"The Garment Worker"

An Interactive Media Installation for Community Dialogue

“The Garment Worker” an interactive installation piece that focuses on the daily life of a garment worker and the hardships she/he encounters working in a sweatshop.  "The Garment Worker" has been exhibited four times in New York City, which included the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival's Interactive Showcase, a 5-week exhibit in a pop-up gallery in Chinatown, and a local laundromat in Brooklyn, New York where she was a Public Artist in Residence with The Laundromat Project.

Through the integration of a sewing machine, video and audio, “The Garment Worker” provides a rare look into garment working conditions that Chinese immigrants face in New York City through the personal story of the artist. The user experience the sounds and motions of a garment worker. When the user turns the balance wheel or slide the stitch control or pushes their foot down on the pedal different stories and facts of the garment industry appear on the screen. 

The project was  dedicated to the artists’ family, who has worked in the garment industry for over three decades and in particularly to her sister, who was a Chinatown labor activist and passed away in 2010.

Read more about "The Garment" Worker Installation exhibited at:

The Laundromat Project

Watch a short video of the installation showcase at Tribeca Institute Interactive 2014

Tribeca Institute's Interactive iPlayground Showcase, 2014

Tribeca Institute's Interactive iPlayground Showcase, 2014

"The Garment Worker" exhibited at the Blackbox Gallery in Manhattan, New York City in 2010

Tribeca Institute's Interactive iPlayground Showcase, 2014

Exhibit in Brooklyn's immigrant Sunset Park community in 2012

Exhibit at No Longer Empty's "Through the Parlor" Exhibit in Chinatown, NYC In 2013

WORKShifts: Race, Labor and Defining Ourselves

"WORKShifts: Race, Labor and Defining Ourselves" is an interactive installation project  that was part of a 5-week run show called "No Longer Empty: Through the Parlor" in New York City's Chinatown in November 2013.  

“WORKShifts: Race, Labor and Defining Ourselves” is an interactive installation that merges the artists' family immigrant work experiences and  the painful history of economic racism of the Chinese community in the U.S. These images of my family, racist caricatures and illustrations of the Chinese “coolie”, and stories of struggle and resistance dating back to the 1880’s help shaped who I am as an artist, a media justice organizer, and community member today. The exhibit also displays found family photos from the 1930's of the artists' grandfather who came to the U.S. as a "merchant" while the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was still in effect.

The show included "The Garment Worker” an ongoing interactive media project that focuses on the daily life of a garment worker and the hardships she/he encounters working in the garment sweatshop industry.  Through the integration of a sewing machine, video and audio, “The Garment Worker” provides a rare look into garment working conditions that immigrants workers face in New York City through first hand stories, testimonials, facts and through the personal lens of the artist and her family. 

Betty leads a personal storytelling photo workshop with high school youth.  The students photo essays became part of the exhibit.

The exhibit displayed large prints of the interior of garment factories.

Here are some photos from the 5 week show:

Betty's family photos from the 1930's juxtaposed with racist "coolie" caricatures of Chinese immigrants from the 1880's

Betty on an artist panel discussing the exhibit and her social justice and participatory art process