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Discover the book about the united states' oldest Chinatown

Chinatown book San Francisco book cover


Photographs by Dick Evans
Text by Kathy Chin Leong

Hardcover, 11 x 11 inches, 208 pages

Full-color images throughout 

ISBN-  978-1-59714-520-6 

Published by Heyday.

SRP - $40.00

Publication Date: October 2020

For bulk purchases and special orders contact

chinatown is the third in a series of contemporary documentary photography books by San Francisco resident and photographer Dick Evans – following his initial book in 2014 of Haight Ashbury and his 2017 award winning book on The Mission. His approach in each case has been to develop an in-depth understanding of each neighborhood through close collaboration with leading non-profits, community organizations, artists and local businesses. In this book he collaborates with freelance writer Kathy Chin Leong, who has conducted over 100 interviews in the course of writing the text, captions and sidebar stories that provide context to the images. Over the coming months, this website will feature in-depth images and back stories of subjects included in the book – e.g. the neighborhood’s history, traditions, celebrations, businesses, non-profits and many of the colorful residents that make Chinatown so intriguing and resilient. All revenue from book sales will be donated to collaborating non-profit organizations. 


book trailer


''As far as I am concerned, this is the best book on Chinatown. The book was so well written and all things Chinatown were told with such clarity!  And the photographs were stunning!  Our neighborhood can be so much prouder of its history and heritage, thanks to you two!! I can't thank you enough for creating such an important book for our community.  It will be enjoyed for years to come!! ''                     

- Betty Louie | Advisor Chinatown Merchants Association. 

''The unique imprints of different eras are presented, as if readers travel through the corridor of time and read "of the many things from ancient to modern". Evans shoots in the context of the times.  Leong introduces the history, tourism, daily life, and celebrations of the Chinatown community through clear text descriptions. ''

–World Journal, The Nation’s #1 Chinese Newspaper 

''You have given us a synopsis of history, cultural, political, personal -- it's pretty amazing.  And while delivering so much content, the book yet evinces a great spirit of the place as well.  I love photo books with text -- it's a great combination, two modalities of perception that together make more than the sum of their styles.''

- Mary Ellen Hannibal, Author Citizen Scientist 

the authors

Dick Evans

Dick Evans is a San Francisco–based photographer with an interest in documenting the colorful and rapidly changing neighborhoods of the city. Born into a ranching family in Eugene, Oregon, he graduated as an engineer from Oregon State University and subsequently obtained a master’s in management from Stanford. He has spent his fifty-year career in the global metals sector, living in five countries and multiple locations in Africa, Europe, and North America. It was during these travels that he developed an appreciation for the diversity and richness of different cultures—both global and local—and an interest in documentary photography.

Kathy Chin Leong

Kathy Chin LEong is an award-winning journalist with articles published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Books, Sunset Magazine, and many other newspapers and magazines.  As a second-generation ABC (American-born Chinese), she grew up in San Francisco’s Sunset district, and spent nearly every weekend in Chinatown visiting her grandmother and helping her mother shop for groceries.  While she has travelled the globe to Lebanon, France, Thailand, and Canada, rediscovering her Chinatown roots through collaboration on this book has been a journey of a lifetime.  Kathy lives in Sunnyvale, California with her devoted husband Frank Leong Jr. and is the proud mother of two grown children, Gwendolyn and Aaron.

chinese cultural center

Chinese culture center of san francisco is one of the leading and most prominent cultural and social centers in the city of San Francisco. Founded in 1965,  the Chinese Culture Foundation opened its primary program site, Chinese Culture Center (CCC) in 1973. CCC has over five decades of experience embedded in the community leading complex public art projects and events supported by Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, among others. CCC was selected for the prestigious “Our Town” grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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