Fold: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures Oral History Project

On June 6, 1993, the Golden Venture ran aground near Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY. The cargo ship passengers, nearly 300 migrants primarily from Fujian Province, China, were being smuggled into America by a Chinese crime syndicate. While the asylum-seekers waited for uncertain legal outcomes in York Country Prison, Pennsylvania, they began creating paper sculptures employing the traditional Chinese folk art of paper folding. Originally, these pieces were created as gifts for their lawyers and supporters, but as time as has passed, these pieces of folk art have become an entry point into a pointed exploration of U.S. immigration policy. In 2017, MOCA presented FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures. When preparing the exhibition, MOCA conducted oral histories with freelance reporters, attorneys, and other supporters. Several Golden Venture immigrants declined to be interviewed, citing worries about recent shifts in immigration policy and enforcement.