Beginning at the End:
Portraits of Dementia by Joe Wallace

© 2019 Joe Wallace

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Alice Chin

Alice Chin was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1923. At the age of six, she moved with her parents and siblings to Boston’s Chinatown. When she was 14 years old, she made her first camera out of a cardboard box. She loved photography and never left her house without a camera. At 19, Alice was the only Chinese-American girl in metro Boston to take the National Youth Administration’s mechanical training program. During the war, Alice worked at the NYA machine shop running lathes, grinders, shapers and other machine tools producing war materials for the United States and its allies. After the war she worked with machines at Gillette and moved to Nuclear Metals as a photographer. Alice remained an avid photographer, setting up a darkroom in her pantry and loved making portraits of her coworkers’ children in her kitchen.