Artist Warren King surrounded by his cardboard sculptures in the Pearl River Mart gallery

Our Roots Run Deep: Finding Home in Chinatown (Jan. 12–April 23, 2023)

From Chinese American artist Warren King, this exhibition featured Mr. King’s a series of distinctive life-sized sculptures, as well as smaller scale and wall-hanging pieces. Made only of cardboard and glue, the works depict residents of nearby Chinatown: women engaged in lively conversation, a hardworking fish vendor, players and spectators of an intense game of Chinese chess, and more. The series is a tribute to the people who anchor the community as well as a way for the artist to build a sense of connection with them. 

“We’re so excited and honored to present Warren’s incredible work,” said Pearl River Mart President Joanne Kwong. “I couldn't believe my eyes when I learned that his creations of fine art were made out of humble cardboard. Warren's ability to see beauty in everyday people, coupled with his love for Chinatown and showstopping craftsmanship, has manifested into an exhibition that elevates our community and highlights the elegance and art all around us everyday." 

“I only recently started living within walking distance of New York’s Chinatown, but I’ve always had a fascination with the rich community there,” Mr. King said. “Growing up in Wisconsin without much of an Asian community left me with a perpetual feeling of disconnection, but when I go on my weekly trips to Chinatown, that feeling evaporates. In the past few years, I’ve been absorbing all the details of the people and places that I see, trying to build up my sense of familiarity with the shopkeepers, the vendors, the buildings, and the park. To make it feel like home. Making these sculptures is just part of that journey.”

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