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What's in your cup?

Community-Brewed Culture

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  On view October 13, 2017 - September 16, 2018

Harnessing the stories of everyday people, What’s in your cup? Community-Brewed Culture, a new exhibition honoring the beverages that have given life to communities – from farmers and families who nurture the raw materials to friends and kin who bond over shared drinks. It acknowledges their place in our community’s most treasured rituals and spaces: the tea house, the after-school hangout, the work break, and the raucous karaoke night. 

The ebbs and flows of Western culture’s taste for Asian and so-called Asian-inspired drinks also help tell the story of Asian Pacific American communities. Each beverage has its own unique path – some originating in Asia, spread by trade and empire with gains in global popularity. Others were reinvented by Asian Pacific Americans over generations of experimentation and adaptation. 

By the time a drink reaches your lips, it’s been touched by dozens of hands, survived and changed in different climates, and been crafted and recrafted to perfect its taste. In this exhibition, explore the stories of the growers, scientists, and innovators who created and continue to adapt Asian beverages so our cultures can thrive.


 
The Tomisawa family moved their 20-generation-old business, Shirafuji Sake Brewery Company, to the Northwest after the Fukushima nuclear disaster destroyed their operations. Courtesy of Mari Tomisawa.
 
  
  

Filipino coffee producer. Photo by Rennell Salumbre, courtesy of Kalsada.
 
  
 
 
Karaoke at Bush Garden, 2010. Photo by Andrew Hida
 
    
 
    
Kee family and friends at the hopyard, 1928. The Kee family left their Portland hand laundry business as racial tensions percolated to a fevered pitch in the early 1900s and headed to the Aurora, OR, in the Willamette Valley. The family leased land and began farming hops. In doing so, they became one of dozens of Chinese immigrant families across Oregon whose labor in the hop yards helped fix the state on the map as the biggest hop producer in the nation in the early 1900s. Photo by Bue Kee. Courtesy of Daniel Kee.
 
  

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