Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese-Americans
Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese-Americans
Angel Island history

Former Angel
Island detainees

Beck H. Gee
Helen Wong Hom
Lester Tom Lee
Henry S. H. Gee

Traveling photo exhibition

How you can
support this project

About Lydia Lum


I am seeking Chinese immigrants who were detained at Angel Island immigration station in San Francisco Bay. I am interviewing them and photographing them at their homes around the country.

I am creating a permanent record of the memories of these immigrants. It is a traveling photo exhibition with quotes from the former detainees.

So far, the interviews I have done have shown hardships, racial discrimination and sometimes-long interrogations. But the people also made a lot of efforts to lead normal lives while being detained. A lot of young children actually made new friends and played games to pass the time at Angel Island.

This is a national project I am freelancing independently. I am racing the clock because the former detainees are aging.

I am a professional journalist and have worked for several daily newspapers and magazines.

Please contact me at if you or someone you know was detained at Angel Island and is still alive. The only restriction I have is that the person must still be living.

Most of the detainees I have interviewed so far have been at least 60 years old, Cantonese and immigrated between 1910-1950.

This project is important to continue while these Chinese elders are still living. Angel Island immigration station is a little-known aspect of U.S. history.

Thanks for your support!

Lydia Lum