Hollywood Chinese:

The Chinese in American Feature Films

Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films will be a lushly illustrated pictorial that explores the power of images and their impact. Originating from Arthur Dong’s documentary Hollywood Chinese, the book will spotlight archival material selected from some 1,500 pieces of movie memorabilia the filmmaker collected since childhood and during the ten-year research for his documentary.

“The Cat’s Paw” lobby card, front (l-r):Harold Lloyd and Alyn Warren (1934).

This singular treasure trove of artifacts includes posters, lobby cards, stills, press kits, and other ephemera that reflect social and cultural attitudes on race over the past century, and how those attitudes played out in Hollywood. Through the pages of Hollywood Chinese, filmmaker/author Arthur Dong curates this material to trace ways the film industry ingrained a particular cinematic imagination of the Chinese into American culture and consciousness. Although Hollywood Chinese centers on the Chinese, its analysis will resonant with other ethnic and marginalized groups as well, challenging prejudiced assumptions about minorities in America.

“The Curse of Quon Gwon” with Violet Wong (1916).

As a countermeasure to Hollywood’s yellow-faced and whitewashed caricatures, a key component in Hollywood Chinese highlights film artists, presenting chronicles of resistance that will empower readers with alternative narratives that inspire. These stories range from filmmakers and actors Like Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, and David Henry Hwang that were interviewed for the documentary, to pioneers like Marion Wong who directed the earliest feature film by an Asian American in 1917.

Hollywood Chinese will be written by OscarĀ® nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong, author of the American Book Award-winning Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs 1936-1970.

Scheduled publication date: October, 2019. Hardcover. Approximately 300 pages. Over 450 illustrations. Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films will be published by Angel City Press.

Can’t wait? Limited copies of the Hollywood Chinese exhibition catalogue are still available for purchase here.