ANGEL ISLAND IN SIGHT 2021 is a visual storytelling project focused on Angel Island — a collective portrait of Angel Island drawn from a multitude of views — near and far, past and present. Del Sol Performing Arts Organization’s ANGEL ISLAND INSIGHT explores the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station by offering a suite of virtual and in-person programs that examines the musicality of the disappearing Hoisan-wa dialect by The Last Hoisan Poets and The Del Sol Quartet. public engagement with Del Sol Quartet & Huang Ruo’s Angel Island – Oratorio for Voices and Strings.

Although photography had always been a casual interest of mine, it wasn’t until 2008, when capturing the energy and joyful expressions of the dancers at the Berkeley Obon, did I realize my passion for this activity. It is through this continued pursuit of photography that I have connected to many local ethnic communities, deepened an interest in my Japanese American heritage, and engaged many culturally active artists, activists, and historians.  While my photographic style continues to evolve, I’m most inspired by images that portray the vibrancy and soul of our collective communities, whether through the sharing of various art forms, celebrations, or remembrances.

MARK SHIGENAGA, Community Photographer

Photo: Mark Shigenaga. Filming day on Angel Island with Claudia Katanayagi for A Bitter Legacy, 2012.
Mark Shigenaga

In 2014, I helped photo document the 1st Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage, an event sponsored by the Nichi Bei Foundation, with AIISF, the National Japanese American Historical Society, California Genealogical Society, and the California Park Services as partners.  It was during this pilgrimage that I met Grant Din.  A chance discussion subsequently led to an exploration of my grandfather Kakuro and great uncle Shigeo’s history on this island, who were shipped from Hawaii to California and destined to become interned at various Department of Justice camps a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Grant’s access to the National Archives and Records Administration led to a wealth of new insights to the journeys of the Shigenaga brothers, and are, today, cherished by our family. 

— Mark Shigenaga, May 18, 2021.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ANGEL ISLAND: IN SIGHT 2021 at the Angel Island Immigration Station is made possible with support from North East Medical Services (NEMS).

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