Exploring ‘Lantern Stories’ 2022 in Boston’s Chinatown
Lantern Stories celebrates the past, present, and future of Boston’s vibrant Chinatown community.
Lanterns represent light and guide the way forward, illuminating darkness and uncertainty. From their beginnings as candle flames surrounded by bamboo, silk or paper, lanterns have become an integral part of celebrations that foster hope and pave the way to a brighter future. Featuring colors important to Asian and Asian American cultures, the lanterns symbolize happiness and good fortune (red) and prosperity (gold).
Originally created as a series of thirty-one lanterns in 2020, artist Yu-Wen Wu returned to Lantern Stories in 2022, updating the artwork to reflect the realities of the current moment, while still centering Boston Chinatown’s history of immigration, its culture, and resiliency. The images on the lanterns relate the long and fraught history of Chinese immigration in the United States. From early arrivals during the California Goldrush in the 1850’s, to the unprecedented events of the past few years, the lanterns share visual stories of how Asian Americans have confronted inequities on multiple levels. Other lantern images celebrate culture, art, calligraphy, music and performance, as well as the community’s strong commitment to education, entrepreneurship, and social justice.
Through the creation and inclusion of 5 new lanterns featuring the work of Boston and San Francisco-based artists, Lantern Stories’ expands its focus beyond Boston’s Chinatown to explore the impact of Asian American communities nationally, particularly around areas of civil rights.
For Lantern Stories 2022, Yu-Wen Wu created new imagery for three of her previous lanterns: Lions, Stop Asian Hate, and Exclusion Act. In addition, nominated artists from Boston and San Francisco lent their artwork to the creation of five brand new lanterns, yielding works from Yuko Okabe (Boston), kathy wu (Boston), and Christine Wong Yap (SF); Fred Liang (Boston), Lucy Kim (Boston), and Summer Mei Ling Lee (SF); Joanna Tam (Boston) and Lenora Lee (SF); Ponnapa Prakkamakul (Boston) and Cathy Lu (SF); and Phillip Hua (SF) and Wen-ti Tsen (Boston). She hopes to create more collaborations between Chinatown communities in other cities with additional lanterns in the future.
With the re-installation of Lantern Stories 2022 in Boston as well as a new iteration of the project in San Francisco, Wu’s work generates unique opportunities for bicoastal dialogue on immigration histories, social justice issues, and the exchange of these communities’ stories and the arts.
《燈籠故事 2022》新增了5盞燈籠，圖案並包括了幾位波士頓和舊金山藝術家的作品，主要探索全國亞美社區歷來爭取民權的影響。這些藝術家包括 Yuko Okabe（波士頓）、Kathy Wu（波士頓）和 Christine Wong Yap（舊金山）； Fred Liang（波士頓）、Lucy Kim（波士頓）和 Summer Mei Ling Lee（舊金山）； Joanna Tam（波士頓）和 Lenora Lee（舊金山）； Ponnapa Prakkamakul（波士頓）和 Cathy Lu（舊金山）； Phillip Hua (SF) 和 Wen-ti Tsen (波士頓)。 吳亦為3盞燈籠更新了圖案，加入了新設計的獅子、停止反亞仇恨、和排華法案的圖像。吳希望日後能與其他城市的華人社區合作，增加燈籠。
隨著 《燈籠故事 2022》於波士頓和舊金山展出，吳的作品為兩岸有關移民歷史、社會公義及兩個社區的故事和藝術製造了獨特的對話和交流機會。
HISTORY / 歷史
From the ancient Silk Road (est. first century BCE) to the first trade ships launched in 1405 exchanging goods between locations such as India, the Middle East and East Africa, China has long been a champion of foreign trade. The historical ship pictured here is Taeping, the clipper ship (a fast-speed merchant sailing vessel carrying cargoes of tea) which was victorious in the Great Tea Race of 1866 from China to London. It was the ship Pallas which arrived in Baltimore, MD in 1785 that carried the earliest documented Chinese immigrants to the United States. Afterwards, Chinese immigration saw mid-century fluxes with the advent of the California Gold Rush in 1848 and with the passage of the Burlingame Treaty in 1868, which permitted Chinese and Europeans alike to immigrate between their country of origin. As a result, an estimated 322,000 Chinese workers arrived between 1850-1882.
This series of images centers on Chinese miners who are shown carrying yokes, rockers, pickaxes, and shovels. These men, solitary sojourners, were the first people of China to immigrate to the United States in large numbers. They came for the purpose of mining gold during the California Gold Rush (1848-1855) amid China’s economic and political instability at the time, but were met with much hostility upon arrival. Those who stayed after the Gold Rush were hired to work on the Pacific portion of the Transcontinental Railroad (see map on lantern). The construction would not have been completed in 1849 if it were not for the labor of an estimated 20,000 Chinese workers, who toiled tirelessly in dangerous conditions for five years and made 30-50% lower wages than white railroad workers.
Amid the 1850’s Gold Rush and scarce job market, American settlers felt threatened by the incoming Chinese labor force and made many attempts to prevent their settlement. Most famously, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act indefinitely banned immigration from China. To this day, it is the only U.S. law ever implemented to ban the immigration of a specific ethnic/national group. The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943, reopening immigration and permitting new Chinese settlers to apply for citizenship. Such systematic acts of racism, coupled with personal and daily struggles with sinophobia, drove Chinese-Americans to build their own “ethnic enclaves,” or Chinatowns, across the country.
Pictured in the central portrait is Wong Kim Ark, a young Chinese-American man born in San Francisco. When he visited family in China and was denied re-entry into the U.S. upon his return, he took on the Supreme Court in what would become the landmark 1898 case United States v. Wong Kim Ark. The outcome of this case cemented birthright citizenship for the children of legal immigrants.
Inspired by the 1960s civil rights movement, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act passed in order to discourage discrimination against Asian immigration, reunite immigrant families, and attract skilled labor to the United States. This Act would have a significant impact on the future demographic makeup of the American population, which prior to the act’s passage was monitored by ethnic quotas enforced by the National Origins Formula.
