Excavation #1

This is the first piece from my parents’ photo collection that I made. I found this group of forgotten images on my last visit to see my folks. It was all neatly wound in plastic that I don’t think anyone has opened since at least 1983 when we emigrated out of Indonesia. My father was in Indonesia and did not speak Chinese, though he was ethnic Chinese. By 1966-67 it had been enacted into law that all Chinese writings were forbidden. Chinese schools were closed down and speaking/reading Chinese were at the least discouraged, at the most forbidden. When I asked my father who this was, he said it was probably his brother, but he wasn’t sure. For many years, maybe 50(?) my father did not know what the writing on the back of this photo meant. I had to ask my facebook friends what this meant. It was a simple note from older brother to younger brother (my father) and that this was taken in Formosa Island. My father was grateful to know. This young man is my uncle. He died in a traffic accident, according to my father who said a priest in Taiwan related this news to them via another priest, which is probably why my father is so religious– because the church did things like smuggled personal letters.

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