Through Chinese Whispers: Bay Chronicles, lead artist Rene Yung continued her exploration of the untold stories of Chinese immigrants to the San Francisco Bay Area through a multifaceted research and development process that culminated in an installation at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Visitor’s Center. She also created an eight-minute video, a take-away foldout map, and a soundscape that was accessible online.
The project focused on the shrimping industry that Chinese immigrants established around the Bay in the 19th century, including sites at San Francisco’s Hunters Point, China Camp in Marin, and near Redwood City. With her project team of artists, scholars, and Maritime Museum staff, Yung sailed on Grace Quan, a replica 19th century Chinese shrimp junk, to sites of these former Chinese fisheries. They chronicled the journeys through visual, audio, and textual documentation and conduct public programs at each landing site. This documentation was compiled and transformed into the installation.
Rene Yung’s art practice has grown from mixed media installations to large-scale social projects that connect community, place, and history. The Creative Work Fund project continues Yung’s multi-faceted work uncovering the historical role and experience of the Chinese in helping to build the settlements of the American West.
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park celebrates and interprets the cultural diversity of the Bay Area’s maritime history. Its extensive archives and collections include five National Historic Landmark ships, a maritime museum, visitor center, Aquatic Park Historic District, and a maritime library.