Following the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion, many Chinese immigrants moved East in search of work and of solace from the rising sinophobia pervading California and the West. In 1870 in North Adams, MA—a major center for early American industry—The Sampson Shoe Factory employed the earliest known cohort of Massachusetts-based Chinese immigrants. They were hired by Calvin T. Sampson in order to quell a massive labor strike led by his former workers (mostly Irish and Canadian immigrants), who were very hostile toward the Chinese workers. Increasingly excluded from jobs in the manufacturing and construction industries, most of the Chinese opened laundries in the rapidly industrializing towns and cities around Massachusetts and the New England area. It is many of these workers who founded what has become Boston’s Chinatown.
Chinatown’s three-to-four story row houses hold dual significance. On one hand, they are the admirable structures that once housed the pioneering Chinese working class along with other immigrants. On the other, they have become a symbol of one of the most drastic acts of Chinatown’s destruction and subsequent gentrification. The 1962 expansion of the Massachusetts Turnpike reduced many of these homes to rubble, displacing thousands of families (including Syrian immigrants) to the outskirts of town and destroying half of the total residential Chinatown neighborhood. This particular row house, sourced from a photograph dating to approximately 1963, was located at 116 Hudson Street.
唐人街的三至四層樓高的排屋具有雙重意義。 一方面，它們是令人欽佩的建築，曾為開創性的中國工人階級和其他移民提供住所。另一方面，它們已成為損毀唐人街最激烈的行為之一及隨後的中產階級化的象徵。1962年，馬薩諸塞州收費公路的擴建使許多排屋淪為廢墟，使成千上萬的家庭（包括敘利亞移民）流離到城鎮郊區，並摧毀了一半的唐人街住宅區。 這座排屋位於哈德遜街116號，其照片可追溯至1963年左右。
ACTIVISM / 行動主義
This two-tier lantern highlights Boston Chinatown’s history of displacement and protest. The bottom lantern memorializes the 700 Hudson Street homes demolished in the 1950s West End urban renewal project, causing the displacement of 2,700 Chinese and other immigrant families to outskirt areas. Also demolished was the Scollay Square red-light district, causing its residents to relocate in-and-around the neighboring district of Chinatown. Later in 1974, the city of Boston designated this new concentration of adult entertainment as its official red-light district: the Combat Zone. All the while expanding into Chinatown, the Combat Zone saw increasing sex work, drug use, and crime into the 1980s, limiting the housing and business opportunities of Chinatown’s immigrant population and attracting unwelcome visitors to the formerly family neighborhood. Pictured in the top lantern are Chinatown residents in the 1980s engaging in peaceful protests to halt the Combat Zone’s encroachment and drive out the sex trade from their longtime home.
Displacement remains a major issue in the gentrification of modern day Chinatown, causing financial and health stresses, identity challenges, and decreased access to resources. In a contrasting moment of triumph, the bottom lantern’s center photograph shows Governor Herter signing a Chinatown-led petition to reroute the 1954 Central Artery highway project to Chinatown’s perimeter (rather than through its center), effectively saving the Chinese Merchants Association (pictured) and other community institutions from demolition. Since Chinatown’s early days, organizations such as the Chinese Progressive Association, Asian Community Development Corporation, and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center have stepped up to fight for immigrant and workers rights, affordable housing, and resident priorities.
流離失所仍然是當今唐人街中產階級化的一個主要問題，造成了財務和健康壓力、身份挑戰以及資源獲取的減少。 在與眾不同的勝利時刻，底部燈籠的中央照片顯示，赫特州長簽署了由唐人街主導的請願書，將1954年中央動脈高速公路項目改道至唐人街周邊（而不是通過其中心），有效地拯救了安良工商會（如圖）和 其他社區機構免於拆遷。自唐人街成立以來，華人前進會、亞美社區發展協會和波士頓華埠社區中心等組織已加緊努力，爭取移民和工人權利、經濟適用房和居民優先事項。
The Asian-American community have been active participants in civil rights and social justice protests throughout the 1900s to the current moment. The term “Chinese virus” is the latest brand of xenophobia and sinophobia arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted by the misconception that individuals of Asian (and especially Chinese) descent are more likely to carry and spread the virus due to its early detection in China. “Fight the Virus, Not the People” is a protest cry and attempt to dispel the resulting harassment, prejudice, and violence for Asian individuals of every descent, and to divert such negative hyper-visibility toward productive means of combating the virus.
Also pictured is Russell Jeung, co-founder of the Stop AAPI Hate coalition launched in March 2020 as a means to track and respond to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Between March 2020 and March 2022, more than 11,400 hate incidents against Asian Americans have been reported in the US. This lantern seeks to honor the memory of many individuals who have fallen victim to violent hate crimes over the last few years, including: the six Asian American women murdered in the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings; Christina Yuna Lee; Xiao Zhen Xie, Ngoc Pham, and other Asian American elders attacked; and countless others.
Similar tragedies and insufficient acquittals/charges have necessitated the sustained momentum of today’s Black Lives Matter movement. From the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the present day, the Asian-American community stands in solidarity with their Black sisters and brothers.
在照片裏面的另一人是張華耀，他是停止反亞裔仇恨聯盟(Stop AAPI Hate)的聯合創始人。停止反亞裔仇恨聯盟創立於2020年3月，旨在追踪和回應針對亞裔何太平洋島民的仇恨、暴力、騷擾和歧視事件。在 2020年3月至 2022年3月期間，在美國有超過 11,400針對亞裔美國人的仇恨事件被申報。 這個燈籠希望能紀念過去幾年遭受暴力仇恨犯罪的人，包括六名在2021年亞特蘭大按摩院槍擊案中被謀殺的亞裔女性、Christina Yuna Lee、 謝蕭珍和Ngoc Pham等被襲擊的亞裔長者和無數的其他人。
ENTREPRENEURSHIP / 企業家精神
Chinese-American restaurants established a reputation for their hospitality and delicious cuisine at inexpensive prices. To attract non-Asian clientele, they marketed themselves with a combination of traditional Chinese appeal, modern Western style and increasingly sweet, mildly-spiced, and deep-fried dishes to suit American palates. Chop Suey joints (a Chinese-American invention that translates to “Odds & Ends”) were a particularly popular destination among young urbanites. The Boston-based Ruby Foo’s Den (pictured) was one of the earliest Chinese and woman-owned restaurants in the country, and the top favorite among non-Chinese customers in the 1930s, including American celebrities. Cathay House (pictured) advertised itself as “the talk of the town for excellent Chinese food.” With today’s diverse palates and globalized cuisines, authentic Chinese as well as Asian Fusion cuisine are thriving. Also pictured are Chinese mooncakes, a culturally-specific delicacy usually eaten on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival in October.
