One can learn a lot by studying family photographs; the Low Family Portrait is no exception. Upon close study, one would see that many of these photos are taped into place to show the illusion of a family being physically together in New York City. The truth could not have been more distant. Mr. Lin Low was an immigrant to the United States who became a naturalized citizen after serving in World War II; he used this new status change to bring over his wife and two of his children, but complications prevented him from bringing his oldest daughter Moo Gee to live with the family.
Moo Gee thus remained in Hong Kong with other relatives and soon moved with her husband Stanley to London. The Low family would not see their daughter until twenty years later, which also caused shock for many of the children that lived in New York when they saw Moo Gee again decades later. Despite the hardships of immigration for Chinese people before the major reforms in 1965, this photograph demonstrates that Chinese-American families strived to be together—despite the physical distance that may exist between them.