Forever, Chinatown

January 31, 2020

Emmy-nominated Forever, Chinatown is the most enchanting and salutary documentary film I have ever viewed. Director James Chan explores the remarkable psychological and physical embodiment of “sense of place” exuded by the artistic creations of 81-year-old artist Frank Wong. His art consists of several miniature 3D dioramas constructed to depict rooms evoked by memories of his youth as a resident of San Francisco Chinatown. Viewers familiar with peep miniatures (e.g., 3D idyllic scenes within Hallmark eggs) or, more interactive dioramas (e.g., doll houses) will likely be agape at the exquisite realism contained in Mr. Wong’s “miniatures.” Forever, Chinatown shares the significance they hold for Mr. Wong. Most fortunate, we are also treated to a glimpse of his everyday life in his beloved Chinatown, where he shares his charm and artistic craft with his family, friends, and the wider community. 

Read full review in The Gerontologist.