Amid a slim and discriminatory job market, the early male Chinese immigrants arriving in the 1850s found their most dependable enclave in the laundry industry. By the early 20th century, hundreds of Chinese-owned laundries lined the streets of Boston and its suburbs. Once wives and children began immigrating to the U.S. (increasingly after 1924), laundry establishments became operated by entire families—including their rambunctious children pictured here. Featured in the center portrait is Toy Len Goon, owner of Woodfords Corner Laundry in Portland, Maine. She was the double recipient of the Maine and broader American Mother-of-the-Year awards in 1952 due to her ability to operate her laundry for over thirty years while single-handedly raising eight children.
在一個狹窄而充滿歧視的就業市場中，早在十九世紀五十年代到達的男性華人移民在洗衣業中找到了最可靠的飛地。到20世紀初，波士頓及其郊區的街道兩旁已經有數百家華裔擁有的洗衣店。一旦妻子和孩子開始移民到美國（1924年以後越來越多），洗衣店就由整個家庭經營，包括這裡照片中精力旺盛的孩子。中央肖像中的人物是Toy Len Goon，他是緬因州波特蘭市Woodfords Corner洗衣店的所有者。由於她有能力經營洗衣店超過三十年，同時可以獨自撫養八個孩子，因此在1952年同時獲得了緬因州和泛美國的年度母親獎。
Chinatown grocery stores such as Quong Wah Lung & Co. (left image)—one of the earliest and longest-operating Chinese-owned businesses in Boston—and Chong Lung Kee store (right image) operated on multiple fronts. As food markets, they sold food products such as fish, vegetables, tea, and basic household goods. As apothecaries, they sold herbal ingredients for traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Last, these establishments also served as community information centers and as credit unions for sending money overseas. In the left image, Wei Sun Wong of Quong Wah Lung & Co. measures herbs for a prescription using a Chinese scale.
唐人街雜貨店如Quong Wah Lung & Co.（左圖）是波士頓最早，經營時間最長的華人企業之一和Chong Lung Kee商店（右圖）在多個領域都有所經營：作為食品市場，他們出售食品，例如魚、蔬菜、茶和基本家庭用品; 作爲藥劑師出售中藥的草藥，充當社區信息中心，以及作為向海外匯款的信用合作社。 在左圖中，Quong Wah Lung＆Co.的Wei Sun Wong使用中國秤來抓藥。
Rather than newspapers, the fastest and most effective means of spreading news and engagement among the earliest settlers of Chinatown was through street-accessible bulletin boards. Divided into different sections by organizations and subject matter, these listings included job openings, cultural events, items for sale, and other resources for Chinatown residents. During wartime, the bulletin also served as a resource to learn about news from China first-hand. Boston’s major Chinese bulletin board was located at the corner of Oxford and Beach Streets. It was dismantled in 1991 and replaced by increasingly popular Chinese language newspapers. In the rightmost images, You-Ming Wong and his son Jeffrey of the Shanghai Printing Company on Oxford Street are depicted with a wall of 7,000 metal moveable type of Chinese characters used in typesetting in letter presses which was the only printing technology available at the time prior to Chinese typewriters.
PEOPLE (LIFE) / 人物（生命）
Beginning in the late 19th century, Chinatown shared its neighborhood with Boston’s garment and textile industry. Its success depended largely on the skilled, woman Chinese workers it employed, the bulk of whom immigrated to the U.S. in the wake of WWII and with the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. As a result of these women’s roles as professional stitchers, sewing was a foundational skill taught to every young Chinatown girl.
In general, women were afforded more leadership roles and independence within Chinese-American society as opposed to traditional Chinese society, forming coalitions such as the New England Chinese Women’s New Life Movement Association. The coalition was founded upon the principles of propriety, righteousness, honesty, and honor, which were put into practice through community engagement and fundraising efforts for their home country, such as financially aiding China’s fight in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). An exceptional moment of woman leadership is embodied by Rose Lok (center portrait in second lantern), who is thought to be the first ever Chinese woman pilot. Lok may have been inspired by Amelia Earheart, who worked a neighborhood away in Boston’s South Cove at Denison House (a woman-run settlement house) and flew on the weekends before she became the well-known aviator.
總的來說，與傳統的中國社會相比，華裔婦女在華裔美國人社會中獲得了更多的領導職位和獨立性，形成了新英格蘭華人婦女新生活運動協會等聯盟。該聯盟建立在禮節、公義、誠實和榮譽原則的基礎上，這些原則是通過社區參與和為祖國籌款而付諸實踐的，例如在經濟上協助中國抗日戰爭（1894-95）。Rose Lok（第二盞燈籠的中央肖像）體現了女性領導的非凡時刻，她被認為是有史以來的第一位華裔女性飛行員。Lok可能受到了Amelia Earheart的啟發。Amelia Earheart曾在離唐人街不遠的波士頓南灣丹尼森之家（一個由婦女經營的安置所）工作，並在成為著名飛行員之前常在周末飛行。
Education remains an important focus of the Chinese culture and of Chinese-American immigrants. Still operating today, The Josiah Quincy School (est. 1847) was the first ever U.S. school with graded classrooms (separated by grade level) and individual seats for its students. Most students attending Josiah Quincy were either of Syrian or of Chinese descent—in fact, “Chinatown” was previously known as “Little Syria” or “Syriatown” due to its high population of Syrian immigrants. Josiah Quincy’s 1942 third grade class is pictured in the upper left, while the long photograph below captures the Kwong Kow Chinese School’s 1931 graduation ceremony. Established by the Chinese Merchants Association in 1916, the Kwong Kow School uniquely prioritized the Chinese language and culture in the education of its youth. Also pictured is oracle bone script: the earliest known form of Chinese writing (dating to 1200 BC) and an important tool in understanding the development of the Chinese language. Other imagery includes two symbolic Chinese plants: bamboo as a symbol of youth, strength, longevity, achievement, and as one of the earliest writing surfaces, and the lotus as a symbol of learning and education.
