Museums | Sights
Project Mah Jongg April 21 – August 2013 This wildly popular exhibition explores the traditions, history, and meaning of the game of mah jongg in Jewish-American life from the 1920s to today. Project Mah Jongg is available for rental beginning March 2011. The game of mah jongg is explored in dynamic formats throughout the exhibition, including 20th century popular objects and a visitor-activated soundscape that features clacking tiles, exclamations from games by Jewish-American and Chinese-American players, reminiscences, and vintage music. Large-scale graphics by Isaac Mizrahi, Maira Kalman, Bruce McCall, and Christoph Niemann illustrate mah jongg as ongoing muse for contemporary artists. A game table at the core of the exhibition invites visitors to engage in the continuing tradition. The exhibition serves as historical treatment of the topic, a placeholder for memory, a generator of whimsy, and a stage set for the game’s continuation. The environment conveys how mah jongg is much more than a game: it is a carrier of fantasy, identity, memory, and meaning.