Belonging and alienation; Boston's vibrant Chinatown

   Sketch of "Daly City, February 1981," by Bren Bataclan, in his show "Kulap,'' at the Pao Arts Center, in the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, through April 28.     Mr.  Bataclan  is a Cambridge-based Filipino American artist who grew up in the San Francisco area. He has a diverse background in art and design. The gallery says the exhibition is "inspired by his family's immigration to California in 1981 and explores the conflicted feelings that came with it.  Bataclan's  minimalist works are enjoyable for people of all ages while encompassing such themes as belonging, alienation and confusion. His compositions address big questions and strong themes while inviting viewers to consider what it means to be an immigrant and a citizen.''

Sketch of "Daly City, February 1981," by Bren Bataclan, in his show "Kulap,'' at the Pao Arts Center, in the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, through April 28.

Mr. Bataclan is a Cambridge-based Filipino American artist who grew up in the San Francisco area. He has a diverse background in art and design. The gallery says the exhibition is "inspired by his family's immigration to California in 1981 and explores the conflicted feelings that came with it. Bataclan's minimalist works are enjoyable for people of all ages while encompassing such themes as belonging, alienation and confusion. His compositions address big questions and strong themes while inviting viewers to consider what it means to be an immigrant and a citizen.''

 The  Paifang Gate, the semi-official entrance to Boston's Chinatown.

The Paifang Gate, the semi-official entrance to Boston's Chinatown.

Boston's Chinatown, in the Hub's downtown, is the only surviving large historic ethnic Chinese enclave in New England since the demise of the Chinatowns in Providence and Portland  after the 1950s. The vibrant Boston Chinatown  has many  Chinese and  Vietnamese restaurants, many other small business and a large art community, too. But  big financial-services companies are expanding from the nearby Financial District centered on State, Federal and Devonshire streets and biotech and other  tech firms are also raising their flags there.

Chinatown's proximity to the big MBTA rail/bus and Amtrak center in and around South Station is a big draw.