Shift Series

This series utilizes an 1885 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of one of the largest former Chinatowns of San José, California, which was destroyed by arson as the city was transitioning from gas to electric lighting; the city was undergoing a massive citywide "beautification" to complete this modernization, and officials saw Chinatown, in the center of downtown, as an impediment to this end.

Using San José's digital archives, I digitally pieced the Chinatown together, transferred a xerox copy of this to a lithographic stone, printed the map on antique tracing paper, fragmented these, and collaged them into these monoprints taken from copper etching plates. Pieces of contemporary Chinese-American newspapers are incorporated as well.