A For-Show Gallery of a Squeezed-Dry Place – “Chinatown”
This photo essay walks through Washington DC’s fleeting and fading “Chinatown,” following the ironies embodied within its capitalized enclave. Although I considered using film as my medium, I decided on using digital photography to eliminate the nostalgia that films can often carry, instead choosing digital photographs to emphasize the vivid reality which plagues the life of DC’s Chinatown.
Through the individual shots and linearity of this piece, contrasts in frame, color, and content juxtapose the overwhelming capitalized body of this area against the freckles of authenticity fighting for preservation in a declining ethnic enclave. This project sparked my first in-depth journey into the soul of DC’s “Chinatown,” one which evoked heavily rooted and fluctuating feelings of skepticism, hope, homesickness, and hopelessness. I hope that this journey of emotions is not only reflected in this piece, but that the viewers themselves are able to experience a journey of their own emotions as they follow my footsteps in and out of this “Chinatown”.
All photographs by Clarissa Cheung.