51 Stuart Street, Hamilton | 905.522.3003
After Gold Mountain: Selected Stories of Chinese Labourers in Canada
by Marlene Yuen
The first Chinese labourers arrived in Canada in 1788. In 1858, gold was discovered in the Fraser Canyon, British Columbia and many Chinese from southern China arrived in hopes of striking it rich, finding gold and starting a new life on “Gold Mountain,” their name for Canada.
From 1881-1885, Chinese rail workers endured appalling, dangerous work conditions and nearly 1000 men perished during the construction of the CPR. Life for Chinese workers after the railroad was characterized by hard work, and frequent discrimination. In After Gold Mountain, stories are told through a series of comic panels and screenprinted accordion books. These powerful, personal and informative stories recount working conditions on the railroad, and in fish canneries, laundromats, restaurants and fruit markets from British Columbia to Ontario. While early Chinese labourers in Canada were predominately male, this exhibit also shares how women and children played a role in the landscape of work and overcame the hardships of racism.
Marlene Yuen is a Vancouver-based artist who received her Bachelor’s in Studio Art in 1998 from the University of British Columbia. Marlene has exhibited at galleries, artist-run centres, and cultural events in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan. Although she is a multidisciplinary artist, her current focus is on handmade books and all things letterpress. She is a member of the Canadian Bookbinders Book Artist Guild, the Alcuin Society and Ladies of Letterpress.
For more information, contact Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or firstname.lastname@example.org