胡 | WHO
This is a project about my family history.
In 1936, my great grandmother migrated from China to Malaysia with her son, leaving her husband and daughter behind. That son she left with was my grandfather and he was 2 years old when he left his hometown. In Malaysia, my great grandmother remarried a man by the surname of Lim. Initially, my grandfather’s surname was Hu. After the marriage, he adopted his stepfather’s surname, Lim. Therefore, my surname is now Lim. I am supposed to be a descendant of Hu, but I grew up as a descendant of Lim.
My grandfather reconnected with his sister and cousin after being separated for 60 years. He has been visiting China often since then. In December 2012, I travelled to Hokkien, China with my grandfather and documented the first part of this project. The second part of the series was done in Malaysia & Singapore. By juxtaposing the scenes between Malaysia/Singapore and China, I hope to engage the viewers to study the similarities and differences between the countries.
The title of this project (Who) resembles the pronunciation of 胡(Hu). It also echoes my anxiety for being unable to distinguish my own roots.
Photographs & Text: Wilfred Lim, Malaysia | Website: www.wilfredweegee.com
胡 | WHO, by Wilfred Lim was also the prize winner of the IPA Photo Book Asia Award 2013 (Unique Edition).