1947- 1950

Ben Chinn was born in Chinatown in San Francisco and lived in the family house there his entire life.  Unlike others who had photographed this unique neighborhood, he knew it instinctively and intimately, capturing moments in a way no outsider could.


“Rarely has Chinatown been photographed skillfully, for the sake of art, by one of its own residents -- by someone who knows Chinatown up close, as the site of home and work and day-to-day life.   Chinn's photographs artfully explore the dignity of Chinatown's residents, the differences between the generations of old and new Chinese, and the coexistence of interweaving of Chinese and American cultures.”


Dennis J. Reed, Dean of Fine, Performing and Media Arts at L.A. Valley College,

in Asian Art in America.

© 2020 Benjamen Chinn Photographic Archive.

All images used with permission