Chinatown Project

The Chinatown Parade... LAST year (2018)

The Chinatown Parade... LAST year (2018)

I’ve started to make it a habit to post up these Chinatown Parade photos a year later… whoops! Life does get busy and now even more so with my daughter’s arrival. However, this has allowed for a strange benefit: After having faced a Chinatown Parade in the freezing cold and then in a blizzard (literally moments ago… and the snow is still falling as I type), I now look back at the photos from last year’s parade and am able to enjoy them more after having let them sit and marinate for a year rather than if I had simply posted them straight away. There’s something about the passage of time that really matures a documentary photograph.

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2018 Year End Review - My Documentary Photography Comes Home

2018 Year End Review - My Documentary Photography Comes Home

How do you even begin to encapsulate a year? It’s 365 days of living and being and breathing and it all goes by so fast. As a photographer, the photos I take are not only momentos of the little moments that went by but also memory place holders that let me look back and recall a time in my life: the smells, the sights and even the sounds.

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Chinatown at Night

Chinatown at Night

It’s been a while since I blogged about Chinatown… or blogged at all for that matter. Life keeps getting busy and taking the time to sit down and write stuff to a general internet audience sometimes (in all honesty) ranks a little lower on my list of priorities. Lately, I’ve taken to exercise more and stay in shape, I’ve attempted to learn to dance a bit, I’ve been catching up on personal film work from the last year and a bit and I’m trying to finally put together that Chinatown book I’ve been meaning to do.

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Documenting Chinatown: Vancouver's Chinese New Years Parade... LAST Year...

Documenting Chinatown: Vancouver's Chinese New Years Parade... LAST Year...

So it's taken me a while to blog this. Life became busier and wedding season went into full gear and I found myself with little time to edit my own personal work... but these last few months have been a great time for me to sit and look back at the year that was. As I sit here a week prior to the 2018 Chinese New Year Parade, I thought I'd share some of the major photo highlights from last year's 2017 Chinese New Year Parade.

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Chinatown Has Changed... And It's Only Been A Year

Chinatown Has Changed... And It's Only Been A Year

I recently walked around Chinatown with a good Pentaxian friend of mine Jack Simpson. While I enjoy walking on my own at times, it's nice to have a friend along to talk to. I learned a bit about the old Chinatown days while we walked and explored together and it's really interesting to hear about the changes that have happened since the days of long ago.

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Being There In Chinatown

I've grown to like Chinatown. It has it's character, it's charm, it's personality. I try my best to document as much of it as I can every time I'm in the area. While Chinatown is still quite vibrant in some ways, in other ways it is still an old shell of it's former self. It is unfortunate to see the "For Lease" signs in various place and hoping this continuous project will bring light to this great little area in Vancouver that has much more history than I could ever imagine.

The images above were mostly taken during a Summer festival that occurred in Chinatown (over a weekend I believe). Other images were my documentary observations of Chinatown when I visited.

Below are a set of images that I had taken inside a little shop called "Chinese Art Crafts". One of the things I've mentioned in various blog posts about Chinatown is the friendships I've developed through these projects. The people at Chinese Art Crafts are some new friends of mine. Please say hi to them if you're in the area :)

Chinatown Project = Ongoing

I keep finding myself back in Chinatown in Vancouver. There's something about the place that keeps drawing me to it and I can't really put my finger on it. If anything, it's a combination of nostalgia for me in combination with a connection to such a lively and unique community. I've been documenting since 2013 and at first it was a way to "improve" my photography but now it has evolved into a story that I hope to tell people through another book some time in the future.

We'll see what happens :)

In the meanwhile, here's a few images from 2014:

Chinatown Project ... It's Just Getting Started

At the end of my 2013 Chinatown Project year, I came to realize how little I had actually documented in that year. That is to say... I don't think a year was long enough to really photograph and document the essence of Chinatown.

So here I am, 7 months after "finishing" photographing for my Chinatown book and I'm still itching to go out there and photograph.

This time around, I want to meet more people. Be bolder. Be fearless. Be #tangible. 

Also, I think I will be taking this project to... well, at least another year... or for that matter, I think it's really an on-going project that I will be working on for the next few years. I think over a few year's time we'll be able to see more of the changes and the shifts that may occur and also I'll have more photographs to have to document this place we call Chinatown. 

Here are a few I've taken recently:

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Sun Yat Sen Garden was recently painted a light blue color. 

Sun Yat Sen Garden was recently painted a light blue color. 

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The imagery of the chinese writing against the newspaper blocking out the windows made for an interesting dissonance in this photograph. At least I think so.

The imagery of the chinese writing against the newspaper blocking out the windows made for an interesting dissonance in this photograph. At least I think so.

Here I try to use the window to not only show what's ON the window but also what's reflected. The reflection, in essence, becomes the image.

Here I try to use the window to not only show what's ON the window but also what's reflected. The reflection, in essence, becomes the image.

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It was a sunny day and I really wanted to make use of the shadows. 

It was a sunny day and I really wanted to make use of the shadows.