March 2, 2015

  • happy new year of the ram


    I guess it's now a tradition with me to spend the last hours and the first hours of the lunar new year in Chinatown. Not that many Chinese come out to celebrate the stroke of midnight of the lunar new year. Many prefer to stay home. I guess it's because home is safe and you wouldn't run into any bad luck when you're on the outside.

    I remember back in 1977 when I was out for the lunar new year I got jumped by the Hop Sing Boyz at Kum Hon restaurant and nearly killed. So I myself is fairly wary of such running into bad luck on lunar new year night. Sun nin lao lao like they would say. Many of those who jumped me experienced a lot of bad luck in their lives following that incident.

    Chinatown has mostly white people and hipsters walking around burning firecrackers and fireworks. The intersections of Grant and Washington becomes naturally blocked with people just throwing firecrackers. Li Po bar....Buddha bar.... mostly whites going crazy.

    For me I hang out at Red's Place. A handful of us old Chinatown boys are there to celebrate. This year Red's had the biggest fireworks display. More like people bringing fireworks and setting them off by Red's. There was a string of firecrackers that went down half a block and two hexagons hanging.

    I video'd it with my Sony A6000 but unfortunately there's no sound for some reason.

February 13, 2015

  • I am a Fongie!

    I too was inspired by Rocky Gunn's feature on Life magazine in 1982 to further pursue wedding photography.  I attended several of Rocky's seminars and speeches.  I didn't have a car in those days.  I remember taking the Golden Gate Transit bus to the Marin Civic Auditorium theatre for Rocky's seminar.  It was amazing because he too was a Chinese American who grew up in San Francisco's North Beach.

    I've been following Gary F*ng ever since he spoke at our PPGBA meeting around that time.  He later started a digital photography forum call Digital Photographers Network (circa 2001) back in the early days of the internet before social media.  He highly recommended the Fuji S2 (2002) back then.  I've been a Fuji user since then with the S3 and S5 (2007) which I still consider my main camera though it's been eight years since it first came out.

    Recently he spoke glowingly of the Sony A6000 and highly recommended it.  I own a Sony A6000 because of him.  I am a Fongie!

    This very blog that you're reading is a result of Gary F*ng.  At a WPPI seminar he told everyone to start a blog on Xanga and to do the life membership too which I did and still  have this blog running to this day.

    Gary invented a light modifier to put on the flash which gives a much more pleasing softer light than a harsh direct flash.  I've been a faithful user of the Light sphere from the beginning.

    Gary became rich beyond his wildest dream from his invention of the Lightsphere and the starting and selling of a successful company called Pictage for millions.

    He built a beautiful house in Kelowna, BC, Canada.  Married and have two beautiful twins.   Though I never really personally met him nor talked to him, I was happy for his success.  He  is very public person and shares his life on social media.

    I found out recently that his house in Kelowna burnt to the ground.

    Home Destroyed in Ellison Fire Belonged to World Famous Photographer

    Fortunately the family and him were away and no one was hurt.  I posted this news article on my FB page.  I mentioned how he was enjoying success and now this unfortunate fire happens.  What karma.  I was actually sad for him.

    I immediately got a really nasty response from Gary with profanity and cursing in the comments and text.  He then unfriended me on FB.  I guess he took it the wrong way.

    He did mention it on his twitter;

    "I think perhaps it is time that I seek professional counseling. Not sure what is going on, I seem a bit touchy." 

    PS:  *the reason why I put an asterisk in the name is because I don't want him to see this.  I'm afraid he'll take it the wrong way again.


February 10, 2015

  • Chinatown 2AM

    Awaking from a three hour nap in the car in front of the old Great Star Theater in Chinatown.



    In my next life

    I would like to be an octopus

    I can get more things done

    with my eight arms

    It's been really tough trying to get so many things done in this life.





















February 8, 2015

February 6, 2015

  • A Local Joint


    This is a draft by Ryan Wong of an exhibit in the planning stages with New York photographer, Corky Lee and I at the Chinese Culture Center sometimes next year.  They're trying to raise $30K to produce this exhibit.  A book will be printed with this exhibit.


    A Local Joint

    Leland Wong and Corky Lee

    Picture Chinatown

    No neighborhoods in the American imagination are as densely layered, as at once familiar and unknown, as its Chinatowns.  Leland Wong and Corky Lee have been two of Chinatown’s most faithful chroniclers, advocates, and community members, for much of the last forty years living and working in San Francisco and New York Chinatowns, respectively.

    Thirty-five years ago, they exhibited photographs together at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco in Not on the Menu; in the decades since, their bodies of work have grown in proportion to the vast shifts in their Chinatowns. Another exhibition is due.

    Both had their careers sparked by the Asian American movement that swept through the country in the 1970s and fundamentally reshaped the cultural lives of Chinatowns.

    Leland Wong, born and raised in San Francisco Chinatown, attended and developed some of the first Asian American studies courses at San Francisco State. He learned his artistic craft there and at the new arts group, Kearny Street Workshop; since the 70s, he has designed flyers for the annual Nihonmachi Street Fair.

