Coming Home

2015, Ongoing


Coming Home is a photography series about people and the family, friends, places, and things we call home. The people in these photographs identify to varying degrees as LGBTQ and as Asian American.

These images are a record of a personal journey about exploration and affirmation of identity, as well as appreciation for the ordinary. For three months, people welcomed me into their lives and into their homes. Over warm meals and many cups of tea, we shared our stories, our wants, and our worries. This series is dedicated to anyone who is searching for home.

Timeline

April 2016: Solo exhibition held in the Mohr Gallery at the McMurtry building at Stanford in April 2016.

June 2016: Received the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and the Creative Arts for Coming Home

Oct to Dec 2016: Photographs selected as part of the 3rd Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition in the Stanford Art Gallery.

June 2016 to June 2017: Selection of photographs on display at the Cantor Art Center's cafe.

PLANO, TEXAS-- Angela wakes up in her childhood home. She is a student nearby at Southern Methodist University.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA-- Narinda makes her morning coffee, inhaling the smell of freshly ground coffee.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- Roy shuts off his alarm before getting ready for work as a software engineer.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Willy Wilkinson irons his dress shirt before heading out to see his kids.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA-- Vicky and Hailee watch their wedding video for the first time among friends. On screen, the couple kisses.

SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA-- Fei paints a portrait of Grace Lee Boggs. She recentlyy returned to her hometown to live with her parents.

DALLAS, TEXAS-- Taylor plays video games with her friend Sergio, a favored past time.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS-- Have plays piano in the basement of her college dorm. Thanh Nguyen, Dylan Simmons, Angela Wang, Taylor Souryachak, Sammie Wills, Danny Tai Pham, Narinda Heng, Shelby Barnachea, Ann Hoang and Anisa Khamvongsa, Roy Luo, Vicky and Hailee Luu-Pollard, Allison Santos, Diane Kim, Lena Nguyen, Juliana Nguyen, Lotus Dao, Willy Wilkinson, Natalie Thoreson, Marcella Gaddis, Hansa Srinivasan, Hane Lee, Elisa Young, Fei Mok, Grace Kong and Khanie Qi, Kevin Kwong and Jerome Tobias, Grace Park and Inger Brinck.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Inger hugs and burps August.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Lotus prays at his grandparents' altar.

DALLAS, TEXAS-- Dylan and his mother curl up on the couch over winter break.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA-- Juliana sleeps next to her sister, Juliana as a friends gathering winds down.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- Danny shares an intimate moment at the dance club he runs, GAMeBoi SF.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- Jerome and Kevin repot their succulents.

HIGHWAY 5, CALIFORNIA-- Ann leans towards Anisa as they hit traffic on their way north from Los Angeles to visit Ann's parents.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS-- Hansa wraps up a problem set with their dorm mate.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- Thanh circled up with friends against the bay window of their living room.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- MLin and Sammie crack a joke at the temporary offices of APIENC in Chinatown.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Marcella and Natalie share a night in. The friends first bonded over their mixed Korean heritage.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Grace and Inger care for August in their Oakland home. August recently celebrated his 100th day.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA-- Grace swoops in for a kiss on Khanie's cheek.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS-- Elisa works on the couches of the photo club at MIT.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA-- Shelby sits down for boba and desserts with their cousins.

Acknowledgments

Coming Home started out as a simple impulsive idea and blossomed into an incredible journey due to the generosity of a number of lovely people.

To the dozens of people who welcomed me into their home and introduced me to their world, my gratitude cannot be expressed in words. Thank you for your courage in sharing your stories: Thanh Nguyen, Dylan Simmons, Angela Wang, Taylor Souryachak, Sammie Wills, Danny Tai Pham, Narinda Heng, Shelby Barnachea, Ann Hoang and Anisa Khamvongsa, Roy Luo, Vicky and Hailee Luu-Pollard, Allison Santos, Diane Kim, Lena Nguyen, Juliana Nguyen, Lotus Dao, Willy Wilkinson, Natalie Thoreson, Marcella Gaddis, Hansa Srinivasan, Hane Lee, Elisa Young, Fei Mok, Grace Kong and Khanie Qi, Kevin Kwong and Jerome Tobias, Grace Park and Inger Brinck.

Jonathan Calm, who has been my teacher, mentor, and advocate. I would have been lost without your positivity, wisdom, and encouragement.

With gratitude to the Cantor Arts Center and the Department of Art & Art History.

Elizabeth Mitchell and Kim Mansfield from the Cantor for your support. This undertaking would not have happened without the generosity of the Cantor.

Lauren Douglas for equipment support and lighthearted banter as we traded the department camera back and forth.

Special thanks to Stanford Q&A, as well as MLin and the folks at API Equality Northern California for outreach support, and for your broader work advocating for the LGBTQ API community.

My dear friends for keeping me afloat with cheeky jokes and heartfelt conversations.

My family for your love, your willingness to grow together, and your patience with my wild and stubborn ways.