Oracle bone script / 甲骨文：
(from left) 馬/马 mǎ “horse”, 虎 hǔ “tiger”, 豕 shĭ “swine”, 犬 quǎn “dog”, 鼠 shǔ “rat and mouse”, 象 xiàng “elephant”, 豸 zhì “beasts of prey”, 龜/龟 guī “turtle”, 爿 qiáng “low table” (now 床 chuáng), 為/为 wèi “to lead”(now “do” or “for”)
(左起) 馬/马 mǎ, 虎 hǔ, 豕 shĭ, 犬 quǎn, 鼠 shǔ, 象 xiàng, 豸 zhì, 龜/龟 guī , 爿 qiáng “矮桌” (現為床 chuáng), 為/为 wèi “領導”(現為”做”或”對於”)
The historic Hudson Street tenement row houses lodged a tight knit community of families. Children played with each other in the streets and knew each other by their names and nicknames. Formerly a society of mostly men (the U.S. deliberately enacted policies that forbid the immigration of wives and families), Chinatown became a family town after the 1943 repeal of the 1882 Exclusion Act and after WWII. The War Brides Acts of 1945 and 1946—initially intended to help the European wives and girlfriends of American G.I.’s enter the U.S.—unintentionally benefited the wives of Chinese-American soldiers. Children born from these family reunions in the mid-40’s would become the first well-educated, bilingual, bicultural, and professional generation of Chinese-Americans. Greatly influenced by the 1960s Black Power and Civil Rights movements on college campuses, these children would also become the founders of Boston Chinatown’s social justice and arts organizations, such as CPA, AARW, ACDC, and BCNC. BCNC was originally founded by Quincy school teachers, who first saw the need for family daycare and other services. Family and community values are the reason for Chinatown’s ongoing intergenerational support.
Chinese festivals typically revolve around the lunisolar (rather than lunar) calendar, in which months begin on the day of the new moon, and years on the second or third new moon after the winter solstice. New Year’s Day in China, therefore, celebrates the start of Spring and is known most commonly as the Spring Festival. Other popular traditional Chinese festivals include the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Lantern Festival (February 8th: the last day of the Chinese year), among many more. This lantern also celebrates the 2,000 year old Chinese art of shadow puppetry. Puppets constructed from paper or leather are maneuvered behind an illuminated piece of transparent cloth to create dancing shadows, accompanied by music and singing. Filmed by Yu-Wen Wu, the silhouette in the center image is that of performer and artistic director Lenora Lee, extracted from a still frame of one of her dance movements.
中國的節日通常圍繞陰陽曆（而不是陰曆）進行，月從新月開始第一天，年從冬至之後的第二或第三個新月開始。因此，中國的新年慶祝春天的到來，通常被稱為春節。其他受歡迎的傳統中國節日包括中秋節和元宵節（2月8日：農曆新年的最後一天）等。這盞燈籠還慶祝了有2000年歷史的中國皮影戲藝術。在一塊光照下的透明布後面操縱用紙或皮革製成的木偶，以產生跳舞的影子，並伴以音樂和歌唱。 由吳育雯攝製，中心圖像中是舞者和藝術總監Lenora Lee的剪影，摘自她舞蹈動作的一幀靜止畫面。
The lion is a frequent animal subject in Chinese myths and is a symbol of power, wisdom, and promise. Traditional Chinese lion dances are performed during the Chinese New Year Festival (or Spring Festival) and other occasions to pray for good fortune and prosperity for the coming year and to deflect the interference of evil spirits. The dance is influenced by martial arts and performed in a wide variety of styles (depending on the region of China) by two dancers per lion costume, accompanied by a raging rhythm of drums, cymbals, and gongs. On the occasion of the coronavirus pandemic, these lions wear masks to show their commitment to the safety and health of both themselves and others.
ARTS / 藝術
The art of calligraphy is an important part of chinese culture and education. It translates literally to “beautiful writing” and historically was considered the ultimate form of artistic expression above painting and sculpture. Contributing to the lanterns are three Boston-based calligraphers: Maurice Chi, Peter Ng, and Mike Mei.
書法藝術是中國文化教育的重要組成部分。它從字面上翻譯為“美麗的書寫”，在歷史上被認為是凌駕於繪畫和雕塑之上的藝術表達的最終形式。為燈籠的做出貢獻的是三位波士頓書法家：Maurice Chi，Peter Ng和Mike Mei。
This is a classic poem from “Quiet Night Thinking” by Tang Dynasty romantic poet, Li Bai (701-762 AD). This poem is about the feeling of missing one’s hometown on a quiet, moonlit night. Here, Chi writes in the style of seal script (stylized, simplified pictures that symbolize objects), which was used as long as 10,000 years ago. The character for “moon,” for example, is symbolized by the top-center crescent shape. These pictograms are the building blocks for the more complex and contemporary Chinese characters.
This saying is from a Qing dynasty verse. The bamboo in the accompanying ink painting represents the qualities of moral integrity, resistance, and loyalty.
In this calligraphy piece, Ng writes in a contemporary style of calligraphy. Incorporated is the traditional art of Chinese papercut (pictured in red), creating astonishingly intricate cuts that relate tales of folklore and daily life.
