Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Written on 10/24/2021

A ceramist and author of two best-selling autobiogrophies---Fifth Chinese Daughter and No Chinese Stranger, Jade Snow Wong was among the first Chinese-American artist to have her work shown in major American museums, while her books pioneered the rich tradition of memoir writing among Chinese-American women. 

In both of her books, she explored the difficulties of growing up between two worlds--the traditional, family-oriented, patriarchal world of her Chinese immigrant upbringing and modern American society, with its emphasis on individualism and equal rights. 

The popularity of her pottery and enamelware grew so much that in 1952 she was asked to do a one-woman show at the Art Institute of Chicago that later moved to art museums in Detroit, Omaha, Neb., and Portland, Ore. Her work also was exhibited at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Collection of Fine Arts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Her work is in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the International Ceramic Museum in Faenza, Italy.


"But it wasn't just Chinese Americans who felt the impact of her book. Over the years, women from as far away as Afghanistan would come to her Russian Hill studio and travel agency to say "I felt you were writing about my father," said her son, San Francisco book designer Mark Stuart Ong."

JADE SNOW WONG (1977) from HMH Archive on Vimeo.

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