Whose Chinatown? Examining Chinatown Gazes in Art, Archives, and Collections, brings together an art history of Chinatowns and their communities by historical and contemporary Canadian artists such as Emily Carr, Unity Bainbridge, Yucho Chow, Fred Herzog, Paul Wong, Mary Sui Yee Wong, Morris Lum, and aiya哎呀, among others.
In current archives and collections across the country, there is scant historical material depicting the various Chinatowns or their communities. What exists aside from documents, for the most part, are photographs. These historical images, shown alongside more contemporary photographs and video-work, allow viewers to see the changes to Chinatowns over the decades. This exhibition aims to question how narratives are constructed around the idea of Chinatown and the colonial notions that underwrite some of these ideas.
This exhibition is drawn from private collections in Vancouver and across Canada, such as the Beatrice and Raymond Jai Cantonese Opera Collection, and the Chung Collection which holds more than 25,000 rare items related to Chinese Canadian history assembled over 60 years, now housed at University of British Columbia. The show will also be supplemented by public