Behind the calligraphy, the plum blossom is a symbol for resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Inspired by traditional Chinese paper cuts, this drawing by Yu-Wen Wu displays the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These animals are used to represent each of the twelve years in the Zodiac’s cycle and, depending on one’s birth year, are believed to inform one’s personality, fortune, and compatibility with others, among further traits.
The bordering medallions are represented by the character 福 (fu) and symbolize blessings. Additionally, the entwined plants of bamboo, lotus, chrysanthemum, pine tree, and peach all signify longevity, among other qualities: bamboo for suppleness, strength, endurance, and flexibility, the lotus flower for enlightenment, the chrysanthemum flower for intellect, cleansing, and curing, and the pine tree for steadfastness, self-discipline, endurance, and a long life.
The story of the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e (嫦娥) is an important myth in the Chinese canon and is typically celebrated during the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are many versions of this legend. One version is that her husband and archer Hou-Yi, shot down nine suns in order to save the earth from being scorched. As a reward, he was given an immortality elixir by an immortal. Soon, an evil apprentice steals this elixir for Chang’e, who drinks it to become the spirit and goddess of the moon. She then flees to the moon and leaves her husband behind. A rabbit (pictured in the lower right) pities her and goes to the moon to keep her company and prepare more immortality elixirs for her. Back on earth, her husband leaves her favorite desserts and fruits out at night to demonstrate his forgiveness and symbolically provide her with his company. Those who celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival often partake in this same practice symbolizing the family reunion and appreciate the full moon.
Many of the immigrants to Boston’s Chinatown are from the region of Guangdong (Canton province). Representing this region in the bottom left corner is a sampan (三板), a Cantonese term for a flat bottom sailboat translating to “three planks.” Sampans are used for shelter (both temporary and permanent) on inland waters of southern China and Southeast Asia. The Sampan is also the idea of charting new courses.
Extracted from Yu-Wen Wu’s series of drawings “Mapping Stories,” pictured is a migration map charting the global migration patterns of 2018. Historically and now, America offers the opportunity for a new life for immigrants who flee from war, persecution, and economic hardships. “Streets paved in gold” (interpreted here materially here by strips of gold leaf) was a common metaphor for that dream in anticipation of arriving at a new place of promise.
In a Community Listening session hosted this past February as an open, public platform, Yu-Wen Wu and the Greenway Conservancy invited Chinatown residents, community leaders, organizations, and businesses to share such questions as their family’s history, the current issues facing Chinatown and what they hope for Chinatown moving forward.
Below are some of the questions posed and a few of the answers from participants:
“Warmth, light, safety” / “溫暖、輕盈、安全”
“Hope and Joy” / “希望與喜悅”
“Light is being able to come out of dark, difficult, or hard times.” / “光能從黑暗、困難或艱難的時刻中擺脫出來。”
“Both sides of my family immigrated here decades ago from Guangdong. My parents met as teenagers in the Chinese immigrant community in Chinatown. I was born and raised in this Chinatown.”
“Chinatown is a living, breathing piece of history.”
“It’s my hometown. I belong here. I am proud because I am the third generation…To me this is a very unique place that nurtured me.
“I wish for balance & peace amidst & despite a turbulent world.” / “儘管世界動盪，但我希望在動蕩之中保持平衡與和平。”
“I wish Chinatown remains and establishes itself as a permanent community/ neighborhood.” / “我希望唐人街能夠保留並建為一個永久性的社區/鄰里。”
“People accepting each other’s different opinions/differences.” / “人們接受彼此的不同意見/分歧。”
I (and my family) help develop social, economic, and medical organizations in Chinatown for the people. I want everyone to receive these benefits for generations to come.” / 我（和我的家人）在唐人街幫助人們建立社會、經濟和醫療組織。我希望每個人和他們的後代都能從此獲益。”
Amy Chin Guen contributed her words of her vision for chinatown. Her daughter, Terry Guen wrote a brief history, History of Ming Mow Chin and Family, of the family’s immigration. This is one story of the hardship and resiliency of an immigrant family in Boston’s Chinatown.
Amy Chin Guen表達了她對唐人街的願景。她的女兒Terry Guen撰寫了有關家族移民的簡短歷史《History of Ming Mow Chin and Family》。這是關於波士頓唐人街一個移民家庭付出艱辛和展現韌勁的故事。
In the interest of creating bicoastal exchange between the arts scenes in Boston and SF Chinatowns, Yu-Wen Wu invited artists engaged in these communities to lend their artwork to the creation of five brand new lanterns, yielding works from Yuko Okabe (Boston), Kathy Wu (Boston), and Christine Wong Yap (SF); Fred Liang (Boston), Lucy Kim (Boston), and Summer Mei Ling Lee (SF); Joanna Tam (Boston) and Lenora Lee (SF); Ponnapa Prakkamakul (Boston) and Cathy Lu (SF); and Phillip Hua (SF) and Wen-ti Tsen (Boston).
為了在波士頓和三藩市唐人街的藝術生態建立兩岸交流，吳育雯邀請了在這些社區互動的藝術家借出他們的作品去創作五個全新的燈籠。這些藝術家包括：Yuko Okabe（波士頓）、Kathy Wu（波士頓）和 Christine Wong Yap（三藩市）； Fred Liang（波士頓）、Lucy Kim（波士頓）和 Summer Mei Ling Lee（三藩市）； Joanna Tam（波士頓）和 Lenora Lee（三藩市）； Ponnapa Prakkamakul（波士頓）和 Cathy Lu（三藩市）； Phillip Hua (三藩市) 和 Wen-ti Tsen (波士頓)。
Community is a Garden – Mutual Aid
Yuko Okabe (she/they) is an illustrator and cultural worker playing at the intersection of youthful whimsy and community engagement. She received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. Previous fellowships include RISD’s Maharam STEAM Fellowship with the Boston Children’s Hospital, RISD’s Leadership and Community Engagement Fellowship with DownCity Design, Enterprise Community Partners Rose Fellowship with North Shore Community Development Coalition, the Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists with Arts and Business Council of Boston, and the Association for Community Design Fellowship.
