OneWorld Covid-19 Special Collection

MOCA has launched the OneWorld Covid-19 Collection that seeks to document and share the stories of Chinese Americans and the Chinese diaspora resisting coronavirus-fueled hate with incredible acts of compassion and generosity. This collection will not only feature stories of community efforts but also highlight experiences of individuals and families during these unprecedented times. We welcome you to send us a write-up, photos, videos, audio, emails, texts, and any other materials to oneworld@mocanyc.org to share a story that you believe should be recorded. Help us continue to tell the stories of these extraordinary individuals and community groups.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Suffolk County Chinese Community-Xia Zhao

    Xia Zhao, representing her local Chinese American community, showcases large hauls of PPE donations sourced from China which were donated to Stony Brook University Hospital. Images show essential supplies marked face mask and face shield.

  • Pearl River Mart

    Joanne Kwong, the president of New York City’s Pearl River Mart stores, has worked together with her friend Dr. Olivia Ghaw to facilitate donations of equipment to hospitals. Ghaw delivered the supplies while Joanne took care of the gathering of donations and supplies. Together, they continue to bring in donations through their GoFundMe (started since her second batch of donations), which reached over $50,000 of donations in the first six days. She has also been pivotal in facilitating donations of supplies from small businesses, who simply leave their supplies with her to organize and deliver to hospitals. (Her story is covered in more detail by Canal Street News in this article). Her donation of several thousand masks and gloves to hospitals and clinics is paired with considerate gestures for the health of frontline workers, such as the facilitation of 1,500 brownies donated by Fat Witch Bakery, demonstrating not only concern for the pandemic but also the wellness of frontline workers.

  • Liang Shao's Poem

    Dr. Liang Shao, a clinical psychologist at New York City hospitals, honors the volunteers who flew in to help with the emergency situation in New York caused by the Covid-19 pandemic through a poem he composed. The poem, titled “The Love of Angels,” expresses his deep gratitude to the volunteers in a moment of solidarity during the fight against Covid-19.

  • Perry Yung's Bamboo Flute

    Actor and musician Perry Yung has been creating handmade Zen flutes to help raise money for local food banks. Yung has been sending a flute to individuals that provide proof of their donation to a local food bank. In the video submitted to MOCA’s OneWorld collection and posted on his Youtube channel, Yung shows the process of making one of these flutes as well as explaining his initiative.

  • Vera Chow's Artworks

    Vera Chow, costume designer and illustrator, has struggled as an artist due to the detrimental economic impact of Covid-19. Though she has lost her previous job as a film and television designer, she has discovered renewed purpose in doing artwork for Table to Table NYC and #WashTheHate, both organized events which concentrate on anti-Asian hatred as sparked by Covid-19. Her website shows samples of her previous work as well as her colorful illustrations. Interestingly, one set of illustrations she did is of Perry Yung the flute-maker, who also made a submission to MOCA as a part of our OneWorld project.

  • I'm an Asian, but I'm NOT a virus!

    In light of the anti-Asian racism brought about due to Covid-19, New Yorker Barbara Yau feared for the safety of her 14-year-old daughter Kyra. Rather than fall into patterns of anxiety and anger, the two thought about ways that they could help inform and hopefully alleviate some of the negative sentiments toward Asians. As a donation to MOCA’s OneWorld Collection, Barbara and Krya have submitted a poster that Kyra created to deter the acts of racism and inform victims on how to report such incidents. Kyra’s poster features the graphic of a girl in a mask and declares in red “I am Asian but I am NOT a virus,” giving information in both English and Chinese. Barbara has been in contact with local politicians, community leaders, and business owners about putting these posters up in the community.

  • Allendale Chinese Community

    Victor Shieh and the Chinese American community at Allendale, New Jersey banded together to donate daily use items as well as PPE. Their donations include items such as hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves, which were distributed to their local hospital, police department, and fire department.

  • Columbia University’s Alumni Association

    Thomas Lo, an anesthesiologist at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York, witnessed the massive PPE shortages firsthand as COVID-19 ravaged the city. Rather than sit idly by, Lo decided to act and reached out to colleagues from his alma mater through his connections with Columbia University’s Alumni Association, which has many chapters in China. He was able to mobilize many Columbia alumni associations across Asia, including Columbia Business Alumni Association and Barnard Alumni Association. Through his efforts and the generous donations of members of the association Lo was able to raise over $1 million dollars and purchase over 11,000 N95 masks that were donated to various hospitals throughout New York.

