Chinatown is one of New York City’s most charismatic neighborhoods. It is rich in not only culture but history and simultaneously offers a substantial insight into modern day living for its inhabitants. According to Museum of Chinese in America president Nancy Yao Maasbach:
“The density of Chinese people and Chinese-Americans living in the United States is the highest in New York City. [The museum educates its locals and visitors alike to the region’s 1870s Chinese-US heritage as well.] We’ve found that while the neighborhood is not geographically expanding, third and fourth generations of Chinese-Americans are moving back to make this their home. They are entrepreneurial in a way that deepens the culture of Chinatown. It’s here that you see the old and also the new. There’s tradition, with an incredible fusion. And I think there’s never been a more exciting time for this neighborhood in New York City.”
As such it is perhaps not surprising that the area is subject to change and evolution of sorts. Currently there is a potential art piece that is causing controversy. Gateways of Chinatown has been in charge of the project in conjunction with Chinatown Partnership and the Van Alen Institute. The aim of the sculpture to be placed at a traffic triangle was to “engender pride of place, foster connectivity, and reinforce cultural and social identity within Manhattan’s Chinatown.”
Lindy Lee, a Chinese-Australian artist was selected out of 80 submissions. She worked with Levenbetts architecture firm and Urban Art Projects to create the design and installation of the artwork.