Photographer Thomas Holton began taking pictures of the Lam family in 2002 and continued to do so, on and off, for 13 years. Writing about the project on his website, he says,
“The Lams of Ludlow Street” is an investigation into the life of one Chinese family living in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood. Growing up in New York City I have watched most people regard Chinatown simply as a tourist attraction and a weekend destination for dim sum and cheap counterfeit goods. While I have never lived in Chinatown, my grandparents do, and I knew that Chinatown was more than the stereotypical images seen in travel brochures and postcards. Although I am half-Chinese and have spent a considerable amount of time in Chinatown, I never experienced a bond or connection to the neighborhood or the culture; I always felt I was a visitor. At the beginning of this project, I knew I wanted to get behind closed doors and photograph more than the stereotypical images of Chinatown’s street scenes. I wanted to experience more of the daily life of Chinatown.
Holton will be at the Chatham Square Library (33 East Broadway) tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. to share his photos (which have been made into a book) and discuss the intimate experience of photographing the ups and downs of the Lam family.