Chinatown Through A Wide Lens

Chinatown Through A Wide Lens

The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow

Book - 2019
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This is a 344-page, hardcover book that showcases the "hidden" photographs taken by Vancouver's first and most prolific Chinese photographer, Yucho Chow. Chow photographed during a tumultuous and transformative time in Canadian history, operating a commercial studio in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown from 1907-1949. Chow was a Chinese photographer and took many images of early Chinese in Canada. However, he was the photographer of choice for many other communities who, at the time, were victims of harassment and racist policies. Chow chronicled the lives of early Sikh Canadians; Black-Canadians; Indigenous families, many of whom were refused service by white businesses, including white photographers. He also was popular among newly-arrived, non-English speaking European immigrants (Croatians; Polish; Ukrainians; Italians; Germans; etc.) Despite taking thousands of photographs during a remarkable time in history, Chow's negatives were all destroyed when his sons closed the business. Few of his images found their way into public archival collections. The vast majority of Chow's photographs have been hidden away, for decades, in private family albums and boxes. This book showcases the photos of these diverse, early communities that were captured by Yucho Chow's camera. All the pictures were uncovered -- one photo at a time, one family at a time -- during an eight-year search. For most photos, this is the first time they are being seen in public. Most of the images were taken between 1915-1949 and are printed in full-page, colour format. Photographs are grouped into different themes: portraits; families; children; entertainers; associations; weddings; soldiers and on-location stills. A short story accompanies most images. Besides photographs, the book also examines Yucho Chow's personal history as a Chinese immigrant and describes his studio and the role of early photography. Lastly, the book provides the reader with some background on what life was like and the challenges faced by different early immigrant communities in Vancouver specifically, and in Canada generally.
Publisher: Vancouver, British Columbia :, Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia,, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780993659331
Branch Call Number: 779.2092 CLE
Characteristics: 343 pages : chiefly illustrations (some colour), portraits ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Cheung, Winnie L. 1953-- Translator

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