Since 2013, I've been continually photographing Chinatown and as the years went on, I found myself meeting people and getting more involved. Eventually, I ended up joining the Wong Association and well... here I am. This project ended up becoming much more bigger than I ever thought it would be. I find that this 5+ year journey has me now intertwined in the conversation of Vancouver's Chinatown.
Thanks to my time here, I've now been afforded the opportunity to do documentary work that is beyond the usual street photography stuff. Being in and a part of this community has given me opportunities to document and get to know people and feel the true vibrant spirit of Chinatown that is not readily apparent from the streets. I've visited various Associations, experienced the battle over Chinatown's heritage and future and have made many friends along the way. It has truly been a blessing and I do hope one day that these photos will serve to remind future what was and inspire what could be.
I am currently working on a book representing the first 3 years of my project and will later on make a second book to cover the next 2-3 years after. My Chinatown photos are strewn in various places on the web such as over two blogs and on various Facebook and Instagram posts (@jonathan_desmond_journal), so having a book will bring all my images together into one final item that I can show to future generations.
Below is a brief gallery of photographs I took while I attended the Wong Association banquet: