September 19 - November 22, 2019

Diplomacy is an exhibition inspired by an iconic St. John’s University landmark: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. On September 6, 1973, the building opened its doors to students at St. John’s University. The New York Times soon heralded the completion of the pagoda-like edifice, which was to house a new center for Asian Studies, as a “palatial structure straight out of the Forbidden City.” The center’s founder, Dr. Paul K.T. Sih, then proudly claimed that Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall was “the first building of its kind out of China to incorporate traditional Oriental architecture.” Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall has since become a postmodern landmark on the campus of St. John’s University, with its gleaming marble porch, brick walls, and golden tile roof imported from Taiwan. In another article from 1971, The New York Times couched the pending arrival of the building to St. John’s in a larger historical trajectory; namely, President Nixon’s forthcoming 1972 trip to the Chinese mainland, which was an unprecedented gesture of diplomacy between the United States and the People’s Republic.

Featured Artists:Christopher K. Ho, Lena Henke, Shahpour Pouyan, Reuven Israel, Alex Hayden, Carla Edwards, Anton Ginzburg, Ryan Flores, Hai-Hsin Huang, Claudia Martínez Garay, and Claudia Peña Salinas.

Exhibition curators:

This exhibition is curated by Owen Duffy, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery, with the support of Cassandra Post, Graduate Assistant.