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Zhezhi 摺紙, Chinese paper folding originated in the 15th century and remains a distinctive paper crafting tradition. Maying Soong’s The Art of Chinese Paper folding helped popularize the craft in the 20th century. Modular designs, such as utilized in this craft, derive from recent innovations popularized in the 1990s by artists among the Golden Venture migrants.
In 1993 the Cargo Ship Golden Venture ran aground in New York. On board were 286 Chinese refugees. Their imprisonment and subsequent years long legal dispute continues to be a point of contention in discussions on immigration policy, human rights, and statelessness.
The documentary Golden Venture (2006), directed by Peter Cohn, depicts the journey of some of the Gold Venture migrants lives from the 90s into the mid 2000s. This is available through the library’s Kanopy subscription. http://www.kanopy.com/en/boston/video/150093
Many of the pieces of art created by Golden Venture artists including Cao Xiang Qui and Zhe Shung Jan are now part of the Museum of Chinese in America’s collection exhibited in 1996 as “Fly to Freedom” and most recently in 2018 as FOLD. Due to a fire in January 2020, many of the pieces are in need of conservation and are no longer accessible to the public. To examine digital representations of many of the work search MOCA’s online collections for “Fly to Freedom” https://mocanyc.pastperfectonline.com