“Wherever you go do as you see”, claims a proverb, but for many years Asian Americans in foreign countries seemed not to care about merging with the rest of the society of the place they live, to the extent that Chinese communities have been named closed and dangerous.
This has obviously changed, Chinatowns have become a very important point of trade of Asian goods all over the world, and a group of communities where immigrants can to adapt to the new country, while promoting their customs and traditions. But this project is not about the place; nor about Asian traditions, it is about the habitants of Chinatowns and how they have created a merged community.
In the work of Arnold Genthe’s (1895-1906), we can see images of a closed Asian community, most of all because of the use of ethnic clothing and because of the scenes showed. I think it was Genthe's purpose, because in much of his photos you can see the traditions of the portrayed. Genthe’s work is amazing, I found it while I was investigating about Chinatowns for this project and right away I realized the difference between what he found back there at the beginning of last century and what I can find right now. Chinatown’s residents have change and have merged.
Chinatowners are no longer as Genthe’s showed us, at least not what we can see at first sight. If we walk by any Chinatown of course we will see signs on Asian language and all sorts of asian products, but if we pay attention, we will also see that they like baseball, they buy tennis shoes and they drive American cars, and for me, this demonstrates that merge has been done.
I think that sooner or later even the closest communities merge into one bigger community or mixed society, but is this an act of survival or it is just a matter of time? How long can individuals resist to adaptation and what is the cost of resistance? It’s easier to adapt?
Taking as example Chinatowns in foreign countries I want to talk about social adaptation. It is not my intention to dictate what is good or wrong, just to portrait what is going on, in terms of society merge.
To license this work for editorial, creative, or other uses, click on the OZMO logo above.
This will take you to the Ozmo website where you can review the cost and license for the photographs in this exhibit.
You will need to create an account with both Amazon payments and with the Ozmo website as described on the Ozmo website.
San Francisco's Old Chinatown, by Arnold Genthle
Ileana Doble H
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prints for sale: www.ileanadobleh.com/chinatowners
- More About me: about.me/ileanadh
- Facebook: facebook.com/IleanaDobleH
- Tumblr: ileanadh.tumblr.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/ileanadh
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/ileanaDH
- Flickr: flickr.com/photos/ileanadobleh