駐館創作計畫

覓金山鴻爪

一八四八年(清道光二十八年)美國加州發現黃金,淘金的熱潮旋即席捲各地,消息傳至飽受天災加上兵荒馬亂的中國南方,廣東子弟乃紛紛遠渡太平洋來到他們稱之為「金山」的地方闖天下,因此引來當地人的排斥,而被重課以獨有的外國人淘金稅。隨著華工不堪苛稅,開始不再跼限於礦區淘金,而行遍到各地從事勞力的工作. 一八六四年林肯總統簽署法案,橫貫美國大陸的鐵路開始修建,如果沒有大量華工,鐵路西段 中太平洋鐵路(CPRR)不可能存在,起先大家懷疑羸弱矮小的華工,能否勝任如此巨大工程 創始CPRR公司四巨頭之一的夸克(Charles Crocker)獨排眾議說:「華人不是蓋了萬里長城的嗎?」

迄今鐵路完工一百四十年,我自二千零五年起,結合攝影與歷史,尋覓這些先民在金山所遺鴻爪。

三年間,我去了九趟,完成全長六百九十英哩的行程,這批照片為這幾年來的成績。

Program Proposal

Walking The Grade

In the heat of California gold rush, Chinese from Southern China piled in "Gold Mountain", a place for Americans, to escape their impoverished motherland. They were repelled by locals and punished with a foreigner's miner tax, which led them to work beyond gold mining and earn their living with their raw labors.

President Abraham Lincoln singed law of Trans Continental Railroad's construction in 1863. However, the western link of rail road, Central Pacific Rail Road, couldn't exist without the help of vast Chinese labors. Originally thought to be too small to complete such a momentous task, Charles Crocker of CPRR pointed out, "The Chinese made the Great Wall, didn't they?"

Since Chinese left numerous marks CPRR, it has been more than a century. I married photography with history and started to trace the Chinese footsteps on the Gold Mounta in 2005.

After finishing the 690 miles route by making nine trips in 3 years, these photos are now on display in the show.