Painting + Drawing Professor Zhi Lin has refocused attention on the forgotten yet vital history of the Chinese laborers from an iconic moment in American history. Thousands of men migrated from China to seek fortunes in the gold mines of California but, instead, many found work building the transcontinental railroads. Celebrated as a technical marvel in its day, the transcontinental railroad was built and constructed in less than a decade, from 1860 to 1869, due largely to the contributions by Chinese who cut through the mountains and deserts of the American west. The absence of Chinese laborers from American history books is an animating force in Lin’s work.
Lin’s paintings carry significant resonance in our region. Through his works, learn more about the legacy of contentious labor relations during the construction of the railroads, racism, and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
This exhibition is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts. Seasonal Support is provided by ArtsFund.
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