Chinamen. Un secolo di cinesi a Milano

Museum of Cultures hosts “Chinamen. A century of Chinese in Milan “, curated by Daniele Cologna Brigadoi.
The exhibition has a historiographical value and comes at the conclusion of the cultural program “Milano Città Mondo # 02 China”, organized by Ufficio Reti of the City of Milan and the Mudec with the collaboration of the Forum della Città Mondo, which each year aims to deepen the culture and settlement arrangements for one of the many communities in the Milan area.

With a particular focus on the period of the historical origins of Chinese migration (1906-1946), “Chinamen” invites you to discover, through images, objects and testimonies, an unpublished historical journey: the birth of the Sino-Milan cultural identity and the transformations of the Chinatown district between via Canonica via Sarpi and Porta Volta, articulating, on the edge of the recovered memory, a reflection on the present and the city.
Milan has been the stage of this epic period, despite the harshness of the Fascist era, in which the Chinese suffered the impact of the racial laws and most of them were interned in a concentration camp. This saga started out in the intimacy of the streets, the shops and tenements of the historic “village of gardeners” Porta Volta, and then open up to the entire metropolis. With a close interaction between the inhabitants of the neighborhood and the inhabitants of Milan, the first Chinese put strong roots in this city that helped them to build a dynamic and cohesive community: industriousness is Chinese emblem and also a Milan emblem.

The exhibition is the result of studies carried out by the sinologist Brigadoi Daniele Cologna, University of Insubria, who has coordinated a participatory research with a group of young students from the University of Milan and the University of Insubria. The research is focused on photographic and archival materials belonging to public institutions and to ancient Italian-Chinese families in Milan and on the illustrations of the artist Matteo Demonte, author of a cartoon, co-produced by Mudec, titled “Chinamen” – as an integral part of the exhibition- and, along with CIAJ Rocchi, of the graphic novel with the same title, which is also the exhibition catalog.


Info and booking

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Mudec – Museo delle Culture. Spazio Focus
via Tortona 56, Milano