EAST OF EDEN

  East of Eden began in the United States as a series of large, staged, color, narrative photographs that question the historical depiction of the American landscape as the Garden of Eden.  The historical strategy of utilizing the landscape as a metaphor for nationalism and optimism provides the background for my visual thesis.  Initially I was interested in looking at our contemporary American landscape as the Garden of Eden and re-framing it from the post-September 11th perspective.  These photographs in East of Eden dealt with humanity in the context of the post-apocalyptic landscape.  Since  In 2005, I began to travel throughout Vietnam to continue working on my visual thesis both in a landscape that bears the physical scars of the war, and with the people that have lived and survived its horrors.


   Entitled East of Eden: Vietnam, this chapter became a documentation of  people who were physically maimed by the war that officially ended over thirty years ago. East of Eden: Vietnam was partly inspired by my experience growing up in Vietnam with my brother, an amputee, who lost his right arm while serving as a South Vietnamese soldier in the battlefield of Cambodia. It is was my intention to use the camera to create visual documentations that will serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and also as a proof of the survivors' strength, courage and acceptance.. East of Eden: Vietnam was an attempt to come to terms with my past and to offer those of whom that are violently marked by the war the opportunity to tell their stories.

   While working as a Guggenheim fellow to document Vietnamese war amputees in 2012, I began working on  My East of Eden as a new chapter to my ongoing photographic series East of Eden.  This project is my attempt to reclaim my real and imagined childhood memories and fantasies of growing up in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Beyond serving as the means to tell my stories, I intend for these new images to address issues, such as legacy, hope and regeneration. Working with rural Vietnamese children in school uniforms in the Spring of 2012, I began making portraits and staged photographs reminiscing of the 19th century British landscape paintings where the environment and its inhabitants existed in harmony. Against the backdrop of the once scarred landscape, (My) East of Eden is a celebration of the resilience and beauty of humanity.

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  East of Eden began in the United States as a series of large, staged, color, narrative photographs that question the historical depiction of the American landscape as the Garden of Eden.  The historical strategy of utilizing the landscape as a metaphor for nationalism and optimism provides the background for my visual thesis.  Initially I was interested in looking at our contemporary American landscape as the Garden of Eden and re-framing it from the post-September 11th perspective.  These photographs in East of Eden dealt with humanity in the context of the post-apocalyptic landscape.  Since  In 2005, I began to travel throughout Vietnam to continue working on my visual thesis both in a landscape that bears the physical scars of the war, and with the people that have lived and survived its horrors.


   Entitled East of Eden: Vietnam, this chapter became a documentation of  people who were physically maimed by the war that officially ended over thirty years ago. East of Eden: Vietnam was partly inspired by my experience growing up in Vietnam with my brother, an amputee, who lost his right arm while serving as a South Vietnamese soldier in the battlefield of Cambodia. It is was my intention to use the camera to create visual documentations that will serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and also as a proof of the survivors' strength, courage and acceptance.. East of Eden: Vietnam was an attempt to come to terms with my past and to offer those of whom that are violently marked by the war the opportunity to tell their stories.

   While working as a Guggenheim fellow to document Vietnamese war amputees in 2012, I began working on  My East of Eden as a new chapter to my ongoing photographic series East of Eden.  This project is my attempt to reclaim my real and imagined childhood memories and fantasies of growing up in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Beyond serving as the means to tell my stories, I intend for these new images to address issues, such as legacy, hope and regeneration. Working with rural Vietnamese children in school uniforms in the Spring of 2012, I began making portraits and staged photographs reminiscing of the 19th century British landscape paintings where the environment and its inhabitants existed in harmony. Against the backdrop of the once scarred landscape, (My) East of Eden is a celebration of the resilience and beauty of humanity.

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THE GARDEN

  The Garden is a collection of large color photographs documenting a series of abandoned greenhouses located approximately 45 minutes from Oberlin, Ohio. I hope to photograph these abandoned structures to chart the various stages of growth and decay throughout the year. Aesthetically, The Garden is a departure from my other work. With this new project, I am trying to objectively documenting rather then to subjectively staging. In The Garden I use the camera to record facts rather then to use it as a subjective tool . Conceptually, this body of work is similar to another work in progress entitled East Of Eden. Metaphorically. The Garden is an inquiry into the Garden of Eden as an abandoned site. As if from the perspective of a natural scientist or archeologist, I have become increasingly intrigued with the idea of the abandoned greenhouses as a future relic of a  man-made Garden of Eden. Beyond serving as metaphorical landscape, I hope that my images from The Garden will also serve as a document of a vanishing part of Ohio’s unique history.