In the early 1900s, C.D. (Chow Dong) Hoy (1883–1973)—one of the earliest Chinese Canadian photographers—created extraordinary portraits that present a unique view of the diverse community of Quesnel, British Columbia, a town where Indigenous people, Chinese immigrants, and European settlers formed a cross-cultural community. In an era of significant systemic racism and cultural marginalization, the idea that people from diverse backgrounds showed up at Hoy’s studio to be photographed and celebrate their own existence is a powerful statement. Today, Hoy’s work offers all of us a glimpse into a small frontier town and the many people who, just by being photographed, shift our conceptions of the past. The hope of course is that there is a similar shift in our collective vision of the future.
Click here to read the essay that accompanies this online exhibition.
This online exhibition has been curated by Faith Moosang, a multimedia artist, curator, writer, and researcher who lives and works in Vancouver. Her work centres around inquiry into spectacle culture, media, mediated imagery, and the mechanically reproduced image. She has an MFA from the School for Contemporary Art at Simon Fraser University and has expanded her practice to the realms of public art and curating contemporary art. She has also published books, articles, and blogs relating to culture, pop culture, research, history, and photography. Her research and writing have garnered awards and her specific passions are things archival, historical, and political.