The Journey of Lifetime: Wong’s Immigration Story
December 23, 2023

In Chinese Modern history, we have a few well-known migration waves to places such as Northeast, Xikou, Tea-horse ancient road, Nanyang and San Francisco. My great-grandfather, Ong Kok Thin, followed the Nanyang migration wave to Malaya after the mid 20th century. Recollections from my childhood memories and looking through family portraits and photo albums had reminded me of the existence of my great-grandfather. By looking at the blessed quotes on the wall, I comprehend my family’s vision. It motivates me to embark on a journey to trace my family history. I went through a few processes including coloring my great-grandfather’s black and white picture, applying the technique of reconstruction of objects and scenes, taking photos for every family member and comparing the old and new photos. These processes provide me the material I need to recreate the years of journeys that my forefather came through to enhance the concept of self-identity. From that, I am able to connect the dots using family identity, history and memories and use it to rethink the relationship of photography, space and memories.


About Artist

Wong Boon Jun, born in 1998, is a Malaysia-based photographer. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree of Arts in Photography at the Communication University of China in Beijing. Often touched by the beauty around him, Boon Jun has developed the passion to express the complex human relationships he observed through photography. He combines historical and contemporary material with the goal of producing a visual dialogue that transcends time and speaks into the future. His work frequently combines digital composites with analogue and alternative procedures, as well as elements of mixed media. His primary interests are origin and identity, as well as tracing memory, emotions, time, and culture change, which shift our view of history. Since 2018, Boon Jun's photographic works have been exhibited in galleries and photo festivals locally and around the Asia region. In 2022, he was nominated The 2nd BANSHAN PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD TOP 30+. In 2021, his < Grandfather's Journey: A Chinese immigrant story > work is awarded the Excellent Student Work Award by the 2021 Pingyao International Photography Festival, 5th Communication University of China Trade Union.