View from Gold Mountain 2019
View from Gold Mountain is a two-story sculpture based on the landmark 1884
court case “Territory of New Mexico vs.Yee Shun” allowing Chinese and non-
Christians to testify in a court of law.
The View From Gold Mountain project uses symbols and metaphors that refer
not only to Chinese culture and to honor the Yee Shun case, but are universally
understood by cultures from around the globe. During the Gold Rush, the people
in China called America the Gold Mountain. They came to America to seek their
fortunes and find the pot of gold to send or take home. Immigrants from other
regions also came to that Gold Mountain for similar reasons. Instead, like Yee
Shun and the Chinese, because of their skin color, culture, country of origin or
other differences they found hardship, starvation, death, murder, and
disillusionment not to mention loss of family. The pot of gold was more often than
not only an illusive dream. After decades of persistence and through the Rule of
Law, the Chinese found justice imbedded in the three branches of government:
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, which together strive to achieve the ultimate
“balance” of justice and equality.
A plumb bob is used as a metaphor for “balance” in the scales of justice. “A
plumb sways for a time and ultimately finds balance.” While the Yee Shun case
did not provide that “balance” or justice during his lifetime, the scales of justice
ultimately found equilibrium and balance in the changing of the law to provide
access to justice for the Chinese and for all who call America home.