Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco

Synopsis

"In his graceful integration of insights and literature from the disparate fields of art history, history, and ethnic studies, and with his focus on a little known body of visual images and image-makers, Lee has written a book that promises to make a significant contribution in terms of both subject and methodology. The residents of his Chinatown are not merely subjects of an orientalizing gaze, they are themselves producers of images, shapers of the neighborhood's distinctive physical appearance, followers of both American and Chinese political and cultural developments. . . . [This] book asserts the possibilities of images as sources of cultural meaning and reinserts art history into a central position in American cultural studies."--Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of American Studies and History, Amherst College

"The author invites the reader to understand the paintings and photographs he is examining. . . as sites of human enactment where Chinese and non-Chinese alike participate in acts ofcultural encounter." --Rodger C. Birt, Professor of Humanities and American Studies, San Francisco State University