《社區是一個花園 – 互助》
Yuko Okabe (她/ta) 是一位插畫家和文化工作者，在天馬行空和社區參與的交叉點上創作。她擁有羅德島設計學院(Rhode Island School of Design)的插圖學士學位，而曾獲得的獎助包括羅德島設計學院與波士頓兒童醫院的 Maharam STEAM獎助，羅德島設計學院和DownCity Design的社區參與獎助，Enterprise Community Partners 和 North Shore Community Development Coalition的Rose獎助，Arts and Business Council of Boston的Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists獎助以及Association for Community Design的獎助。
Chinatown is Our Home (from “Community is a Garden”)
Acrylic on Wood Panel
kathy wu (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, poet, and educator based between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Her artwork is concerned with histories and present-day realities of displacement and resistance, and ways that image making and publishing can bring us in touch with those stories. She teaches creative computation and zine-making for young people, and also volunteers as a political educator with Asian American Resource Workshop.
kathy wu (她/ta)是一位跨界藝術家、設計師、詩人和教育家，駐於羅德島和馬薩諸塞州兩地之間。 她的作品關注的是逼遷和抵抗的歷史和現況，以及圖像製作和出版能令我們接觸到這些故事的各種方式。 她現在教授年輕人創意編程和製作小誌，並在Asian American Resource Workshop擔任政治教育義工。
Christine Wong Yap 葉黄嘉雯
Alive & Present: Portsmouth Square Dancers
Alive & Present: Portsmouth Square Dancers depicts a fan dancing troupe that practices in Portsmouth Square, San Francisco and regularly performs at community fairs and festivals.
“Celebrated for her work in social practice and positive psychology, Bay Area-based artist Christine Wong Yap is known for deeply felt and thought-provoking textiles, publications, flags, billboards, and prints that utilize calligraphy and inclusive design to explore ideas around belonging and its relationship to mental health and well-being.”
Christine Wong Yap lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, after a decade of living in New York City. This year, she is exhibiting in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and creating a zine exchange between New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and Bangalore.
Christine Wong Yap 葉黄嘉雯
「以她在社會實踐和正向心理學方面的工作為之著名，生活於灣區的藝術家 Christine Wong Yap 以她深切和發人深省的紡織品、出版、旗幟、廣告牌、利用書法和包容性設計來探索歸屬感，以及它與心理健康和福祉的關係的版畫而聞名。」
Christine Wong Yap 葉黄嘉雯在紐約生活了十年後，現今生活和工作於三藩市灣區。今年，她的作品會在洛杉磯以及三藩市灣區中參展。她也正在紐約、柏林、東京和班加羅爾之間組織小誌交換。
Melanin Test Print (Hannah #2)
Melanin produced by live genetically modified E. coli cells on paper
Lucy Kim is a Korean-American interdisciplinary artist working across painting, sculpture and microbiology. She is a recipient of the 2022 Creative Capital Award for her project printing images with bacteria that has been genetically-modified to produce melanin, the main bio-pigment behind human skin, hair, and eye color. In her hybrid works, she embraces material distortion as the key to understand and expand how we see what we see: the relationship between our evolved vision-centricity, constructed socio-cultural systems, and personal desires.
《黑色素試印 (Hannah #2)》
Lucy Kim是一位韓裔跨界藝術家，創作領域橫跨繪畫、雕塑和微生物學。她的創作項目獲得了2022 Creative Capital獎。這個項目是透過用基因改造的細菌產生的黑色素來打印圖像。黑色素是人類皮膚、頭髮和眼睛顏色背後的主要生物色素。在她的跨界作品裡，她喜歡通過扭曲物質來理解和擴闊我們怎樣看待看得見的事物———探索以視覺為中心的這種進化、人為建構出來的社會文化系統以及個人慾望之間的關係。
Summer Mei Ling Lee
Here is Where We Meet
Cyanotype, three layers of gauze, wood, paint.
Summer Mei Ling Lee is based in San Francisco and Chicago and exhibits artwork here and abroad. Her work is found in private and museum collections. The layered cyanotypes in Here is Where We Meet are an attempt to bridge the distant geographic and emotional realities into the nearness of a repetitive forming and dissolution of the tableau vivant. The multiple layers of moving diaphanous fabric panels form an ambiguous, unsettled image that focuses on the themes of absence/presence, light/dark and the notion of “into the nearness of distance”, that is the more we strive to get closer to something, the further away we actually become from grasping full understanding.
Summer Mei Ling Lee
Summer Mei Ling Lee 駐於舊金山和芝加哥，在國內外均有展出作品， 而作品被私人藏家和博物館收藏。 《這裡是我們遇見的地方》中的分層藍曬試圖將遙遠的地域和情感現實，連接到接近的不斷重複形成和消散的活圖片(tableau vivant)中。 多層會移動的透明織物板塊構成一個含糊、不穩定的圖像，帶出缺席/在場、明/暗的主題和「距離的接近」的概念，意思是我們越努力接近某些東西 ，實際上越難真正充分的理解它。
Silkscreen, watercolor and papercut
Watercolor and cut paper
Fred H. C. Liang received a BFA from the University of Manitoba, and an MFA from Yale University. His honors include Massachusetts Cultural Council Arts Grants in both painting, printmaking, and works on paper. Liang’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including Fidelity, the Gund Collection, Addison Museum of American Art, and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. He exhibited his work at the Inside Out Museum in Beijing, and the ICA, Boston. Liang’s most recent exhibitions include the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Addison Museum of American Art in Massachusetts, XC.HuA Gallery in Berlin and Jerez de la Frontera Gallery at University of Cadiz. He just completed a residency at the Museo de Arte Contemporary in Sandiago de Chile and the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China. His work was recently interviewed by Huffington Post, WBUR Open Studio and reviewed in The Boston Globe. He is the recipient of 2020 Joan Michell Foundation Grant.
