Ming Wong's exhibition of films, photographs, and memorabilia at the Frye is titled Life of Imitation because it includes a takeoff of a scene from the 1959 movie Imitation of Life.
Here's that four-minute scene:
Now here's what happens in Wong's version, from my review in this week's paper, "The Fear of Accents":
In Wong's version of the climactic scene, the young woman is played by three men—Chinese, Indian, and Malay, representing each of the major ethnic groups in Singapore—speaking in accented English, with English subtitles.
Complicating things further, the actors in Life of Imitation change roles with every shot. The African American mother is played by a Chinese actor, and the mixed-race daughter is played by a Malay man; when the shot changes (the action continuing apace), the daughter is Indian and the mother Malay; and the permutations continue.
On top of that, two different cuts of Life of Imitation, with different sequences of all the permutations, play simultaneously on opposite walls at the Frye, with a large mirror hung next to each one. You might find yourself watching the reflection of a video projection of a Chinese man dressed as a woman, looking woefully into a mirror while protesting to the Indian or Malay man dressed as a woman standing behind him/her, "I'm white. White! White!" The panicked tone of this outdated insistence on racial whitewashing—the young woman needs to pass as white in order to be seen as legitimate in 1950s American society—echoes resoundingly in bullying laws like the new ones in Arizona.