Chien-Chi Chang, 1999 W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant Recipient

Taiwan native Chien-Chi Chang, now living in Kew Gardens, N.Y., used his grant to continue documenting the plight of illegal immigrants in New York’s Chinatown, and returned, with several of his subjects, to photograph family members left behind in rural China. “I have an emotional stake in ‘Divided Lives,'” Chang wrote of the project. Before coming to the U.S. in 1991, he had heard endless stories about New York’s immigrant community. “I discovered a different reality where many Chinese were delivered at great personal sacrifice into a life of indentured servitude, fear and extortion.”

Since receiving his grant, Chang has connected 21 Chinese illegal immigrants with their family members back in China.