US Museum Launches Digital Arts Exhibition on H1B Visa

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US Museum Launches Digital Arts Exhibition on H1B Visa

The artists use the H-1B visa as visual inspiration to comment on their immigration journeys.


Washington:  A digital arts exhibition on H1B visa has opened at the world's largest Smithsonian museum in the US to mark the 25th anniversary of the popular work visa which has been given to a large number of IT professionals from India over the years.

In this exhibition launched yesterday, 17 South Asian and Asian American artists explore America's immigration story through the H-1B visa which marks its 25th anniversary on November 29.

The artists use the H-1B visa as visual inspiration to comment on their immigration journeys. Works by the 17 featured artists depict the range of emotions-anxiety, dignity, isolation and opportunity-associated with living in America.

"Our H1-B Visa exhibition explores a historic part of the American story from the perspective of South Asian Indians," said Konrad NG, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The artwork captures the experiences of people who come to America for the American dream, he said.

In a statement, Smithsonian museum said for the past 25 years, several generations of young scientists and engineers from all over Asia have come to be part of a "New America" and shape United States' culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

For many, the H-1B visa is more than a piece of paper affixed in a passport; it determines so much of life in America and the opportunity to become American.

"The problem of an indentured service is not new. However, the H-1B visa put a new twist on the matter," said Lilaben Leher, an artist who has one of her art exhibition "Drawing heavily upon my experience as a spouse living on an H-4 visa,".

"My work traces everyday manifestations of the duality of belonging and alienation for families living here in the United States on this visa category," said artist Aishwariya.

"The exhibition illuminates an immigration status that often gets stereotyped or left out of dialogue around immigration in this United States," curator of the exhibition Masum Momaya was quoted as saying by the NBC news.

"Each year, people from all over the world come to the United States for a better life; some find opportunity, and others endure great hardship. The artists in this show take us through the emotions and nuances of their journeys, illustrating new and complex layers of what has been a defining characteristic of America and American history: immigration," Mr Momaya said.

The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields.


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