The Lams of Ludlow Street is an investigation into the life of one Chinese family living in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood. Growing up in New York City, Thomas Holton watched most people regard Chinatown as a tourist attraction and a weekend destination for dim sum. While he never lived in Chinatown, his grandparents did, and he knew that Chinatown was more than the images seen in travel brochures and postcards. Although he is half-Chinese and has spent a considerable amount of time in Chinatown, he never experienced a bond or connection to the neighborhood or the culture; he always felt he was a visitor. At the beginning of this project, he knew he wanted to get behind closed doors and photograph more than stereotypical images of Chinatown’s street scenes: he wanted to experience the daily life of Chinatown. He has photographed the Lam family regularly since 2003 and has grown as an artist and person in unimaginable ways. “The Lams of Ludlow Street” has become more than a photography project, and is now a part of his life that makes him complete. He wants to continue making this work for as long as possible.

Artist Bios

  • Thomas Holton

    Thomas Holton is a photographer and educator based in New York City. He received a BA in Anthropology from Kenyon College and his MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts. His ongoing project, The Lams of Ludlow Street, has documented the life of a single Chinese-American family living in Manhattan’s Chinatown over the last 20 years. The project was published as a book in 2016 by Kehrer Verlag and has been shown in the United States and abroad at venues including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, The Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library, and the China-Lishui International Photography Festival. Work from The Lams of Ludlow Street has also been published by The New York Times, Aperture, The Guardian, and many other periodicals. Holton has taught at the International Center of Photography and was co-founder of the VisuaLife photography program, working with at-risk teenagers in collaboration with the Children’s Aid Society in New York City. He is currently a photography teacher in New York City, where he lives with his family.


  • Peak Design

    Peak Design

    Peak Design is a product company who has been meticulously designing gear for creatives, commuters, and explorers since 2011. Their camera straps, tripods, backpacks, travel bags, and phone accessories are well-known in photography communities across the world. Peak Design is a 1% for the Planet member, a certified B-Corp, Climate Neutral Certified, and makes all of their bags in Fair Trade Certified facilities.

  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

The Lams of Ludlow Street

 coming soon

Featuring: Thomas Holton

Presented by: Peak Design and Photoville
  • Peak Design
  • Photoville
  • NYC Parks


View Location Details Seward Park

Canal St and, Essex St
New York
NY 10002

Number 76 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

Location open 24 hours

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings