exhibit, a panel of CAB members will give an artist talk on Wednesday, February 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Pace University Art Gallery.

“Chinatown is one of the last affordable working class and immigrant communities in Manhattan,” said co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade, Betty Yu. “The rise of predatory real estate practices and large-scale corporate investment sanctioned by city policies has pushed out low-income tenants in Chinatown, raised rents and destroyed the small businesses and homes that are the heart, soul and lifeblood of our city’s economy.”

CAB members explain: “This exhibition centers those at the forefront of protecting Chinatown, one of the last affordable working class and immigrant communities - its low-income residents, tenants, community activists and small business owners. We highlight those spaces that have served the community for decades, which are rapidly being replaced by hotels, condos and galleries. As the city becomes increasingly unaffordable for long-time residents, we ask who are the major players in this wholesale transformation of the city’s poor, and working-class neighborhoods?”

The “Degentrification Archives,” exhibition also includes archival material, photographs, videos, place-keeping maps, large scale projections, banners, and posters from direct actions spanning CAB’s seven-year history of actions. Additionally, the exhibition also celebrates the racial justice, housing rights, and community organizing history of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, CAB’s partner organization. In the dedicated lab space, a timeline highlights CAAAV’s 37-year history along with photographs, videos and related ephemera.

The Pace University Art Gallery’s exhibits and events are free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 12:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. and by appointment. Please note that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry.

IMAGE CREDITS: Tenants Unite projection by the Chinatown Art Brigade, by Louis Chan.

About Pace University

Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique programs that combine immersive academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About the Pace University Art Gallery

Founded with the conviction that art is integral to society, the Pace University Art Gallery is a creative laboratory and exhibition space that supports innovation and exploration for both artists and viewers. Open to students, staff, and faculty from across the Pace campuses and, equally, to the Lower Manhattan community and visitors from around the world, the Art Gallery encourages personal investigation and critical dialogue via thought-provoking contemporary art exhibits and public programming. Enhancing the Art Department's Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, the Art Gallery offers students real-world opportunities to exhibit their own art and to work directly with professional artists to install and promote exhibitions. All exhibits and events are free and open to the public.

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