Shipping Crate

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My story begins with my father, a stowaway on a cargo ship, transported over vast oceans in a crate to a strange land, the “golden mountain.” Cultural heritage comes alive, when I share living memories, my oral history. Past comes into the present, if not only for a moment in conversation. We have common ground – a story of family, our first experience of community. “Coming out of the crate” my father faced the struggles and challenges of the immigrant American experience. The observance of ritual and tradition amidst multiculturalism in family
making posed a test of forbearance and cultural identity. As a second generation Chinese American, I have been inspired by my daughters and their peers to explore the question of identity. It has become more of a question of belonging, than “who do I think I am?”. This crate symbolizes the “container” that I have lived and viewed the world from. Engaging in this conversation in our multicultural world, has been one of inclusivity. We are one and the same, citizens of the world.

For more information on the work of the W.O.W. Project, please visit their website here.

Place(s): New York, NY

– Gary Lum, Wing On Wo & Co.

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant