Painting of Great Grandfather

Dong-Sheng - Great Grandfather
Dong-Sheng - Great Grandfather

When my great grandfather was little, both of his parents died leaving five children; three daughters and two sons. Now orphans, my great grandfather, Dong-Sheng, and his brother had to find ways to make money and to survive. They made money by buying flowers near where they lived and taking them into town and reselling them. They sold a lot of the flowers to some Japanese ladies who were shocked to discover that Dong-Sheng was poor, considering how smart he was. To give him a chance, they got him a job at the post office and enrolled him in a night time middle school. Once he finished middle school, he joined the Japanese police academy and got food, a place to sleep, and even a small salary. The picture was taken of my great grandfather which my great uncle painted years and years later. My great grandfather and my great uncle, Uncle Jou, were and are both very good artists. When Dong-Sheng was in elementary school, he used to brag about his artistic talent. His talent and love for art were passed down to his descendants. This artistic gene was clearly given to Uncle Jou, as he and his wife are both amazing painters. When we helped Uncle Jou move out of his house in Seattle, he gave us a few of his and his wife’s paintings to take home. Though they are all incredible, this particular one of Dong-Sheng in the police force is so meaningful to me, even more so now that I know all of the history behind the person in it. It was painted on a piece of Uncle Jou’s old curtains as a texture experiment. The painting hangs in my family room as a constant reminder of our history.

Place(s): Taiwan, Japan, Seattle

– SF

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more