Salvaging New York Chinatown, Preserving a Heritage, 1987
Fay Chiang was the daughter of a “paper son”; her father immigrated to the United States to work in a laundry at 10 years old. She found it difficult to communicate with her immigrant parents, as they rarely spoke of their coming-of-age stories. When her father passed away, Chiang looked through the salvages of her parents’ past. These instances of Chiang’s were commonplace for many second-generation Chinese Americans. In the 1980s, the New York Chinatown History Project asked community members for family memorabilia to record the 100-year-old history. The collection resulted in the 1987 show, Salvaging New York Chinatown: Preserving a Heritage curated by Dorothy Rony.