  • Professor Ngoc Cindy Pham

    Professor Ngoc Cindy Pham of Brooklyn College, who is of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, has really taken the reins during the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. She started a GoFundMe for Brooklyn College’s Class of 2020, which will pay for a delayed celebration of their graduation once they are able to come back to campus. In addition, she has been offering aid in all sorts of ways to members of her community and her students, including providing mental and emotional support for friends and students as well as donating homemade dumplings for those struggling to make ends meet. She proudly explains that her dumplings, which were a recipe passed down through her Chinese lineage, were well-received.

  • Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

    Edwin Wong, son of MOCA Journey Wall supporter Thomas Wong and president of the Forest Hills Asian Association, decided to show support for first responders that were working to save lives on Easter Sunday. Wong grew up in a Christian household and wanted to honor the memory of his recently deceased parents by donating tubs of ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory to several FDNY EMS stations in Woodside, Elmhurst, and Far Rockaway. The stations he chose were ones close to his parent’s home in Maspeth and had previously resuscitated his father. He also encouraged members of the community to donate to the EMS FDNY help fund. While some of us may not have the capability to facilitate massive donations of PPE, even little things can show our appreciation for frontline and essential workers.

  • U.S. Chinese Women Organization

    The U.S. Chinese Women Organization (UCWO), has expressed its solidarity during the Covid-19 epidemic through various donations of supplies to local hospitals and medical institutions. The organization itself is devoted to the interests of Chinese American women in American society and is a frequent and active participant in a multitude charitable endeavors. Their donations of masks and gowns during the onset of Covid-19 include but are not limited to 6,000 face masks to the Walnut City Hall, Walnut Police Station, and Walnut Unified School district as well as 100 gowns to the Beverly Foundation.

  • Chinese American Museum Foundation

    David Uy, Executive Director of the Chinese American Museum Foundation in Washington D.C., discloses the role which the museum has decided to play during the unfolding of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to documents provided by Uy, the museum has donated approximately 100,000 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local facilities, civic organizations, and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The donation was mainly facilitated by board members Philip Qiu and Neil Chen to expedite the manufacturing and shipment of supplies. They realized that the respiratory face masks played the most critical roles to reduce the risk, with the help of the 1882 Foundation, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, and other partner organizations, the donated masks would be distributed among various recipients in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. While the museum itself is forced to remain closed during the crisis, it is involved in the community through its acts of philanthropy.

  • Yale-China Association

    David Youtz, President of the Yale-China Association, has been active in efforts to fight Covid-19 through orchestrating donations of much-needed medical gear. There have already been several rounds of PPE donations, as the Yale-China Association works with different organizations and institutions in China to source donations. The latest batch of donations per the time of his submission is a shipment of 23,000 N95 masks sent to the Yale New Haven Hospital, sourced through a group of China-based NGOs calling themselves the “Covid-19 Preservation Fund.” His submission included a heartfelt letter from a student of the Yali High School in China expressing his feelings towards sending aid overseas.

  • Six Days in Montgomery, NJ

    Montgomery is a small town in central New Jersey. Led by Charlie Wu and Cari Deng, $15,872.07 was donated by 160 Chinese American families in one day in response to the increasingly intense Covid-19 situation in New Jersey. Before the Governor issued the Stay At Home notice, the Montgomery Chinese Community, with the help of Ke Ke Studio LLC, successfully purchased and sent 12,500 medical masks to hospitals, local rescue centers, and police stations in just six days. This donation was regarded as one of the earliest and largest donations of PPE from the local community voluntary groups in NJ.

  • N95forNYC Relief Fund

    The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the escalation of Covid-19 in New York City was a major concern for everyone in the communities in and around the New York area. As such, director of Fou Gallery Echo He on behalf of the relief fund N95forNYC—a group consisting of New York area professionals consisting of mostly Chinese immigrants—informs MOCA of N95forNYC’s actions to alleviate the pressure on supplies during this emergency. N95forNYC has received donations from a wide network, including many artists and art galleries from both China and the U.S., and used this money to provide equipment (including N95 masks, protective coveralls, face shields, surgical masks, etc.) directly to frontline workers. Within the month of April, the number of items the fund has donated are in the tens of thousands. Such laudatory actions exemplify the strength of the collective. The efforts of N95forNYC got covered by Artnet, Artforum, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ China, and Voice of America.

