A New Picture Book Invites You Inside Chinatown

"highly readable history of the Chinese community in Victoria"
"insight... and glitter in a way that manages to be respectful and a little chatty at the same time"
"compelling are the images that appear on almost every page"
"a glimpse of a parallel and previously unknown world"
"its beautiful, respectful pages make an important contribution to our understanding"
Lucinda Chodan, editor in chief of the Times Colonist, September 13, 2009


Now, for the first time, you are invited into the private clubs of the oldest Chinatown in North America. Ravishing full-colour panoramic photo-collages show every one of the meeting halls of Victoria's Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. Here is a unique look into a tradition unbroken since the Chinese arrived on Canadian shores in 1858.

Beginning with an essay and photos of the history from the Gold Rush, the building of the Railway, the Head Tax and Exclusion Act, the story brings us up to date with an inside look at a vibrant community which is now the toast of the Canadian cultural mosaic. In 29 chapters, one on each member organization, colour pictures show the places and activities of the clubs. The history of each group has been written with consultation from their members.

Here are temples, opera orchestras, kung fu clubs and much more, presented in their own colourful headquarters. Unparalleled photographs of the antiques and art treasures of Chinatown are matched with a careful text in both Chinese and English. This book is a delight to look into, and is sure to become the landmark text of a subject of compelling historical interest.

Victoria artist Robert Amos and Kileasa Wong, secretary of the CCBA, have been gathering pictures of the CCBA's activities and meeting halls for more than twelve years. Amos and editor Kileasa Wong visited and photographed all the private clubs of Chinatown, focusing on the shrines and altars, the art and antiques which richly adorn these rooms.

Inside Chinatown by Robert Amos and Kileasa Wong,
160 pages, hardcover, colour throughout, $44.95.
ISBN 978-1-894898-91-1

Available at bookstores or at the Amos studio (open by appointment)
1129 McKenzie Street, (in the Cook Street Village), Victoria

or contact: Robert Amos,
telephone 250-389-0303

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