Immigrant Identity

America is a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who came in search of a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better. These images tell the stories of immigrants and their struggles in a new country.


Banner Image Cultural Integration

Geographical surrounding pose significant influence on cultural formation and my roots in Northeastern China have shaped me deeply. This is compounded when I attempt to integrate into culture of Bay Area, where has totally different geography and social landscape from my hometown. I expressed this internal cultural confrontation by exploring the geographical influences imposed by places that I once lived and am currently living. The Hukou Waterfall on the left side is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, China. The combination of two different colors of water represents the integration of eastern and western cultures.

– Chenyu Shi & Shan Lu


Quotes supplement these illustrations. Like looking at a gallery: look at the image first, and then read the quote if it piques your interest.

– Ben Mallit

“In language, in thought, in ideals, in customs, in everything, I was American.But America wouldn’t have me...I thought I was American, but America wouldn’t have me. OnceI was American, but America made a foreigner out of me...a foreigner to any country.” --​TheSecond Generation Oriental in America

“Korean immigrants in the United States ‘saw themselves ​inextricablylinked​ to their compatriots geographically dispersed across national boundaries and borders.’ ”--​The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History

“They are Americans and why should they speak a language that might classifythem with the ​‘Chinks’​ or the ​‘Japs​?’ ” – ​The Second Generation Oriental in America