Disneyland, California, from the series East Meets West

Media - 2021.14.3 - SAAM-2021.14.3_1 - 143936
Copied Tseng Kwong Chi, Disneyland, California, from the series East Meets West, 1979, printed 2013, gelatin silver print, frame: 37 14 × 37 14 in. (94.6 × 94.6 cm) image: 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, 2021.14.3, © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.

Artwork Details

Title
Disneyland, California, from the series East Meets West
Date
1979, printed 2013
Dimensions
frame: 37 14 × 37 14 in. (94.6 × 94.6 cm) image: 36 × 36 in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm)
Copyright
© Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior — commercial — recreation
Object Number
2021.14.3

Artwork Description

In his signature series East Meets West, Tseng Kwong Chi inhabited a persona he called the "Ambiguous Ambassador." Wearing a Mao suit (the gray uniform associated with the Chinese Communist Party) and mirrored sunglasses, he posed next to landmarks and monuments, many of them emblems of American national identity.

Tseng highlighted the signifying power of dress, gesture, and posture. As an immigrant and person of Chinese descent, he was also conscious of how Asians are stereotyped in the West. His donning of the Mao suit in public was a tongue-in-cheek performance of "Chineseness" that both played to and subverted assumptions about race, culture, and nationality.