Last spring (& again this year) we visited the Chinese cemeteries in Stanley and in Barkerville to commemorate the Tienanmen Square massacre and to reflect on the courage of those resisting tyranny in Hong Kong. When anti-Asian incidents began to increase in the Lower Mainland after the onset of Covid, I wanted to illuminate some of the Cariboo’s Chinese history through printmaking. “Stanley Doorway” and “Chinatown Wall” are the first of two such prints. I began them last summer and finished them this spring.
The Lightning Inn still stands in Stanley. The doorway caught my attention:
To make a multicolour posterized screen print, I created a series of bitmaps of the image in black & white at various thresholds:
After printing a warm gradient background, I printed the darkest threshold with a transparent brown ink:
To add transparent gold on some the doors, I reversed out the centre highlights to make a film positive with this pattern:
Here is one of the final prints:
Barkerville’s Chinatown has many restored and recreated buildings:
This particular wall caught my eye:
Following the same process I used for the Stanley Doorway print, I generated a range of thresholds from a black and white version of the photo above:
I began with a transparent gradient background, then hand cut rubylith masking film to make stencils for these colour fills before printing the photographic stencils. Some prints have 2 gold shapes like this one below; others have 4.
Here are the final prints:
For first hand history of Stanley and Wells, see “…And So…That’s How It Happened – Recollections of Stanley-Barkerville 1900-1975” by W. M. (Bill) Hong.
In 2008 and 2009, a group of us skied between Barkerville and Stanley (approximately 25 km) along the original Cariboo Waggon Road. We named our trek “The Cariboo Jack” to honour Wong Man Ding (akak Cariboo Jack), who had walked all the way from Yale to Stanley in 1868. I screen printed bibs like these on Tyvek for all the skiers:
When the Chinese government began cracking down on pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, I printed paper lanterns for the Autumn Moon Festival with this design from the Hong Kong Artists’ Union:
… and then another of their designs onto shirts and scarves.