For my Photo I final project, I wanted to capture vulnerability but also self-empowerment. I focused this project on a small group of female Asian-Americans here at OSU, myself included. The premise of this final was asking what kind of hardships these girls went through, sum it up in a quote, and write it on their body (three people had reasons to not write on their body). I chose to write on their body because the quotes express personal experience.
When my clients came for their photo shoot time slot, I asked each person, “What were some stereotypes or racist comments that people told you?” I conducted extra research on other common stereotypes attached to Asians before the photoshoots and used those as a basis to help stir up any ideas. Surprisingly, most of them had a difficult time coming up with a quote. I thought that it was on the spot and that they weren’t expecting it, but the more I went through each person, I began to realize that my question to them probably wasn’t something they were used to being asked. I’m also speaking from personal experience as well because there were a lot of nasty and comments I’ve received from other people while growing up and always pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. I’d concluded they had a hard time thinking of a quote because they had those comments and/or memories repressed.
I’m extremely grateful that they shared their experiences with me for this project. It gave me more insight and awareness on others’ struggles growing up as a female Asian-American.