  • Tronex International, Inc.

    Donald Chu is the CEO of Tronex International, Inc., which is a major manufacturer of quality PPE. Tronex’s products have been featured on news articles and national television as an example of PPE equipment. As an Asian American business owner based in New Jersey, Donald vigorously supports efforts to contain the outbreak in the New York and New Jersey area through a combination of relentless production of equipment as well as philanthropic donations of PPE to areas where supplies are critically low. PPE equipment is vital to the protection of essential workers, and Tronex’s efforts under the guidance of Donald are invaluable to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Lynbrook Chinese American Community in San Jose, California

    Katie Wang’s contributions started with a simple gesture of kindness, when she gave her elderly neighbors Loreen and John a set of 10 masks. Around the same time, her daughter was acutely ill and gradually recovered under the care and treatment of several doctors. The gratitude Katie received from her neighbors, as well as the meticulous care given to her daughter by doctors, inspired Katie to organize a wider effort for Covid-19 donations through her local high school PTSA (which she is a board member of) and her 98-person hiking group. Along with four other leaders within Katie’s two immediate social circles, Katie was eventually able to raise a fund of $5,276.28 going towards PPE. The supplies will go to local institutions which those within the five-person leadership selected after continual in-depth discussions. Her list of recipients include local hospitals, grocery stores, senior homes, and police stations, and even school cafeterias, providing aid to a wide range of essential workers during a time of crisis.

  • Law Chen's Films

    Law Chen, a director based in Beijing and NYC, has taken to his camera during the time of Covid-19 to produce several shorts (available on Vimeo) documenting the life and stories of Asian Americans during the pandemic. He has shared with MOCA two videos in particular, one titled A Head and a Tail: 886 and the other Delivered. A Head and a Tail: 886 follows the story of a NYC Taiwanese restaurant’s struggle with the pandemic as it finds its path to staying afloat through donating bentos to New York hospitals while dealing with both newfound fame and the risks of delivering to hospitals. Meanwhile, Delivered deals with the experience of delivery workers, many of whom are immigrants, who work a very frontline job. Interviewees speak poignantly about the risks, importance, and invisible struggles of delivery people as they continue to work during the pandemic. Both shorts are excellent pieces which capture realistic, human endeavors during difficult times.

  • Documenting Persistence In Oakland's Chinatown: A simple collection of photos documenting public spaces in Oakland's historic Chinatown through the weekend of July 4th, 2020

    Colin K. Chin and Gyopo Lim grew up in the East Bay Area. Since childhood, they have recognized Oakland Chinatown’s significance not only to their families, but to the entire Asian American community. They view the Bay Area as a place where important movements have taken place and continue to do so and where Asian Americans have been able to hone their distinct voices. Documenting public spaces in Oakland’s historic Chinatown through the weekend of July 4, 2020, the series of photos taken by the two photographers seeks to preserve memories for future generations of a time when the forces of gentrification, xenophobia/racism, and Covid-19 impacted the neighborhood. The documentation coincided with the uprising for Black Lives Matter spurred by the murder of George Floyd and includes artistic displays of solidarity made by the youth of Oakland’s Chinatown, as well as increased security measures taken by business owners.

  • Manhattan Chinatown photographs by Tewfic El-Sawy

    Tewfic El-Sawy, a professional photographer, has captured the streets of Manhattan’s Chinatown during the Covid-19 pandemic in a series of black and white photos showing street scenes proceeding from April 2020 to the end of May 2020. The photographs show a variety of scenes, including shots of deserted streets, elderly shoppers in face masks and other protective gear, window ads for face masks, and the persistent street vendors of Chinatown. These photos portray the impact of Covid-19 on the public sphere of Chinatown during April and the inklings of recovery in May, providing a record of the pandemic in one of the areas hit hardest by the financial and social effects of Covid-19. To see more of El-Sawy’s work please visit his website https://thetravelphotographer.exposure.co/