May Sun

Capp Street Project

In a linked series of graceful visual metaphors, May Sun’s installation at the Capp Street Project presented a lesson in history, both local and international. Titled FUGITIVE LANDING: a revolutionary at sea, 1991, it told the story of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s little-known visit to San Francisco in 1896. (A political exile, he came to California to gather support for the eventual overthrow of the ruling Manchu Dynasty in China.)

Dr. Sun was a pivotal figure in his nation’s political development—first, as a leader of China’s national independence movement and, later, as the president of the new republic that was founded in 1911. In a sense, his tenure formed a bridge between one empire and another, an idea represented metaphorically by an immense wooden arch connecting opposite sides of the mezzanine balcony. Above the bridge, the skylights were covered with rectangles of red gauze, each one

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