The exhibition content in the gallery is presented in both English and Chinese.

From Far East to West:
The Chinese American Frontier

October 14, 2023 – January 28, 2024

Special exhibitions are included with museum admission.

Hung Liu, China Mary II

Exhibition Overview

Immerse yourself in stories of resiliency and self-determination in From Far East to West: The Chinese American Frontier. This groundbreaking exhibition immerses visitors in a captivating journey through time, culture and identity, showcasing the remarkable history and contributions of early Chinese Americans in transforming the landscape and character of the American West.

From the Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad to the development of Chinatowns and Angel Island, the contemporary work of Chinese American artists Hung Liu (1948 – 2021), Mian Situ (born 1953), Jie Wei Zhou (born 1962), and Benjamin Wu (born 1961) transports guests back in time to gain insight into what life was like for early Chinese immigrants who helped build the American West.

Often drawing inspiration from their own—more recent—immigration stories, and using historical documentation as their guide, the artists’ paintings and artifacts featured in From Far East to West create a rich narrative tapestry that speaks to culture, identity and community, and how the past can impact the present. An additional section of the exhibition spotlights artist Z.S. Liang, whose fascination with the history of his adopted country led him to a career painting Native American life. 

From Far East to West: The Chinese American Frontier is an opportunity to expand on the works by Chinese American artists already in The James Museum collection and engage with Chinese American art and culture in a thought-provoking and visually captivating manner,” said exhibition curator Emily Kapes. The exhibition underscores The James Museum’s commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of Western and American art and history.


The James Museum partnered with the 2023 SHINE Mural Festival and Chinese American artist Chenlin Cai to create a mural called The Path We Came inspired by the From Far East to West exhibition. The mural is now finished and can be seen on the Lantmännen Unibake building at 1927 4th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (cross streets 3rd Ave. S and 20th St. S).


Docent-led tours of the exhibition are available every Tuesday & Saturday at 3 p.m. and are included with admission. Sign up at the front desk during your visit!

Please join us at these programs related to the exhibition.
Click on links for more information and to reserve your spot. Space is limited and programs can sell out.

October 14 | Family Day: Chinese Ink Painting with local artist Hao Penghe

October 14 | Z.S. Liang
November 4 | Jie Wei Zhou

October 29 | Chinese Ink Painting with local artist Hao Penghe

October 19 | Thousand Pieces of Gold by Ruthanne Lum McCunn

October 24 | Thousand Pieces of Gold with filmmaker Nancy Kelly
November 28 | Chan is Missing with San Diego State University Professor Brian Hu
December 12 | Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart with San Diego State University Professor Brian Hu

November 14 | The Chinese Exclusion Act with Rutgers University Professor Jack Tchen
December 3 | The Art of Encounters with Mt. Holyoke Professor Anthony Lee & Curator Emily Kapes
January 9 | The Asian American Experience Today with University of Michigan Professor K. Ian Shin 


Members are invited to join us for the exhibition opening reception of From Far East to West: The Chinese American FrontierYou will have the opportunity to preview the exhibition before it opens to the public, meet artist Z.S. Liang whose work is featured in the exhibition, and mingle with fellow members. A live interpreter will be provided for our Deaf, hard of hearing, or ASL-using members and guests. Members can also preview the exhibition before it opens to the public October 11-13 during museum hours.

Space is limited; registration required for the Member Reception. 

Date & TIME

Friday, October 13
Free for members
6 – 8 p.m. 




Programming Sponsor – Wendy Seldon
Gold Sponsor – Ron & Joyce Wanek Foundation, John & Suki Carson
Patron Sponsor – Freeman’s
Member Reception Co-Sponsors – Phi Lambda Charitable Trust (PLCT) & United Chinese Americans

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image and Exhibition Credits

This exhibition is organized by The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953), Honoring a Courageous Soldier after the Fetterman Fight, 2019, oil on linen. © Z.S. Liang. The Tom and Mary James Collection. Photograph by Todd Bates.
Hung Liu (1948­­-2021), China Mary II, 2006, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the University of Wyoming Art Museum Collection, 2006.3.1, Photographed by Wes Magyar 2013. © 2023 Hung Liu Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Hung Liu (1948­­-2021), Polly and Her Horses, 2008, mixed media. On loan from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Gift of the Artist Hung Liu and Trillium Graphics/David Salgado. © 2023 Hung Liu Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Mian Situ (b. 1953), Toy Peddler of Dupont Street, San Francisco Chinatown, 1905, 2011, oil on canvas. The Tom and Mary James Collection. © Mian Situ. Photograph by St. Cate Fine Arts.
Benjamin Wu (b. 1961), Supply Station, 2015, oil on canvas. Private collection of Steve and Debra Rowley. Photograph by Krista Steed-Reyes.  
Jie Wei Zhou (b. 1962), Chinese Medicine, 2017, oil on linen. Private collection of Justyna Dymerska, Dallas, Texas. © Jie Wei Zhou.