Refugee Project, Providence,

These pictures of Southeastern Asian refugees were taken in 1983-86, when I was a student at Rhodes Island School of Design. They had come to America to escape the horrors of war in their native country during Vietnam War. Despite all the hopes of a new beginning in an estranged world, these refugees from Cambodia, Hmong, Laos, and Vietnam constantly faced challenges in adjusting to an unfamiliar setting. Still, they remained strong to keep their pride and traditions and to this day, my deep respect for them has not changed.

 

여기에 소개되는 사진들은 Rhode Island School of Design에서 공부하던1983년에서 86년에 걸쳐, 동남아시아에서 미국에 정착한 피난민들의 모습을 담아낸 것이다. 피난민들은 대부분 전쟁의 소용돌이에서 도망쳐 온 캄보디아, 라오스, 후몽, 베트남 사람들이다. 당시 ‘꿈의 나라’ 미국에서의 새로운 삶에 대한 희망이 그들을 감싸고 있었음에도 불구하고, 그들은 여전히 많은 슬픔과 어려움 속에 놓여 있었다. 그러나 그들의 자긍심과 전통을 고스란히 지켜내며, 그들은 희망을 향해 나아가고 있었다. 그들에게 받았던 감동이 내 마음속에 진심어린 존경심으로 남아있다.

 

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Cambodian twin family
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Hmong shaman’s family


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Sleeping baby


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lost brother, left behind the refugee camp in Thailand.
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Cambodian teenager

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Cambodian groom getting ready
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Newly Weds
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Cambodian buddhist monk, queens, ny
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For my graduate exhibition, I rented a Cambodian house. I hoped that the audience would truly experience the unique southeast asian culture in its own neighborhood-a neighborhood brimming with laughter and sadness.
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Entrance to the show, note hand written opening sign.
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I used types and cheap frames to mount photographs that I have taken, all the furniture belong to the family.

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Since it was exhibited in their neighborhood, many refugees came to see the pictures of themselves.
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Installation of photographs of refugee camps in Thailand. This area became a sacred place where refugees posted their personal letters and photographs to the fence.

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