Have You Eaten Yet?, 2004

For Chinese and Chinese Americans, the question, “Have you eaten yet?” is a greeting similar to “How are you?” In 2004, MOCA curated a show that centralized food of the Chinese American diaspora. It highlighted the ways in which Chinese immigrants to the United States brought about their legacies through opening restaurants. As part of the exhibition, menus and matchbooks were adorned with dragons, lotus flowers, and pagodas. Through restaurant memorabilia, a specific visual legacy became ingrained in the American imagination of Chinese restaurants. The exhibition highlighted that the fabrication of stereotypes was a two-way streak—Chinese restaurants presented themselves as cultural brokers to survive, and their American customers stereotyped an image of China based on their experiences. Tracing a chronological history from the mid-1800s to the late 1900s, the show explored shifting attitudes towards Chinese cuisine in the United States.

对于华人和华裔美国人,问候“你吃了吗?” 就跟英文中的“How are you?(你好吗?)”差不多。2004年,美国华人博物馆筹划了一个展览,该展览以各地华裔美国人的饮食为中心,强调了华人移民到美国,通过开餐馆而带来中国文化传承的方式。作为展览的一部分,菜单与火柴盒上装饰着龙、荷花、和宝塔。通过中餐馆的物品展示,在美国人对于中餐馆的想象中,一个具体的视觉遗产从此扎下根来。这个展览着重强调了刻板印象的形成是双向的;中餐馆以文化经纪人的身份生存,而餐馆的美国客人则根据他们的体验来给与中国一个刻板印象。展览根据时间线从十九世纪中叶开始直到二十世纪晚期,探索了美国人对于中餐的态度转变。