Fred H. C. Liang 擁有曼尼托巴大學的美術學士和耶魯大學的美術碩士。他的榮譽包括獲得馬薩諸塞州文化委員會繪畫、版畫和紙本作品方面的藝術資助。他的作品被眾多公共機構和私人藏家收藏，包括富達、the Gund Collection、Addison Museum of American Art和布蘭戴斯大學的Rose Art Museum。北京的 Inside Out 博物館和波士頓的 ICA 也有展出過他的作品。Liang最近的展覽包括威斯康星州密爾沃基的Milwaukee Art Museum、馬薩諸塞州的Addison Museum of American Art、柏林的 XC.HuA 畫廊和加的斯大學的Jerez de la Frontera畫廊。他剛剛在智利聖地亞哥的Museo de Arte Contemporary和中國上海的斯沃琪和平飯店藝術中心完成了藝術家駐留計畫。他的作品曾被《赫芬頓郵報》、WBUR Open Studio採訪，並得到《波士頓環球報》的評論。他是2020年Joan Michell Foundation資助的獲獎者。
Lenora Lee Dance
Within These Walls
Immersive Dance Performance at the U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park
Image Credit: Dancer Chloe Luo, photo by Robbie Sweeny
WITHIN THESE WALLS is an award-winning immersive, multimedia performance piece by Lenora Lee Dance inspired by experiences of those detained, interrogated, and processed at the U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park in San Francisco Bay. This U.S. Immigration Station is an International Site of Conscience, a site of remembrance transformed and animated as part of a community-wide commemoration of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.
Lee in collaboration with filmmaker Tatsu Aoki will premiere the full-length WITHIN THESE WALLS experimental dance film in fall 2022. The WITHIN THESE WALLS performance piece is also being re-staged, with U.C. Berkeley students, for performances at Zellerbach Playhouse February 23-26, 2023 as part of Cal’s Berkeley Dance Project.
Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, incarceration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. The company creates works crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, or in the air, and at times are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. For the last 14 years LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia, and immersive dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history
Lenora Lee Dance
照片來源: 舞者Chloe Luo，Robbie Sweeny的照片
《在這些牆內》是一個屢獲殊榮，由 Lenora Lee Dance 創作的沉浸式多媒體表演作品，靈感來自在三藩市灣區天使島州立公園美國移民站被拘留、審訊和處理的人的經歷。 這個美國移民站是一個國際良知遺址(International Site of Conscience)，是社區為了紀念1882年排華法案而改造和活化了這個紀念場所，帶出個人和社區能夠超越困苦的力量。Lee 將與電影製作人 Tatsu Aoki 合作，於2022年秋季首映完整的 《在這些牆內》的實驗舞蹈電影。而作為加州大學柏克萊分校Berkeley Dance Project的一部分，《在這些牆內》的現場表演也將會與柏克萊的學生合作，於2023年2月23日至26日在 Zellerbach Playhouse演出。
Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) 融合了當代舞蹈、電影、音樂和研究，而因為持續關注與移民、監禁、全球衝突和它的影響（尤其是對婦女和家庭的影響）相關的問題，而受到越來越多的關注。該公司為舞台、水下或空中創作作品，有時是回應場域的、沈浸式的和互動的。 在過去的 14 年裡，LLD一直在推動大型多媒體和沈浸式舞蹈表演的發展，將各風格的律動和音樂與文化、歷史聯繫起來。
Untitled (Alien Language)
Oath of Allegiance: 忠誠
Longing for Home: 想家
Yellow Peril: 黃禍
Joanna Tam is a Hong Kong-born, Boston-based interdisciplinary artist. Using video, photography, performance, installation, and community engagement, her work examines the issues of migration, construction of national identity, the notion of home, and one’s connection to a place. Joanna’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her projects were awarded Best Art Film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK, and the People’s Choice Award and Third Prize at the Prix de la Photographie. She was also the recipient of the 2020 SMFA Traveling Fellowship.
Joanna Tam是一位香港出生，駐於波士頓的跨界藝術家。 透過影片、攝影、表演、裝置和社區參與，她的作品審視移民問題、國家認同的構建、家的概念，以及一個人與一個地方的聯繫。 Joanna的作品曾在國內和國際上展出。 她的作品獲得了英國約克Aesthetica Short Film Festival的最佳藝術電影獎，以及Prix de la Photographie的民選獎和三等獎。 她也是2020年塔夫茨大學美術館學校旅行獎助的得獎者。
Girls Playing in Peach Garden
Watercolor and ink on paper
Girls Playing in Peach Garden is a reference to the traditional Chinese genre of art called “Boys Playing.” Traditionally, the genre depicts small boys playing in order to foreshadow their future successes as adults. In Chinese mythology, the Peach Garden is the garden where immortals lived. In Lu’s rendition, boys are replaced with girls to explore ideas of gendered play, depicting them in states of ecstacy and chaos within the garden space.
Cathy Lu (b. Miami, FL) is a ceramics based artist that manipulates traditional Chinese art imagery and presentation as a way to deconstruct the assumptions we have about Chinese American identity and cultural authenticity. Unpacking how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity, and cultural assimilation become part of American identity is central to her work. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her BA & BFA from Tufts University. She was a 2019 Asian Cultural Council/ Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation Fellow. She currently teaches at California College of the Arts and Mills College.
《女孩們在桃園上玩耍》是引用「男孩玩耍」這個傳統中國藝術的流派。 在傳統裡，這個流派為了預示小男孩成年後的成功，會描繪小男孩玩耍。 在中國神話中，桃園是神仙居住的花園。 在Lu的演繹裡，為了探索性別化的玩耍這個想法，Lu以女孩取代男孩，描繪出她們在花園中狂喜和混亂的狀態。
Cathy Lu (b. Miami, FL) 是一位做陶瓷為主的藝術家。她利用中國傳統藝術的意象和表現手法來解構我們對華裔身份和文化真實性的假設。她工作的核心包括揭示移民、文化混合和文化同化的經歷如何成為美國身份的一部分。 她在三藩市藝術學院獲得藝術碩士學位，在塔夫茨大學獲得藝術學士和學士學位。 她是2019年亞洲文化委員會/北京當代藝術基金的獲獎者。 她目前在加州藝術學院和米爾斯學院任教。
Mae is a site-specific mural on display at Mae Asian Eatery in Cambridge, MA (781 Main Street). It is inspired by the Thai mythology of Nāga, a half-human, half-serpent divine being, sometimes called water dragon. People living along the Mekong River believe that Nāga is the creator of the river and resides there to protect the landscape. The mural exhibits the agricultural landscape along the Mekong River that runs through the countries where the ingredients of the cuisines at Mae Asian Eatery originated from. The word Mae in Mekong means “Mother,” reflecting on how restaurant owner and chef Yuri Asawasittikit learned how to cook from her mother and inherited family recipes. This is to celebrate our roots, family stories, and history of the landscape where we came from, and how it reflects in what we do today.
