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First Son: Portraits by C.D. Hoy

March 16, 2000 - March 16, 2000

Born in China in 1883, C.D. Hoy moved to the Central Interior of British Columbia in 1902 to seek his fortune in gold mining. Meeting with limited success he established a trading post in Fort St. James, learning the Native Carrier language before learning English. In 1912, he set up a photography studio and watch repair business in Barkerville. Over the next decade he produced over 1400 portraits in this rural community. Initially, his subjects were Chinese men, anxious to send home portraits of themselves to loved ones in China, but they grew to include members of the Native and white communities. Of miners, ranchers, trappers and families, the portraits elucidate not only the faces but also the clothes, the work and the rough-hewn materials of the frontier. Taken as a collection, these moving and exquisite photographs depict a multicultural community frozen in time, and are as rich, varied and vital as the people they portray.

Curator, Faith Moosang has worked extensively with various communities to identify the subjects in the photographs and research information about Hoy himself. The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial book with 96 photographs, an in-depth essay by Faith plus a foreword by author Paul Yee.

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