In Chinese, the name for the United States of America is, 美國 or Měiguó, or using a literal translation, means the “beautiful country”. The Chinese sojourners began their migrations to the United States starting in the 1800s, most of them men, working menial jobs, but making enough to send money back to take care of their families in China.
Fast forward to the major Chinese involved events in America from the Transcontinental Railroad, to the Chinese exclusion act of 1882, through two world wars, the Chinese Civil War, Nixon’s visit to build relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972, one can not help but recognize how
intertwined the American and the Chinese people are.
The original sojourners left their homes to find their dreams in this “beautiful country”, never realizing that some of them would never make it home to China. So they built their lives in a foreign land, and raised their next generations and through it all fought to keep their culture, their hopes and their dreams alive. This work that I present is from this “beautiful country”, the land of promised prosperity, of promised liberty, of promised freedom, our home, this is the Chinese American people, or
In this work, I am traveling through the United States of America, in the same tradition as all the great documentary photographers of American photographic history. However, unlike them, my focus will solely be on the Chinese in America and the Chinese American people.
This work is a journey into the “beautiful country” that I as a Chinese American have sought after my whole life, as well as a documentation and undeniable proof of the existence of an American people.