As featured by New York Magazine’s Bedford + Bowery and The New York Foundation for the Arts


Watercolor and sketches by Boy Kong || Gitler

Digital installation by AsianGirl || Victoria Elle

Video by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin

Photography by Ali Glatt

Sound mixing by Chinese Man

Researched and curated by Michelle Marie

Please join us for an evening of radical storytelling to celebrate Chinatown Soup’s debut production: LAWLESS, a multi-sensory retrospective that explores the youth gangs and counterculture of 1970’s Chinatown.

Before street taggers were chalking homages to rent-hike casualties and community activist groups were demanding that Mayor de Blasio halt the corporate-condo craze, the blocks east of SoHo’s Cast-Iron District and below Canal Street were marked by blood spilled at the hands of the Ghost Shadows and a tenuous trust in “Mayor of Chinatown” Man Bun Lee.

How does lawlessness in Chinatown persist and shape the dynamics of an increasingly intermingled community? Challenging stereotypes about the neighborhood and its inhabitants begins with asking the right questions. While broader political and economic forces of a bankrupt New York leveraged crime to reshape immigrant communities in the 70’s, we're now contending with a culture of commerce. But to reckon with our present we must first immerse ourselves in a past culture of fear.

LAWLESS uses alternative artistic practices to intersect the politics of place and memory in this historically isolated and misrepresented space. Today, we witness the opening of New York's once “forbidden fortress” as government policies that champion “cleaning up” Chinatown allow for more top-down development and displacement. Here, gentrification meets an untold history that compels us to remember.

Chinatown Soup