Ponnapa Prakkamakul is a Thai visual artist and landscape architect based in Massachusetts. Her work overlaps between fine art and landscape design focusing on the relationship between human and the surrounding environment. Ponnapa holds a Master’s agree in Landscape Architecture with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design. She participated in the David Bethuel Jamieson Artist of Color Residency, Mount Auburn Cemetery Residency, Residence Lab’s program at ACDC and the Pao Arts Center. Her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the Provincetown Banner. She currently is a member at Kingston Gallery and a landscape architect at Sasaki.
《Mae》是一幅在馬薩諸塞州劍橋市 Mae Asian Eatery (781 Main Street) 展出的特定場域的壁畫。 它的靈感來自泰國神話中的那伽(Nāga)，一種半人半蛇的神靈，有時也被稱為水龍。 生活在湄公河沿岸的人們認為，那伽是河流的創造者，住在那裡保護景觀。 這幅壁畫展示了湄公河沿岸的農業景觀，貫穿Mae Asian Eatery用的食材起源的國家。 Mae 在湄公的意思是「母親」，反映了餐廳老闆兼廚師 Yuri Asawasittkit 如何從她母親身上學習烹飪並繼承了家庭食譜。 這是為了慶祝我們的根源、家庭故事和家鄉景觀的歷史，以及它如何反映在我們今天所做的事裡。
Ponnapa Prakkamakul 是一位駐於馬薩諸塞州的泰國視覺藝術家和景觀設計師。她的作品重疊於美術和景觀設計之間，關注人和周圍環境之間的關係。 Ponnapa持有羅德島設計學院景觀建築的榮譽碩士學位。 她參加了 David Bethuel Jamieson Artist of Color的藝術家駐留計畫，Mount Auburn Cemetery的藝術家駐留計畫，亞美社區發展協會(ACDC) 和包氏藝術中心 (Pao Arts Center) 的「居民與藝術」(Residence Lab)項目。 她的作品曾在《波士頓環球報》、《波士頓先驅報》和《Provincetown Banner》展出。 她目前是Kingston畫廊和Sasaki的景觀設計師。
Past/Future Tense #14
Past/Future Tense #5
Phillip Hua is a mixed media artist living and working in San Francisco. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, 7×7 Magazine, Huffington Post, and California Home + Design Magazine among others. He has received public art commissions from BART, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the cities of Davis, Palo Alto, and San Antonio. He is currently working on the Steps to Wisdom, a public art stairway located in the Portola district of San Francisco.
Phillip Hua 是一位在三藩市生活和工作的混合媒體藝術家。 他的作品曾在《舊金山紀事報》、《舊金山周刊》、《7×7 雜誌》、《赫芬頓郵報》和《加州家居 + 設計》雜誌等雜誌上展出。 他收到來自 BART、三藩市公共事業委員會以及戴維斯、帕洛阿爾托和聖安東尼奧等城市的公共藝術委託。 他目前正在研究 《Steps to Wisdom》，一個位於三藩市Portola區的公共藝術樓梯。
Home Town: Presenting History
Life-size wooden cutouts
Home Town: Representing Now
Featured on this lantern are two projects by Tsen that use archival photos of Boston’s Chinatown to create an intergenerational dialogue about its history and development. The first, a public art project called Home Town: Re-presenting Boston’s Chinatown as Place of People–Then and Now, takes “historical recreations” (life-size wooden cutouts) of photographs of historic Chinatown residents and displays them across Chinatown. The other is a photography series capturing current Chinatown residents against the backdrop of an archival photo of Chinatown’s Harrison Ave. Pictured here is Tunney Lee, the late architect, activist, MIT professor emeritus of urban planning, and beloved pillar of Boston’s Chinatown.
Wen-ti Tsen is a painter and public artist born in China and based in Boston. Since the mid-1970s, he has been engaged in making art that explores cultural connections: with personal paintings and installations, large-scale public art sculptures, and working with communities to express social issues in various art forms.
這個燈籠上呈現的是 Tsen的兩個項目，這兩個項目都是使用波士頓唐人街的檔案照片來創建關於其歷史和發展的跨代對話。 第一個項目名為《家鄉：將波士頓的唐人街重新呈現為一個人構成的地方 —— 過去和現在》的公共藝術項目。它對歷史悠久的唐人街居民的照片進行「重現歷史」(真人大小的木製剪紙)，並將它們展示在唐人街的各個地方。 另一個項目是一組攝影系列，用唐人街哈利臣街的檔案照片為背景，拍攝現在的唐人街居民。圖為已故建築師、社會運動家、麻省理工學院城市規劃榮譽退休教授和波士頓唐人街心愛的支柱Tunney Lee。
Wen-ti Tsen 是一位出生於中國，現駐於波士頓的畫家和公共藝術家。 自 1970 年代中期以來，他一直投身於探索文化聯繫的藝術創作，包括以繪畫和裝置藝術、大型公共藝術雕塑，以及與社區合作然後以各種藝術形式去表達社會問題。
The Greenway Public Art Program is exclusively funded through grants and private sources, including the generous support of The Barr Foundation, Goulston & Storrs, and Boston Cultural Council/Reopen Creative Boston Fund administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. Lantern Stories was made possible in part through additional gifts from Rebecca A. Lee and TD Charitable Foundation.