A couple of years ago I wrote about Evelyn Hang Yin, an interdisciplinary artist who works with photography, video, text, and installation. Her roots in Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province of China, she arrived in California in 2013 and is currently based in Los Angeles. Her interest in Chinese American history was born while on a backpacking trip up north, where she discovered in Weaverville California’s oldest Chinese temple, which was made part of the California State Parks in 1956. The caretaker of the temple directed Evelyn to Hanford’s China Alley. She fell in love with China Alley and our restoration projects here.
Moved and inspired by the history and our stories of the Alley, Evelyn became interested in learning about the Chinese pioneers who came to the United States. Ironically, because of the Cultural Revolution launched under the direction of Chairman Mao, who sought to renew the spirit of the communist revolution and root out those he considered to be “bourgeois” infiltrators, Evelyn wasn’t taught much about Chinese culture and history, even raised as she was in China.
Her studies were focused on math and science. She never thought she would learn about her own culture in California, but that has proven to be her reality, and that learning has become both a deep interest of hers and inspiration for her art.