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Writing the Names, Remembering the Legacy
Help Kimball Art Center’s curatorial team prepare a large-scale installation by Zhi Lin for our upcoming exhibition. “Chinaman’s Chance” on Promontory Summit: Golden Spike Celebration on Promontory Summit, 12:30 pm, 10th May 1869 reframes the history and experience of the Chinese workers who built our first transcontinental railroad. Much of their story has been lost, and today we know only 892 names of the more than 10,000 men who toiled and sacrificed in this extraordinary effort. On April 13, we will come together and write their names on individual pieces of railroad ballast. Through this process of inscription, Lin seeks to reclaim the visibility of these Chinese laborers.
We invite everyone in the community to be involved in this powerful project. No knowledge of Chinese is necessary. The names you will write are taken from the historical payroll records, and reflect simplified or abbreviated translations of Chinese names (for example, Chin Lee Hon or Ah Hin Gee).