By: The Lum Family
The Lum family–Raymond (b. 1952), Sharon (née Gibb, b. 1948) and their eldest daughter Julia (b. 1982)–are from Vancouver (Mitchell, b. 1988, and Victoria, b. 1990 were not present for the interview). Raymond’s adoptive parents emigrated from the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province, China, and were members of Vancouver’s diasporic community who came to Canada during a period of discriminatory race-based immigration laws (the head tax, 1885-1923; the Chinese Immigration Act, 1923-1947). “Tommy” Ming Lum came to Canada in 1922 and Irene Lum (née Tseng Yook Lan) in 1940. In this interview, three family members discuss photographs on display at the ROM’s The Family Camera exhibition, including Ming’s 1922 identification portrait and head tax certificate, a photograph of Irene posing with her “paper family” in Victoria, B.C., a marriage photo, and a 2016 photo documenting the first ever meeting of Raymond, Sharon, Julia and Victoria with several members of the extended Lum family in Zhongshan City, China. They also sit down to examine family photos in an album composed by Ming, photos of Raymond and Sharon’s wedding, as well as photos of the family from more recent years. They discuss Raymond’s adoption, the family’s mixed-race identity, and the role of photography in documenting family history. Raymond is a photographer based in Vancouver. His still life works Tribute and Robert Fuller Gibb are biographical portraits created using the assembled belongings of Ming and Sharon’s late father, Robert Gibb, respectively.
The Lum family's photos and interview can be accessed in The Family Camera Network public archive at the Royal Ontario Museum.