    Corky Lee moved to Chinatown in the early 1970s to become part of the seminal Basement Workshop and to document the protests and rallies of the movement there. He documented and contributed to burgeoning programs like the Chinatown Health Fair and the Asian American Arts Alliance.

    Since those early years of activism and grassroots artmaking, both Chinatowns have seen constant transformation. The 1965 Immigration Act sparked a fundamental reshaping of their demographics, size, economy, and social life.  San Francisco saw the razing and later rebuilding of the International Hotel, the creation of grassroots walking tours, the encorachment of gentrifiers in the real estate boom.

    In New York, Chinatown spread outwards to Queens and Sunset Park, has sparked restaurant and garment work strikes, survived the shockwaves of 9/11, been reshaped by an influx of Fujianese immigrants. Wong and Lee have been on the scene to document all of this. In their photographs, we see the elder ‘bachelor society’ sitting in the park, lion dances and hip hop concerts, activists taking to the streets, youth in arts classes and on handball courts.  We see Chinatown unsentimentalized, rendered in photographs as one would document a family through the years: turning points, trials, renewals.

    Any time spent in either Chinatown will reveal that Wong and Lee are known and respected by everyone—they are a constant presence, dedicated to the community that supports them and which inspires their art practices. These photos, then, are almost like notebooks, memories of lives spent in the neighborhoods. It is a pleasure to hear Lee and Wong talk about their photographs. Both can recall details of hundreds of the people in their photographs: some deceased, some moved away, some gone on to become nationally-recognized figures, many still living and working in the neighborhood.

    Photography, for them, is an exercise in building a collective visual memory. Chinese in America, so often either made exotic or removed from the master’s picture frame altogether, are given a home in these photographs. Lee and Wong use their cameras as vessels to make the exotic familiar, to make history personal.

    —Ryan Lee Wong

February 1, 2015

  • a translated article about Suey Sing Tong





    United States Chamber of Commerce and Crafts wins Tour of Chinatown

    San Francisco's Chinatown has six overseas compatriot, including Zhi Gong, Crafts wins British side, impartially, Hip Sing, together wins, five behind all sources of overseas compatriot Zhi Gong. This column from this week introduced one by one.

    United States Chamber of Commerce and Crafts wins by Yuya Di Initiative, and in 1867 years (Qing Tongzhi 6 years) was established, initially named "Cui Sheng Tong" members only dozens of people, site of Jackson Street in Chinatown are now Lin Jiagong address, and then had to move to the current Liang Zhongxiao Church address.

    Due to the increasing number of members, in 1917, initiated by S. W. Leung, Chen Yao worship, Wu Yun three proposed purchase of the permanent site, get all the brothers of the response and support successful results under both boards Street in Chinatown to buy 925 No. building, this building before and after Blocks building completely renovated after 1918 was officially opened, the nation has since become a permanent foundation and Crafts Association wins.

    Then set up a "Crafts Sing", which belongs to the Chinese traditional overseas compatriot to "combine righteousness," a class of groups, as well as other similar groups "Hesheng Church", "Bing Gongtang", etc. The purpose is to take care of each other, to protect their interests, seeking self-defense, etc. . Later, due to the changing status of overseas Chinese, the relationship between the various imports Church began gradually evolved into "a combination of interest" between them began to appear all kinds of conflicts of interest, when the Church fighting incident, so those Westerners gradually produced overseas compatriot heart contempt, so the Chinese community into disrepute.

    "Cui Sheng Tong" Faced with this situation, the decision to change. In 1925 years, "Cui Sheng Tong" Third Family Reunion Conference, the then Prime Minister Yu Masaaki proposed "Church" to "will" get a number of brothers in the attached proposed and accepted by the General Assembly in order to protect the reputation of Chinese. Since then, "Cui Sheng Tong" has officially changed its name to "Crafts wins Chamber of Commerce."

    With the continuous expansion of the conference, in addition to stripping wins Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, there are around the country will offer support, the highest total period of 10 months Branch, namely the Federation of San Francisco, Oakland Branch, Murray allowed Branch , Stockton Branch, City Glenealy Branch, earthern bowl Royalton Branch, dig carefully appointed Branch, Scotia Road Branch to the Branch, Branch homes margin, net since Lee Branch.

    After several decades of years, with the changing environment and population structure of the country, always wins and Crafts structure and support will be re-combination, in recent years, the province has set up branch in Romania, the formation of the Federation today in San Francisco, called "United States Chamber of Commerce and Crafts wins" to Oakland, Murray allowed, homes Road (Seattle), Stockton, Oakland earthern bowl, City Glenealy, seven Angeles Branch which consists of overseas Chinese business groups.

