SELECTED INTAGLIO WORKS
TRIBUTE | GUM MOON GIRLS
4-COLOR PLATE ETCHING WITH AQUATINT - 2019
In 2018 my cousin Jeffrey L. Staley published a book titled "Gum Moon." This novel of San Francisco Chinatown was based upon events about our Chinese family history - The coming of age story of my great-grandmother, Maud Lai Don, a woman I never knew.
Maud, my "Tai-Po" was one of many "Gum Moon" orphan girls who was rescued by the Asian Women's Residence Center home in San Francisco Chinatown in 1898. Gum Moon (Cantonese for "Gold Door" or "Golden Gate" was a remarkable home to many young immigrant Asian girls who were saved from a life of debt slavery, violence, and sexual abuse in San Francisco during the late 1800's to early 1900's.
Her story is a unique one, and is something our family is very moved by. We only recently learned about what happened to Maud and the mysterious circumstances of her young life thanks to Jeffrey's incredible dedication and research on this subject.
I met Jeffrey face to face for the first time in Berkeley while on his Bay Area book tour for "Gum Moon." As a direct descendant of Maud's, I felt inspired to create this four-color plate etching as a personal tribute while I was completing my certificate in Printmaking Arts at Diablo Valley College in 2019. This etching is based on one of the only known photographed postcards we have of Maud in traditional Chinese attire taken in 1902. In the image, Maud Lai is the young girl who stands on the left, and another young orphan named Josephine stands on the right.
The slideshow features images of the "Gum Moon Girls" etchings being created at Diablo Valley College.