If the United States, sprawling and diverse, can be difficult to see, the milieu of new immigrants, especially poor ones, is even less visible. A pair of exhibitions at the Museum of Chinese in America helped bring that world into focus: SubUrbanisms, which explored the lives of Chinese immigrants in twenty-first-century Norwich, Connecticut; and Chinese Style, which documented the mid-twentieth-century career of Chinatown-born architect Poy Gum Lee.

SubUrbanisms, curated by Stephen Fan, a young Chinese American architect who grew up, in part, in Norwich, told the fascinating story of Chinese workers lured from New York City beginning around 2001 to work at Mohegan Sun, the...

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