Ming Quong Mural, 2017, NUMU New Museum, Los Gatos
Ming Quong/Eastfield Mural
This mural charts the journey of heroine, Donaldina Cameron, from her early days rescuing young girls in Chinatown from prostitution and slavery to their stay at Mills College in 1915 and finally, arriving in Los Gatos, at the “Baby House”, Ming Quong Spreckles Estate in Los Gatos.
This mural was conceived and constructed in three parts: the log books, the painted running landscape which follows the journey from San Francisco to Los Gatos, and the “Cameo” appearances of the important people who make up this amazing story.
The Log Books:
I decided to use copies of the original orphanage log books as the backdrop for this mural honoring the valiant efforts to create a home for these young girls and women.
The Painted Landscape:
I have painted the landscape that begins with an early image of Donaldina overseeing a child- rescue from a fire escape. As the black and white painted landscape unfolds, I have included the architecture of pre- and post 1906 earthquake in Chinatown, moving south -east to Oakland (Mills College hidden between lush eucalyptus), and finally, through the orchards of Santa Clara Valley and San Jose, landing in Los Gatos at the Spreckles Estate.
The images that are featured as “cameos” include two images of Donaldina; when she was young (on the left side of the panel) and when she was older (on the right). Sprinkled throughout are portraits of the girls and their “sisters” who lived in the Eastside Ming Quong residence. I have connected all of these young women throughout history using and chains elaboratejewelry as a metaphor for connection, unification and beauty.