    The purpose of founding and Crafts wins Chamber of Commerce is to contact the overseas Chinese business people all walks of life, to promote overseas Chinese industrial and commercial prosperity, enthusiastic Qiaoshe welfare and safeguard the interests of Chinese, now increased to encourage Chinese politics, the right to fight for justice, patriotic, promote Sino-US relations, as well as liaison brothers, etc. to promote the conference to make it more perfect aim. In the past, always voting members from each branch of the US election the Prime Minister, are known as "Sir", and can be connected to a third term.
    Today, there is always at an annual 11 vote to accept the beginning of January, in the primaries, will always be 50 bits are the sponsors selected 25 -bit staff, then cover selected elected deputy prime minister, following either by waiting Prime Minister held a meeting to elect officers subjects, and in each year 1 month 1 day inauguration. At present, the Prime Minister can not even two wins and Crafts either; can serve four prime minister who can get promoted to veterans.

    Crafts wins early application to join, to buy $ 20 per floor share, in the year is already a month's wages of ordinary workers. Until 1941 , at the annual meeting of the co-extraction wins are deleted, then, where the application inductees, just pay dues. Early Crafts wins members, mostly in restaurants, restaurants, agriculture, commerce, industry businessman laundry shop, so that the rich and powerful seem thick and Crafts wins the whole, therefore, early wins in the overseas Chinese are called Crafts "rich guy hall."
    Chamber of Commerce and Crafts Crafts wins wins always have a strong patriotism. As early as 1939 years 2 months Treasure Island in San Francisco organized by the "World's Fair" China coincided with the war, unable to participate. The then Prime Minister Mr. Zhou Rui Sheng Crafts spirit "everyone is responsible," the heart, and actively organize overseas Chinese, self-funded exhibition; they quickly set up a " Chinese businessmen Showground Corporation " , raising 25 million dollars to build the most prominent "China village. "
    New China in 1949, since the founding of Commerce and Crafts wins more committed to supporting the construction of the motherland, to actively participate in various patriotic activities such as the annual celebration of National Day, disaster relief donations, etc. to celebrate the return of Hong Kong and Macau. In 1972 , the Chamber of Commerce and Crafts wins by a motion put forward by veteran Zhou Rui, in the People's Republic of China Federation of Building hoisted the flag, but when the time is not yet ripe but not implemented.

    To the 1994 founding of the People's Republic of China on 45 anniversary, by the then Prime Minister of the pool to make a formal implementation of the fiscal dragon flag-raising motion at the joint meeting. In 1994 years 9 months 17 days, Crafts wins Chamber of Commerce held a grand flag-raising ceremony, to become the nation's first overseas compatriot traditional hoisting of the national flag. On that day, Crafts invited successive wins Chinese Consul General in San Francisco to attend the flag-raising ceremony, unprecedented.

    Posted 27th March 2011 by iGoldenlink blog Share

  • Membership at the PPGBA


    Wow...the membership at PPGBA has really dropped. I remember the days when we had enough trays to cover an entire table. That's really sad. What has happened? I can only guess. A number of factors.

    I ask myself, we I joined this organization over thirty years ago. I did for the monthly speaker which I expanded my knowledge of photography and keep me interested and continuing to grew as a photographer. I did it for education. The PPGBA sponsored the annual Golden Gate School of Professional Photography which I faithfully attended for many years.

    I did it for the comraderie and networking. Meeting other photographers and seeing what they're doing. Giving each other support. Assisting each other if we needed to know what to get...the latest equipment...the mean church ladies...a helping hand.

    Things began turning as soon as digital photography became the regular standard for photography. People coming into photography nowadays do not consider photography to be a profession. For many, photography is not their main profession. They hold day jobs.

    People used to come from afar to attend the meetings. That seems to be no longer the case. There are so many youtube movies where you can learn so much about photography. Why bother driving all the way from San Jose when you can watch a youtube movie or order a DVD about a certain aspect of photography.

    For many photographers I knew, many are no longer in the business neither. Or at least on a full time basis. Business has really dwindled for many as well as I.

    I'm sure the board of the organization is trying to figure out what direction the group will go in these changing times. It will be interesting to see what will evolve in the near future.

    I will continue to be a member. I will try to attend every one of their meetings. It's not that far for me. And being a life member, I'm paying only half the full membership. :)

January 29, 2015

January 28, 2015

  • Life is Too Damn Short!


    Harding passed away. A small memorial was held.


    Laura Lai, the wife of the late Him Mark Lai, passed away.

    But we're still alive! Enjoy each and every day!
    There's been as many as six deaths of people I know this last year.

    "Life is too damn short!" Like what one of my photo instructers, Don Blair, used to say.

January 27, 2015

  • page 3 photo


    My breakfast at midnight. Ham and cheese omelet with hash brown. Which means I slept from 7pm to 12:30am.


    The white panhandler on Stockton Street in Chinatown is doing a brisk business. He is envisioning a $100 bill. He has his goal set.


    Looks like this guy is in charge of the vegetable stand. Making sure no one hao-yeh.


    Karen and Corky was in town.


    Everybody loves Chinese food.


    Chinatown just installed these new public trash receptacles. The are all overflowing and getting garbage all over the streets.